Crowdsourcing speeds up innovation
By now it’s pretty well documented that if run properly, crowdsourcing
can bring products to market faster and at a lower cost. Proctor &Gamble experimented with crowdsourcing a while back to find a way toprint images onto its Pringles cans. Its search led it to a small Italianbakery that had figured out how to print images onto pastries. P&Glicensed the technology and was able to bring its idea to market in a littleunder a year.Because crowdsourcing proved successful in this instance, it decided toexpand its crowdsourcing efforts. P&G currently relies on outside
collaboration for a full 50 percent of its innovations. But it’s not alone:
several large companies have started to lean on the wisdom of crowdsfor production innovation. Among them are companies like Chlorox,3M, Johnson & Johnson and many others.
How to bring crowdsourcing into the mainstream
These companies are the exception rather than the rule for a variety of reasons. Most important amongst these seem to be a fear of change,uncertainty about intellectual property rights, and a lack of designsharing technologies. Luckily, each of these obstacles can be overcome.Here are three ways to bring crowdsourcing into mainstreammanufacturing.
Start small and work your way up. A lot of manufacturing companiesare uneasy about opening up their development processes to outsideinfluences. To work around this mentality companies should start off using crowdsourcing for a small project to get management used to thismethod of innovation. After a few successes, they can work their way upto bigger projects.