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Assignment Cover Sheet

Student Name: Student Number:

Syed Redwanur Rahman

Unit Name:

Unit Code:

School of Law and Business Charles Darwin University Casuarina NT 0909

Phone: (08) 8946 6830

Managing Innovation
Lecturers Name:


Abhishek Shukla
Assessment Title: Innovation Space Analysis using 4P Semester: 1 Applied for Extension:

Year: 2013

Assignment 2
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Assessment 2_PRBM005

Syed Redwanur Rahman_s239377

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In todays highly competitive business world, Innovation plays a vital role for the companies to achieve competitive advantage. The form of innovation varies from organization to organization and according to Dodgson et al. (2008), innovation is successful commercial exploitation of new ideas. In this report, innovation activities taken place in Stretchtex International Fabrics, a fabric innovator with ISO 9002 and Okeotex Standard 100 accredited products (Stretchtex 2013) and a global supplier of a range of swim and sportswear fabrics, have been analysed using the 4Psframework of innovation developed by Bessant and Tidd (2009). In doing so, strengths and weaknesses of the companys portfolio of innovation activity have been measured and finally an effort has been made to identify the new targets for the company to come up with better and more effective strategic innovation.

The 4P framework:
Bessant and Tidd (2009) came up with the 4Ps framework of innovation that basically deals with four major dimensions toward the change that is achieved by innovation. 1. Product Innovation: Changes in product or service offering. 2. Process Innovation: Changes in the way the offering is created and delivered. 3. Position Innovation: Changes in the context in which the product or service is introduced or placed. 4. Paradigm Innovation: Changes in the underlying mental models which frame what the organization does. Using these four critical dimensions, a map of innovation space (Appendix: 1) has been developed by Bessant and Tidd (2009), who argues that the same innovation space is applicable for any organization involved with innovation process. Understanding each of these dimensions can certainly help an organization identifying what type of idea has been generated. Moreover, for each dimension, an incremental and radical change domain has been suggested and these have been indicated by arrows on the innovation space map. By incremental change, it is meant that the changes are not drastic or the changes that are happened due to continual small improvements or innovation. On the other hand, radical changes indicate those changes which bring a complete alteration in one of the four mentioned dimensions. Examples given below: Innovation Product Process Position Paradigm Incremental Windows XP, Vista, 7 Fixed Line Telephone Services Low Cost Airlines Ryan Air IBM Service Shift Radical Toyota Pirus, LED TV Skype, ebay Shopping Tata Nano. Rolls-Royals power by hour shift.
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Stretchtex International Fabrics: An award-winning Fabric Innovator

Stretchtex has always endeavoured to innovate in creating fabrics for clothing with superior qualities which offer best customer satisfaction. Swimwear, sportswear and performance fabrics are some of the areas where the company has been proved especially successful. Stretchtex has had to maintain continual innovation over the years in order to survive and prosper in the specialized niche market, where sales volumes are not large compared to quite high price. Their main line of products is in the swimwear market, which has accounted for some 70% of their sales for some time. Perhaps one of their best known customers is the well-known branded company and product line of Speedo. Their fabrics are particularly good for swimwear applications due to their chlorine resistance properties (Samson 2010). **How does the innovation process work at Stretchtex? The usual process for a new product development at Stretchtex is an initiation with a customer requirement. The customer specifies a wish-list of properties and benefits desired from a fabric. Stretchtex then works to develop a fabric that responds to those customer requirements. This is a team effort conducted by a group of very experienced staff. Fibres often need to be combined and many test runs and cycles of trial and error are conducted to optimize fabric performance and match the requirements. Some examples of requirements are (Samson 2010): Colour fastness Stretch and recovery Weight Water repellence Moisture management Sun/UV rating Chemical resistance (eg. chlorine)

Examples of innovative fabrics produced by Stretchtex have been for elite athletes in sports such as water-polo, basketball, and triathlon. In all these sports, Stretchtex has benefitted in market terms by supplying fabrics that were worn by medal winners in the Beijing Olympics (Samson 2010). Another innovation from Stretchtex is the BURQINI, meaning swimwear for Muslim women (Samson 2010).
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**Strengths Stretchtex continually tries to create innovative applications for differentiated products, for example, in recent years, compression fabrics have become an area of large potential growth. These fabrics came originally from NASA, and Stretchtex innovated Skins fabrics from this source of a new product category (Samson 2010). Stretchtex always tries to move side by side with new and latest technology and product features, and plays the role as a first mover in the market. They have worked with leading designers like Peter Alexander and Body Science groups. Stretchtex continuously focuses on the development of its products performance, such as stretch performance. Improvements in water repellence, stretch and return, weight and other properties are constantly sought. In this category, Stretchtex has a technical edge over its competitors in the speed of its innovation cycles and product performance (Samson 2010). The companys innovation and development processes are supported by various subsidies that from time to time come from government: textile industry support and R&D support schemes help and provide incentives to develop new products (Samson 2010). Staffs of the company are involved in innovation at all levels, led by the executives who always encourage the staffs to come up with the innovative ideas and concepts. Stretchtex has opportunistically moved forward with UV protecting fabrics, such as Cancer Council endorsed fabrics for beachwear. Stretchtex has productive relationships with many organizations, practicing a limited form of open innovation. These partners include CSIRO, APANZA, AWTA (wool testing authority), and universities such as RMIT. So, the above discussion clearly suggests that the company is involved with a continuous product innovation and development process. Hence, according to the map of innovation space, Stretchtex International Fabrics falls into the category of Incremental Product Innovator.

**Weakness Apart from coming up with the highly innovative products, in order to be competitive, in the market, efficiency in process is highly necessary. Stretchtex has not done much process innovation over the years and there is every possibility that its competitors might come up with a better and innovative process which can steal the market share away from Stretchtex. Moreover, distance from its high profile customers can be a concerning factors in the coming days.
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Time for Process Innovation:

Based on the weaknesses sorted out in the previous page, the company must find out a better product creation and distribution process which would help the company to come up with even more innovative products and make those innovative products available to a larger amount of customers all over the world. So, the company can certainly look forward to bring in innovation in the product manufacturing and distribution process, which, according to the map of innovation space, is called process innovation.

The above analysis using 4Ps framework of innovation has shown that Stretchtex International Fabrics is involved with continual product innovation over the years. Their strengths prove that they possess the endeavour and culture to cater innovation in their product development process, though they lack innovation in their process and distribution. So, the company can look forward to get involved with process innovation along with the product innovation in the coming years.

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Appendix 1:

Figure: The 4Ps of Innovation Space (Bissant and Tidd 2009)

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Bessant, J. and Tidd, J. (2009), Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change, 4th edn, UK: Wiley. Samson, D. (2010), Stretchtex: a specialist niche innovator, Innovation for business success: Achieving a systematic innovation capability, Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Canberra, viewed 27 March 2013, ieving+a+systematic+innovation+capability&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDQ QFjAA& ationCouncils%2FDocuments%2FInnovationforbusinesssuccessTechstrat.pdf&ei=te FnUaqECqfxiAfS2oCoCA&usg=AFQjCNHPJKGQkG8KAnfePflOwxfIdoYNQg&bvm= bv.45175338,d.dGI Dodgson, D., Gann, D., Salter, A. (2008), The Management of Technological Innovation, Oxford University Press. Stretchtex 2013, About Us, viewed 3 April 2013,

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