“Innovation is unquestionably changing the way we do business”

Kwinta last had an interview with Dan Purtell, Group Innovation Director BSI, about the relation between quality and innovation.

How do you see the interaction between quality and innovation?
Dan Purtell: In today’s digital era, Innovation is unquestionably changing the way we do business. From sourcing and supply chain, to manufacturing and every aspect of Logistics and Transportation, if Innovation hasn’t already changed the way you do business, it likely will…soon. 

Innovation brings efficiencies and is designed to automate processes and manufacturing which will lead to a reduction in errors, defects, etc.  These are all core elements to quality. So, we see a stronger alignment of quality and innovation.  

Can one be without the other?
Dan Purtell: It can be, but why would we want that? If Innovation brings efficiencies and reduces errors and oversights, firms should embrace Innovation. Experts state that 20% of the Fortune 500 firms could drop from this ranking due to the lack of Innovation.  

What role can quality managers play in innovation?
Dan Purtell: Quality Managers should be involved in Ideas submissions  and even project management. These managers are very familiar with manufacturing or process and controls and should have a fairly good understanding of were inefficiencies exist. Firms are hungry for Innovation ideas and especially those projects that present an ROI.  

Is innovation always necessarily better?
Dan Purtell: No, and that’s why in your innovation role you should not view innovation or project failure as failure. We have a saying at BSI of ‘Fail Fast’. All ideas need to be processed and tested to see if they are worth pursuing or not.

Is innovation waste?
Dan Purtell: No, it’s exactly the opposite if the idea is sound and the innovation works. If we examine BIM and Smart Cities, why wouldn’t we want to take only the amount of  resource than needed, pollute the bare minimum.

What does a quality innovation look like?
Dan Purtell: Creating a culture of Innovation within the firm and be willing to quickly embrace change and ideas.  

What breakthrough potential does quality have in innovation?
Dan Purtell: Many are looking at disruptive technologies or disruptive manufacturing. The most disruptive innovations are stemming from Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, Drones and VR/AR and lastly Predictive Analytics. Many manufacturers are adopting Industry 4.0 which as a standard which is massively disrupting the manufacturing sector.  

How can you close the gap between quality and innovation?
Dan Purtell: Assign an Innovation lead and train the organization. Creating a Culture of Innovation and being able to tolerate ‘fail fast’ are key first steps.

BSI Group

Eltjo Veentjer (BSI) gave a talk about Organizational Resilience at the VCK conference.

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