Community Forum

Community Forum accepts member submitted questions and requests that members take a brief moment and reply with their viewpoint.  All of the responses will be compiled and sent out in an email to all members within three business days.  All questions and responses will be archived on this page for future reference for IRI members only. Community Forum is a members-only benefit of IRI Membership.  Please login to view Community Forum discussions topics.

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Recent Discussions

Advice, best practices, and emerging systems & tools in the area of shipping lab scale containers from one laboratory facility to another.
One of the most commonly reported innovation metrics is R&D spending as a percent of sales. However, it’s not always clear what expenses are counted towards that total. Your participation in this survey will help the IRI community benchmark what common practices are in building these metrics so that we have a better understanding of how comparable these numbers may be.
This week we asked our members about the innovation teams/structures that organizations have in place and their governance.
We asked our community to submit examples of job descriptions their company uses when seeking applicants on job sites. We obtained descriptions for "Director of Technology & Innovation," "Senior Director of Research and Development," "Process Consultant," "Director of External Innovation," "General Manager, Innovation Management," and "Manager, New Prodcut Development." If you would like to submit, please email Erika Toman.
Innovation comes with many iterations and discovery, especially when exploring early stage technology. We’d like to know how companies allocate their resources for such early stage projects along with the breakdown of using internal versus external resources.
Design Thinking Methodology is increasingly a standard process for product innovation and design; the key essence is empathy for the user. Although the process includes a research phase, it is typically about user needs, and does not describe a way to include new materials, technologies, or methods of making. We want to benchmark our members to determine if this is a common gap, or if there are best practices in this area that can be collected for wider dissemination amongst members.
At a member organization, the process of creating safety data sheets (SDS’s) takes a long time and can be very complicated. They are interested in benchmarking with your organization regarding SDS cycle times.
We are seeking advice, best practices, and emerging systems & tools in the area of project and program management.
UOP is reviewing their HSE practices and is considering whether to eliminate a historical restriction of prohibiting contact lens usage that still exists in some of their locations.  We are interested in learning whether contact lenses may be worn within your organization in laboratories or operating areas.
Arkema is in the market for a document management tool that the R&D community can use to store, search and retrieve in-house technical know-how. There seems to be a lot of products on the market that have such capabilities. We are interested in learning how your organization has tackled this challenge.
Companies often use new product sales (sometimes referred to as new product vitality) as a measure of R&D effectiveness.  This metric is often reported as the ratio of new product sales (sales during the initial x years of sales) to total sales of the company or business unit.  In different markets and industries there are different product life cycles and different times over which a product is considered "new".  The time frame a product is considered 'new' varies (the 'x' in the prior equation) to reflect this.
P&G recently staffed a Diversity & Inclusion role leading a STEM Coalition.  P&G is seeking to understand similar programs and activities across the industry. 
Corporate libraries or information centers are uniquely positioned to adapt their services to the ever-changing needs of the organizations they serve. This brief survey will help gain insight into the services, staffing and resource allocation of IRI member libraries.  
Does your company struggle with getting the correct allocation of resources across the portfolio?  One aspect of portfolio management is how to spread your resource across the various R&D time horizons. 
Assessing the value of Innovation is a necessary and critical aspect of Portfolio Management.  This survey is intended to uncover best practices to characterizing benefits proposed, realized and impediments to doing this in a consistent manner.

Survey: Let's Talk About NPD
As a part of larger scale assessment, Hormel Foods would like to understand specific nuances associated with New Product Development (NPD).

Survey: What is Your Vitality Index?
Two IRI organizations asked R&D leaders to share how their organization defines the Vitality Index, what is a typical target and how this metric is used.

Survey: How Do You Align Your Technical Ladder?
A survey conducted to capture benchmarks in implementing a technical ladder.

Survey: Overal R&D Structure
An IRI member company asks whether the organizational structure they have around new product development and R&D is atypical.

Survey: Crowdsourcing Awards
An IRI member company is endeavoring to create a crowdsourcing event and surveyed members about best practices for granting awards at such an event.

Survey: Dashboard Metrics
Sonoco is currently in the process of updating dashboard metrics to track progress against innovation goals for the company and is seeking feedback on what priority metrics your company tracks to benchmark industry best practices.

Survey: Aligning Expectations for an Innovation Process
An IRI member company is resetting its innovation process and is seeking peer information to help align expectations with internal stake holders.

How do you present your company's roadmap to customers?
Our organization has a robust technology roadmap process and we are exploring various ways to make the data understandable and relevant to a broad customer set.  How has your organization overcome this challenge?  In addition, do you have recommendations for how your organization has engaged customers directly in roadmap plans and updates?  

Survey: Benchmark of the Spending and Impact of Front-End-Innovation and R&D
In order to be competitive in the market, many companies invest in R&D for new innovative products, especially, front-end-innovation (early stage of R&D). The activities in the front-end-innovation include, for example: technology assessment for potential acquisition, technology scouting, idea management, exploratory projects, and university projects. My company has been doing this for several years. 

Survey: Identifying, Developing, and Launching Market-Based Solutions
LORD Corporation is seeking input on how other companies identify, develop, and launch market-based solutions.  Their need for continued growth is driving teams to re-evaluate how they develop, launch, and propagate "1 to many" solutions vs. their historic model of strategic and niche "1 to 1" solutions. 

Cost to Implement a new PLM system
We are looking for benchmark costs on implementing a new PLM system for a CPG company that maintains an active catalog of 11,000 products with 300 new product introductions a year and another 500 product revisions.  
We would like feedback regarding: 

  • What are expected one-time costs?
  • What are expected on-going maintenance costs? 

Survey: What is the career development structure of your R&D organization?
FM Global would like to benchmark with IRI peers to learn what the career development structure of various research organizations look like.  The impact of social media as well as shorter tenures influence employee expectations for mobility and we all want to stay relevant in the marketplace.

What vacation vesting schedule do you use for new hires?
PPG is evaluating its current vacation vesting schedule and would like to ensure we are competitive in the current market.  What vacation vesting schedule do you use for new hires? Does this schedule differ if a new hire holds a Ph.D.? 


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Friday November 30, 2018 2:00pm
One of the most commonly reported innovation metrics is R&D spending as a percent of sales. However, it’s not always clear what expenses are counted towards that total. Your participation in this...