Innovation has been said to be at the heart of business success, but in a contract fabrication shop that often doesn’t entail product design, where is that innovation? According to a recent publication by the consultancy Plante Moran, titled the 2012 Innovation Quotient Survey, innovation doesn’t necessarily mean product innovation. It also can be process innovation, like innovative manufacturing methods or technologies. And there are innovations within supply chain relationships.
Jeff Mengel, leader of Plante Moran’s manufacturing group, described how such innovation changes customer relationships from one that’s simply a matter of convenience into one that is intimate-- not in the romantic sense, of course. Instead, Mengel uses “intimate” to describe a business relationship that would be very inconvenient and disruptive to break.