British Water Innovation days bring about fast track market awareness for Haigh
21 May 2013, News release from The Haigh Engineering Co Ltd
Some 12 months ago, British Water set out to solve a key issue with their Innovation Day partnership programme. Quite simply, they wanted to improve the means by which the widespread supply chain could more effectively communicate innovative propositions to the right audience, within a traditional framework based procurement system.
For example, the team at Haigh have a continual programme of product development, inventing new concepts and products for the core UK water customers and their Tier 1 suppliers and they are not alone in experiencing the high costs and barriers to acceptance in a risk averse industry, particularly when risk and innovation inevitably go hand in hand.
With ten events throughout the UK during 2012, the opportunity for companies providing a wide range of technologies to present new concepts to key customers has seen a strong take up in the supply chain. And while the priorities of different customers will inevitably lead to differing success levels for different technologies in different areas, the feedback from both customers and suppliers has been positive. Even the format of the events through the course of the year has developed, with increasing attendance levels requiring specific groupings of suppliers to be split out to allow for a more focused audience.
Key themes through the sessions reflect the major challenges in the industry, including 'big data', the drive for improved network monitoring for leakage reduction, increasing levels of efficiency for operational equipment, as well as the steady move for system suppliers such as Haigh to bring efficiencies to capital project delivery by advances in off-site complete system manufacture. Both Haigh's new sludge screening process and complete pre-fabricated Inlet works systems have seen direct up-take in the market that can be traced back to contacts and interest developed from these events.
Initial concerns in the supply chain about conflicts of interest and competitive issues have proved unfounded as the sector has been more receptive to a true partnerships, signalling big steps forwards in cultural approach, also exemplified by the recent successes of the various alliances in the industry.
Speaking of the impact of these events, Haigh's David Freeman comments: "It is an effective use of everyone's time to be able to meet all the right people in one place on a regular basis. Being able to shorten the time to market on research and development projects with local, UK based partnerships is key in supporting the long term product development programme which is the basis of ongoing success in an increasingly global market place."
British Water have also piloted a 'b-wise' online innovation marketing platform to allow a forum for their members to promote new developments to the wider market in a centralised open fashion that is designed to make it easy for customers to keep abreast of industry developments. If the success and acceptance of the supplier innovation days is anything to go by this can only be a great step forward for the health of their UK membership base.
For further information please email The Haigh Engineering Co Ltd