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RSM US LLP

Obama Calls on Companies for Innovation


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The topic of Innovation has been a hot topic in the news lately with President Barack Obama touring the US visiting companies like Intel and Facebook. The President in his State of the Union speech in late January said: “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time.  We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” He is calling on innovative industry leaders at these companies to join him in what he believes to be “our Sputnik moment.”

What is innovation? Dictionary.com says it’s something new or different introduced: e.g.' There were numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum. I believe it’s something new or different that improves upon the previous iteration.' Others would also add to the definition by saying “it’s a planned process,” “with tools and techniques to help manage predictable outcomes.”

So what are the tools and techniques available to help manufacturing companies drive innovation to predictable outcomes? It’s a closed loop system consisting of a Product Lifecycle Management system (PLM) like the Windchill product from PTC integrated with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution like Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. The PLM solution is the heart and soul of the product and process development team. It’s the single source for drawings, specifications and processes required to build the product that the engineers envisioned.

The ERP solution makes sure that the materials and labor required to build the product are captured in a timely and accurate fashion and sends important information back to the PLM solution to help educate the engineers around design issues to improve upon in future releases, a closed loop.

Obama talked about out-innovating, out-educating and out-building as ways to advance our manufacturing economy ahead of the rest of the world. How’s the innovate/educate/build cycle at your company? Do you have the tools and techniques you need to be successful with your innovation?

In a recent web series, RSM delves into how manufacturing companies are using innovation to help your business grow and succeed and how to infuse innovation and use technology to create business value.

By:  Robert Bell, RSM – Microsoft Dynamics AX for Manufacturing Partner

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