ERIKS

Driving a more customer-centric mindset through the ERIKS Innovation Challenge

Challenge

ERIKS is a broad supplier of industrial parts. They provide an array of solutions from o-rings, valves, rubbers, motors etc. They differentiate themselves through their services, co-development and engineering. This shows in their culture as well. To boost innovation, ERIKS organises their annual Global Innovation Challenge in which they invite teams to solve a challenge within one month. At the end of the month all teams pitch their solutions & underlying evidence after which a selection of winners will be made. This year, the aim was to support the teams by starting with validation training: to highlight the importance of customer validation; starting with identifying assumptions, gathering data through fast experiments to iteratively improve their solution.

Approach

  • Innovation
  • Academy
To support ERIKS in this ambition, we organised two full-day events: A kick-off & training event at the start, and a closing pitch event. The kick-off & training focused on the importance of validation in innovation processes. We took ERIKS’ employees on a deep dive into the world of validation: the need to build and test assumptions, interviewing and prototyping techniques. Using our Triple layered Value Proposition Canvas, we inspired them to build a value proposition that not only delivers value to the business, but explicitly starts with the customer and takes value for nature and society into account. Participants had to actively ‘get out of the building’ to talk to customers and validate their needs before showing their prototypes. The pitch event at the end of the Innovation Challenge focused on presentation and storytelling techniques. Using our pitch template, teams had to prepare and practise their pitch in groups, receiving peer feedback on the spot. They then had one hour to adjust and prepare for their final pitch in front of the Innovation jury, consisting of representatives from ERIKS’ leadership team.

Result

The result? Two highly successful events that inspired customer-centric innovation approach within ERIKS. Participants said the events gave them “great insight into the importance of customer validation” and that they “gained the ability to directly interview customers, validate ideas and refine ideas based on customer response.”

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