Engineered materials manufacturers create the components that make advanced products possible.  When product designers of everything from smartphones to medical devices to athletic shoes look for ways to make their products smaller, lighter, more efficient and higher performance, they turn to engineered materials manufacturers for the foams, fibers, substrates and other materials to specify in their designs.

Business Situation

Engineered materials manufacturers depend on their customers to create applications for their products.  When the engineered materials manufacturer invents a new material, it has to convince customers to design it into their products.  Conversely, when customers express a need for a new material, the materials manufacturer has to determine if it can create the material to meet the customer’s specifications and produce it with sufficient yield to meet the customer’s demand, all while producing the material at a profit.

Thus engineered materials companies have two portfolio challenges.  They look to their R&D portfolio to create new materials on which to base families of products.  At the same time, they have to manage a product portfolio that contains every configuration sold to their customers, sometimes running into hundreds or thousands of distinct items, and must evaluate how each configuration contributes to profitability and the customer relationship.

Solution

SmartOrg gives engineered materials manufacturers the tools to make credible comparisons between disparate projects in the R&D and Innovation portfolio, and between products in the product portfolio.  SmartOrg enables its clients to look for hidden upside potential in R&D and Innovation projects, and to create learning plans to achieve those upsides.  At the same time, SmartOrg helps our clients identify those low-potential ideas that merely clutter their Innovation portfolios, so they can redirect resources away from those and invest them in their high-value projects.

Using the same set of tools in a different application, SmartOrg’s clients in the engineered materials industry can manage large product portfolios for ongoing growth and profitability.  The tools allow product managers to evaluate the future profitability of the product portfolio and make informed decisions about which products to nominate to customers for discontinuing, and which new products constitute the best opportunities for profitable growth.

SmartOrg Solutions

Portfolio strategy consulting

Development of project learning plans for upside exploitation

Portfolio Navigator enterprise software

Benefits

Dramatic increases in R&D and Innovation portfolio value

Substantial improvement in projects moving to implementation, with higher ambitions for success

Quick termination of projects that won’t drive growth, freeing resources and attention for those that will

Management of portfolios of large numbers of products