2,526 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from Derek Singleton, an ERP Analyst for Software Advice, which helps buyers find the right software for their business..
I’ve been covering the manufacturing industry as a software analyst for the last year and a half over at Software Advice, a resource that helps manufacturers find the right software. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing how tools such as Salesforce’s Chatter are making their way into the industry and looking at the ways they can improve supply chain and shop floor collaboration. All of this thinking about collaboration in the industry got me thinking: why should collaboration be limited to within the “four walls” on the enterprise?
Lately, Crowdsourcing has started to receive more attention as a viable way to innovate in the industry and design and develop products. With the eyes of the nation focusing once again on manufacturing as a key innovation sector in the United States, I thought it would be worth looking at how Crowdsourcing can help the industry.
Relying on Crowdsourcing in the manufacturing industry can accelerate the pace of innovation in the industry. By now it’s pretty well documented that if run properly, Crowdsourcing can bring products to market faster and at a lower cost. Proctor & Gamble tried out Crowdsourcing a while back to find a way to print images onto their Pringles cans. Their search led them to a small Italian bakery that had figured out how to print images onto pastries. Proctor & Gamble licensed the technology and was able to bring their idea to market in a little under a year.
Because Crowdsourcing proved successful in this instance, they decided to expand their Crowdsourcing efforts, and are currently relying on outside collaboration for a full 50 percent of their innovations. But they’re not alone, several large companies have started to lean on the wisdom of crowds for production innovation. Among them are companies like Clorox, 3M, Johnson & Johnson and many others.
So why are these companies the exception rather than the rule? Well, it turns out that there are a few roadblocks. The roadblocks are: fear of change, uncertainty about intellectual property rights, and a lack of design sharing technologies. Luckily, each of these obstacles can be overcome. Here are three ways to bring Crowdsourcing into mainstream manufacturing.
A few years ago, Crowdsourced product development really wasn’t even part of any discussion on innovation in the manufacturing industry. But times appear to be changing. Whether that change can continue, however, is dependent on how well the industry is able to navigate these obstacles.
- Derek Singleton writes about various topics related to ERP software at Software Advice with particular interest in the manufacturing and distribution software markets. In his spare time he enjoys training in boxing and martial arts. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect with him on LinkedIn.