Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box

At Marshall no idea is a bad idea, it’s potential. We love innovation, we adore ideas, we value feedback and we collaborate. That’s how we understand our customers and bring them the solutions they need to protect people in critical situations.

Lightbulb moments create bright solutions

Our customers demand innovative solutions to complex problems and we have the people with the bright ideas that bring them to life.

We’re part of a number of defence and industry collaboration programmes and think tanks aimed at exploring the art of the possible to determine the capabilities for the forces of the future.

At Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group we all make it our business to generate ideas, whether to improve a product or service, make a cost saving, extend the life of a legacy product or to help our customers to deploy quicker and be readily available to protect people in critical situations. It’s what we do best.

The challenge is capturing those ideas, evaluating them, funnelling the best and working logically to an efficient conclusion.

Ideas funnel

We invested in an innovation management crowdsourcing platform called Smartcrowds from Bridgeall to give everyone in our business ready access to an easy-to-use platform to capture their creative and innovative ideas and suggestions.

Dr Nikita Sinha, Head of Technology Acquisition said:

“Innovation in any company is about combining intelligence and expertise,”

“We want to be able to capture our people’s combined experience and their great ideas, which should lead us on an innovation journey that results in new products and services and enhanced working practices.”

The future of collaborative thinking

So far, more than 250 ideas have been collected and many selected for further investment to generate what might become the products of the future.

We’ve published some specific challenges that our people have commented on and posted their imaginative ideas. Everyone can see those posts and add their comments. Our technical team has selected a few of those ideas and filtered them through the innovation funnel using pre-defined selection criteria.

It’s a flexible and configurable tool, which looks and feels similar to many social media platforms that most people are experienced at using.

As a result we’re progressing ideas that we’ve evaluated using proven data, created feasibility studies, implementation plans, Gantt charts and other relevant reports to steer particular projects, many of which respond to challenges posed by our defence customers. Watch this space.