Leverage Internal Engineering Talent to Solve Pressing Technical Problems

Leverage Internal Engineering Talent to Solve Pressing Technical Problems

This blog post is part of a monthly series highlighting Brightidea’s nine innovation apps. Each month, we’ll focus on one app and explain how it can increase the engagement, productivity, and success of your innovation program.

Innovation has changed the rules of global commerce. Business as usual simply doesn’t cut it anymore in a world where disruption has become increasingly common and incumbents once dominant in their industries are being upended. To stay competitive on this new landscape, companies now need to innovate to build a proprietary advantage. Their survival, in fact, depends on it.

Yet innovation is never a smooth, linear process. It’s common to run into roadblocks in the process of researching, developing, and producing new products and services. Key to maintaining the momentum of innovation—and allowing a company to keep its competitive advantage and stay ahead of the curve—is to surmount those roadblocks. And that means being able to solve problems as they arise during the innovation process.

Of course, that’s far easier said than done. And it often depends on the nature of the problems. To solve problems in this context—and by extension boost the productivity and accelerate the success of corporate innovation as a whole—it’s important for an organization to utilize its collective brainpower. But it’s neither practical nor scalable to hire externally in order to increase internal brainpower. One way to boost innovation productivity is to use existing resources to find solutions to critical problems, thereby maximizing the potential of an underutilized workforce. But how?

Problem-Solving Software That Taps Your Existing Resources

One answer lies in crowdsourced problem solving. The best way to do it? Software. Our new Solve app uses the power of crowdsourcing to tap into the knowledge, skill, and creativity of your workforce to find novel solutions to problems in research, development, and production. By helping to maximize the full potential of your existing resources, the app enables you to solve problems closer to home while retaining control over new intellectual property that might develop in the process.

Oftentimes, design specifications shift and production runs into bottlenecks. As a result, the cost of a project can skyrocket or it can hit a wall altogether. Solve helps you to apply the power of crowdsourcing to find solutions to these problems quickly and easily, getting your best minds on the hardest challenges facing your operations.

Crowdsourcing harnesses the existing brainpower of your workforce to find innovative solutions to critical problems.

With Solve problem-solving software, you can:

  • Resolve Technical Problems Faster. Crowdsourced Problem Solving is the most efficient way to solve technical problems in research, development, or production because it allows you to broadcast them to a wide audience across your organization while also providing the tools to collaborate on solutions.
  • Harness Untapped Talent to Maximize Value. Crowdsourced Problem Solving engages the entire your workforce. Get the most out of large engineering teams across business units and geographies using the app’s mass collaboration features such as voting and commenting.
  • Boost Productivity by Utilizing Existing Resources. You can make the most efficient use of your time and resources by using the app to automate repetitive tasks, collect feedback, measure results, and track user performance and behaviors over time.
  • Increase Competitiveness by Building Proprietary Advantage. By developing more innovative, higher-quality solutions, Solve helps your organization build substantial advantage over competitors.
  • Achieve Greater Return on Prior Investments. Evaluators can select the solution that will not only solve the problem but also maximize potential impact on the business. You can then measure and share your results with visual dashboards and metrics in the Solve app to generate more demand for your innovation program.

By harnessing the brainpower of company employees and enabling them to collaborate in real time to solve problems, the Solve app maximizes the financial advantage of leveraging your existing workforce.

Every Solve challenge features a challenge brief that describes the problem’s background and desired outcome, and specifies the timeline during which a solution needs to be found.

Advanced Capabilities to Instill a Culture of Innovation

Mobile Collaboration. Get the most out of large engineering teams across business units and geographies through the Solve app’s mass collaboration features such as voting and commenting. With the mobile app, users can submit and comment on potential solutions to a problem—in real time. This ensures that employees can be informed of problems as they arise, offer solutions on the fly, and stay abreast of input from their colleagues. This is especially important in a production line, where few workers have immediate access to a desktop computer.

With the mobile commenting feature in Solve, users can submit and comment on potential solutions to a problem in real time.

Solution Evaluations. In addition to having employees sound off with their input, subject matter experts can critically evaluate a submitted solution for viability and cost benefit using the Solve app’s built-in scoring system. Potential solutions are then ranked based on their scores, the highest of which can be considered for ultimate implementation. And because feedback is provided in real time, the evaluation process progresses quickly and efficiently. Participants can view the feedback on their solutions and take pride in their contributions.

Potential solutions can be ranked using Solve’s built-in scoring. Those ranked highest can then be implemented more rapidly.

Challenge Feedback Surveys. Start building a track record for solving technical problems in your company. The Solve app now includes a new survey that you can send to stakeholders, allowing them to provide feedback on their experience with the crowdsourced problem solving process. It’s yet another way the app enables you to track and measure outcomes and success.

Solve now includes a new survey for stakeholders to provide feedback on their experience with the crowdsourced problem solving process.

Solve now includes a new survey for stakeholders to provide feedback on their experience with the crowdsourced problem solving process.

A Measurable Difference to Your Bottom Line

As a tool for corporate success, Solve adds measurable value to any organization facing technical challenges in research, development, or production. And it has already begun to make a difference for a number of companies.

One such company is Autoliv. As the world’s largest automotive safety supplier, this $9.2-billion company operates in 28 countries, developing products that save 30,000 lives every year. Greg Thompson, Autoliv’s Director of Corporate Engineering, was recently tasked with evaluating ideation as way to increase the company’s return on R&D investments—and come up with ways to move beyond basic brainstorming. In selecting Brightidea to run their new open innovation program, Thompson recently said, “In our highly technical business we’re not expecting a fully baked idea. We’re looking for a promising seed of an idea that our team can further develop into something commercially viable.”

A highly efficient way to achieve that viability is through crowdsourcing. Because technical problem solving is an iterative process, it can benefit immensely from harnessing the collective experience and expertise of an operation’s workforce. By instantly connecting a large number of people around a single problem and empowering them with tools to share perspectives and exchange ideas, Solve can quickly help teams to overcome project obstacles. With the new technology and proprietary advantage it helps to develop, without the investment of additional resources, Solve can provide a competitive edge to a company in any industry.

Find out how problem-solving software can help you crowdsource fresh approaches to critical problems. Learn more about Solve and Brightidea’s innovation management software. Also, be sure to listen to the podcast, How Crowdsourced Innovation is Driving a Renaissance in Manufacturing.