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Un-utilised innovation potential

Despite an innovation leadership and high manufacturing quality of Swiss manufacturers, there is still un-utilised innovation potential that could further enhance their attractiveness and competitiveness.

Innovation reinvented

Challenges and solutions for Switzerland’s manufacturing industry
Over the past few years, the pressure on the Swiss manufacturing industry to innovate has intensified markedly and, with it, pressure on Switzerland and its industrial sector as flagships for innovation.

Product lifecycle management with the objective of improving product time-to-market, achieving cross-functional compliance while ensuring end-to-end integration and driving greater efficiencies in development and sales is also gaining in importance. Optimal PLM will allow Swiss manufacturers to differentiate themselves from the competition in the future while improving their global competitiveness in the context of an increasing pressure to innovate. 

Systematic Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Innovations with a strong focus on customer needs play a key role. Manufacturing companies will be able to differentiate themselves by means of process innovations used to further optimise existing processes and, for example, to produce products either of higher quality or at lower cost. Frugal innovations (frugal engineering) that appeal to customers in both emerging markets and developed markets will become a strategic competitive advantage in the future. Also of key significance to the future competitiveness of manufacturing companies will be the establishment of a comprehensive culture of innovation spanning all business areas. In this regard, building an innovation management model that includes both strategic and organisational aspects will be indispensable (e.g. innovation portfolio management). 

More customer-oriented solutions

The manufacturing industry is increasingly marked by the global servitisation trend, i.e. the situation whereby industrial manufacturers are also becoming service providers. The ability to bundle higher-margin services with industrial products and/or to introduce new, exclusive services will represent an advantage for Swiss manufacturers amid ever-intensifying competition going forward. This services sector is increasingly developing away from the old model primarily equated with plant maintenance towards services that offer additional benefits or even towards a service business with comprehensive industry solutions that no longer involve the selling of machinery, but rather the selling of production capacities. 

Focus on higher-margin services business

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