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PETER SMITH – January 16, 2014 12:05 AM
We featured Market Dojo and their new ‘Category Dojo’ product earlier this week. Their other recent new tool is ‘Innovation Dojo’. This originally came from a client request for a tool that could help them capture innovative ideas from suppliers. This is a hot topic, with every SRM survey or report talking about ‘innovation’ as one of the key objectives of SRM programmes – even if often organisations don’t seem to know quite what they mean by the expression!
Innovation Dojo is a cloud based collaboration platform for buyers and suppliers to share ideas. The buyer can create a topic – perhaps “innovative packaging ideas” for a particular product. A deadline can be defined, and buyers can choose a simple or complex scorecard, which define different factors against which the ideas will be assessed. (A future development will be to allow users to enter their own evaluation criteria). Suppliers can then be invited via the platform to submit ideas on that topic. They can describe their ideas, add documents to their response, and suggest benefits.
The host (the buyer) gets a notification when ideas have been submitted, and can score against the criteria e.g. ease of implementation, likely time taken (there’s also a neat ‘slider’ scoring tool in the system). Once the ideas have been scored, there are a range of charting tools provided to enable the buyer to look at how ideas rate against each other.
There is also the option to allow suppliers to kick off the process – submitting whatever ideas they feel are worthwhile. Ideas could then be widened out to the wider supply base, although of course the buyer would need to be cautious about intellectual property here. In all cases, the buyer controls which suppliers are able to access the tool, so you won’t get random ideas (although that might be interesting at times – perhaps there’s another idea!)
So one key benefit here is the ability to track and manage the ideas generation process. There’s no reason why you couldn’t do much of this manually, but then there is the issue of keeping track of which supplier has suggested what, who needs a response and so on. This tool systemises that process – it is basically a collaborative process management tool. As such, it is not the most advanced or ‘bleeding edge’ technology we’ve ever seen. But it is a neat solution to a problem, (or more accurately, an opportunity), that many organisations and procurement practitioners have – how to drive more innovation from their suppliers.
Like Category Dojo, the pricing model starts with a ‘Freemium’ plan with some basic functionality to create innovation topics – but not share them with suppliers. Then a single user licence with the full functionality is £300 per month, with a sliding reducing scale rapidly as you buy more licences. Like their other products, it is competitive positioning from a cost point of view and encourages users to try the product. It should not require months of work on a major business case to justify the investment, and as such it looks attractive for organisations to at least give it a try.
So Innovation Dojo should meet a need for many potential users, we suspect, with a strong combination of low cost and ease of use. And we’ll be interested to come back in a few months and see if we can talk to some users to establish if it is really making a difference to their innovation capture from the market.
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