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Blog

Innovating on the Cheap

12-Jun-2012

FountainLine IMS can help you with product innovation, from design, prototyping through to delivery. See this inspirational article from Harvard Business Review.

Rain Bird is a unique business. But at the same time, it is like so many other businesses: Its product line is specialized—it makes sprinklers and other irrigation systems for lawns and gardens. To keep growing, it must continually introduce new offerings that appeal to consumers and excite retail channel buyers. And like most companies, Rain Bird has felt pressured to spend less on innovation in a down economy.

At the best of times, innovation investments can be painful. Typically, success rates are low, and returns on investment far from assured. The returns that do materialize, moreover, rarely do so in the short term. That makes innovation hard to justify when cash is tight—even when everyone knows it’s essential to the company’s long-term success.

How did it happen, then, that in 2010 Rain Bird was able to introduce a new product line, based on proprietary technology, and see an almost instant payback? Its Convert to Drip line, as it is called, enables a gardener to convert a portion of a watering… Read More