Credit: Gary Larson
A Better Way To Work With Tech Intermediaries
Companies have a variety of challenges and problems for which they may seek external inputs. There should also be a number of approaches they can take to servicing these needs.
In external innovation, some technical problems that a company wishes to solve are sufficiently complex and or so specific as to merit a highly customized technology search project undertaken by an external technology intermediary. For these types of problems, the company should seek an intermediary with a worldwide network of solvers to maximize the probability of finding viable solutions. Many other challenges aren't exceedingly complex. Companies may choose to tackle these with internal resources or scout external solutions on their own. Alternatively, they may benefit from tapping into an external intermediary with well developed networks outside of the company's own supplier network and areas of competence.
For these less exotic challenges, it can likely be decided much more quickly and inexpensively than for an extensive search exercise as to whether an external technology search effort is likely to yield the desired results. For these, consider a resource that would be willing to undertake an initial, brief search effort to generate a preliminary set of solution leads.
If the client were to judge that the results generated during the initial search period were sufficiently encouraging as to merit continuing the project, they could agree to pursue an additional scouting period to generate further leads and complete the project. However, if they agreed that the initial effort did not produce the type of results hoped for, or if the client didn't wish to continue the program for any reason, they could stop without the client incurring any additional expense.
I feel this represents a flexible, results-oriented, and cost effective approach to using technology intermediaries. What do you think?
"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.