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THE MICROSTILL PROJECT Adding Value Through Innovation. 1. MANAGEMENT STYLE (a) Is IOR’s management style suited to niche market creation? Why? YES Organic Structure Small size Niche market focus Management by projects Frameworks

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THE MICROSTILL PROJECT

Adding Value Through Innovation

slide2

1. MANAGEMENT STYLE

  • (a) Is IOR’s management style suited to niche market creation? Why?
  • YES
  • Organic Structure
  • Small size
  • Niche market focus
  • Management by projects
  • Frameworks
  • No long term strategy at start – organic growth has given correct method
  • Long term goals and strategy could have derived a suitable management structure
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1. MANAGEMENT STYLE

  • (b) What does Arthur Nommensen mean by ‘rigid flexibility’?
  • Quality design process and systems that provide product efficiency
  • Flexibility to constantly innovate and develop products to suit market needs
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Pro’s

Flexible

Innovative

Good feedback

Collective knowledge

Quick decisions

Con’s

Marketing

No formal systems

Blurred responsibilities

Management Style

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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

  • What has IOR done to develop its Microstill product?
  • Taken good idea and successfully developed it to market
  • Identified markets and opportunities
  • Focused on development and innovation
  • Introduced customer feedback to understand stakeholders needs
  • Recognized R&D and utilized tax breaks to fund
  • Developed core competencies
  • Culture of innovation
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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

  • (b) What methods does IOR use to develop new products and processes?
  • Product development initially took place to meet customer needs and have also been spawned by necessity.
  • IOR developed a customer questionnaire to determine customers expectation and needs and also assisted with further education for employees.
  • IOR has also promoted internal cross profession learning for its employees to create a multi skilled workforce.
  • As IOR are owner-operators of a small scale refinery, they are able to test products and perfect them before reaching the market place.
  • Use of tax advantages to fund R&D
  • Aligned themselves with the customers they supply
  • Changed supply process
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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

(c) Track development of the initial ‘idea’ of a micro-refinery through tocommercial development. How effective has this process been? What changes would you recommend?

The development of the micro-refinery has been effective, however concentration for looking for new and larger markets would helped to expedite its development.

IOR should put in place some systems management plans to help identify which key outcomes they should pursue

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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

  • Risk and strategic analysis
  • Stage gate reviews
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Further development of the customer feedback process
  • Innovative culture and thinking & change management
  • Definition of project roles – i.e. project management strategy
  • IOR could also look at cooperating with other companies to seek access to their distribution network and to commercialize their products.
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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

  • (d) How has IOR created a niche market?
  • By detecting a need for their niche product and then looking for similar tasks for their technology to take advantage of a synergic effect (Scope economics).
  • Through creation of the Microstill IOR have created a niche market within the petroleum industry as an innovative, progressive, specialist supplier focused on meeting the needs of its customers.
  • IOR have improved their equipment to meet several customer demands.
  • Improvements in microstill technology has limited competition in market
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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

(e) How will they sustain their current leadership?

IOR recognises the need for continuous innovative augmentation, it has

integrated its R&D activities with commissioning and customer operational

feedback to focus on lessons learnt for future application.If they concentrate

on this, along with overlapping of products and appointing a manager with

global experience they will have a good chance of retaining their leadership.

Further developing their integration with suppliers whilst retaining their

technological expertise.

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2. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

(f) Is IOR likely to be challenged by market followers? Why?

Yes, as currently the Microstill has no real competitors as larger oil

companies and refinery engineering manufacturers are apparently

prepared to leave the smaller refineries and inland markets alone to

concentrate on the larger coastal markets and major refinery installations.

As their business is viable and they haven’t patented their products

at the time of this case, they have left themselves open to be challenged by

others in the future.

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3. THE RUSSIAN ORDERS

(a) Is IOR suited to take on development and installation of Microstills in Russia? Why?

According to Nommensen “We have the personnel, the state of the art technology and importantly, a good understanding of difficulties in remote locations”.

It depends if they have the understanding of the difficulties followed by the climate, the unstable political and financial environment and the security.

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3. THE RUSSIAN ORDERS

  • (b) What recommendations would you make?
  • We would recommend that IOR be especially aware of the climate they face. Our recommendation would be that a project strategy process was undertaken, a process which would lead to defining what IOR needs from the project.
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3. THE RUSSIAN ORDERS

  • (b) What recommendations would you make?
  • Desired outcomes – cost quality environment technology transfer
  • Critical success factors
  • Risk Analysis – thorough understanding and ranking of risks involved in project
  • Stop/Go points
  • Vision of where project will lead IOR
  • Development strategy
  • Security, business law, financial/commercial difficulties also have to be examined.
  • Local expertise and ability to test and train equipment/ operators.