Today the modern customer is looking for objective information more than ever before. Which is why ELO Stahlwaren faces the judgement of international juries and renowned test institutes time and time again. Whether it’s for the design, functionality or interactive communication – we are proud of the results time and time again. As our claim is that we are among the best. Since we know: the best also achieve the best sales. And we work together with our partners in retail for this.
"Innovation is the basis of our success."
ELO Managing Director, Marcus Grünewald, explains why it is important to involve external specialists as well in the innovation process.
How does the innovation process work at ELO?
Sometimes, ideas from our end users are incorporated into the innovation process. But that doesn't tend to happen very often. However, in our discussions with them, we frequently hear about problems which we then try to solve. A good example of this is when we were asked what to do with the saucepan lid so that the condensation doesn't drip onto the work surface. It's mainly our colleagues in the Marketing and Product Development departments who work on solutions to these kinds of problems. In this particular case, we also brought external designers and suppliers in the silicone industry on board. These specialists shaped the silicon seal on the rim of the saucepan at a specific point to allow the condensation to collect there.
How many staff are involved in the innovation process?
More or less everyone is involved, particularly at the start. As we have a flat hierarchical structure and communicate openly with each other, everyone knows what we're currently thinking about. Then gradually ideas come to the surface in the individual teams without us having to arrange big meetings. At ELO, we all just talk to everyone else about it. Later on, our staff take on the role of end user and test the new products. Because it's about cooking, anyone come up with something – that's the great thing about products in the consumer goods sector.
How would you describe the innovative environment at ELO?
It's extremely dynamic! We're driven by the desire to continuously improve ourselves and our products. We want to bring our dynamism to the market through new ideas. Otherwise, we’d never be able to turn our slogan – “cook with pleasure!” - into reality.
How do you encourage your staff to be creative?
It tends to be indirectly – we don't have a formal system of bonuses. We share our success with the staff who are involved in the innovation process based on their role in the company. We also make sure that our success is evident to all. For example, we let our entire workforce at Spabrücken take part in the press conference for our latest innovation by beamer so that everyone could experience it live.
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