As enterprise businesses embrace crowdsourcing in an increasing number of ways, manufacturers are poised to benefit from the distributed problem solving the crowd provides. In fact, many big-name manufacturers are already using the crowd, including Proctor & Gamble, Clorox, Johnson & Johnson, Fiat and many others.
From design to research and development, the crowd offers any manufacturer the ability to do the following:
- Research new concepts
- Design new products
- Fine tune designs and concepts
Crowdsourcing to innovate
While employees have historically been the force behind innovation, the crowd gives manufacturers a way to think outside the box. Crowdsourcing allows businesses to tap into a broader supply of talent instead of letting innovation be restricted by the ideas, concepts and abilities of in-house employees. Crowd workers give a new perspective and new ideas come with that perspective.
Crowdsourcing to research new concepts
No business can continue to thrive in today’s marketplace without creating new products or services because what they do not provide, competitors will. Using the crowd to evaluate new concepts helps any manufacturer learn more about the viability of taking something from the idea phase to the development phase. With the crowd, these evaluations come from the very people who are likely to use a company’s products.
Crowdsourcing to design new products
No one knows what consumers want better than consumers themselves. By tapping into the power of the crowd to design products with existing concepts in place, manufacturers position themselves to create much more market-friendly products. Using the crowd to design the look and feel of a product creates a product that is more in tune with what consumers want.
Crowdsourcing to fine tune design and concepts
Once a product has gone through the idea phase and progressed past the initial development phase, it is likely to require many adjustments before going to market. Crowdsourcing products at this stage lets manufacturers get feedback from potential customers. Like the benefit crowd workers provide in the initial design phase, they can offer suggestions on everything from color or material choice to the location or function of product features.
Considerations for manufacturers who crowdsource
To maximize the effectiveness of crowdsourcing within the manufacturing industry, businesses can do several things. First, they should start small by testing the concept of crowdsourcing for a smaller business problem before tackling a larger one. If the results are beneficial, businesses can then expand their use of the crowd. Second, businesses must consider the protection of intellectual property. This concern is eliminated by breaking up projects into microtasks, where delimited pieces protect IP by not showing any crowd worker the whole picture.
To learn how managed crowdsourcing can benefit your manufacturing enterprise, contact a member of our sales team today to discuss a tailored solution to solve your business problems.