Orica is the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and blasting systems to the mining, quarrying, oil and gas, and construction markets. It employs 11,500 people, servicing customers across 100+ countries. Founded in 1874, Orica’s strategy is to be ‘the trusted partner of choice’, applying innovation to its solutions so that customers are more productive and better able to manage risk.
The initial challenge
Orica’s operating environment is fast changing, and new ideas are critical to developing innovative and competitive products and services. The company’s Research and Innovation (R&I) team is responsible for delivering its ideation programme.
“We have many customer situations, and product and service requirements where ideation is the right approach,” says Research Support Lead, Magdalena Ball. “We need to be constantly on top of ideas – from our own people and from the wider business world – and relate them to what we do. You can’t rely on people writing down their ideas. You need a way to encourage thinking and conversations, and to capture ideas before they are lost.”
The team tried numerous options for gathering new ideas, including spreadsheets and different collaboration software, but failed to create the simple sharing environment that is vital for successful ideation. When the business moved to a Microsoft Office 365 platform, the R&I team saw the opportunity to introduce a solution that was consistent, integrated, and easy to use on SharePoint and with Yammer.
Orica’s R&I team selected edison365ideas, a cloud hosted, unified ideas and portfolio management platform to drive innovation management and crowdsource ideation. Built on Microsoft Office 365, edison365ideas was ideal for Orica, enabling the company to identify areas of focus for ideation, and giving employees a voice and involvement in solving all kinds of business problems.
“We need to be constantly on top of ideas – from our own people and from the wider business world – and relate them to what we do. You can’t rely on people writing down their ideas. You need a way to encourage thinking and conversations, and to capture ideas before they are lost.”
Magdalena Ball, Research Support Lead, Orica
Significant improvement in innovative thinking
Over 100 ideas submitted on launch.
Consistent, integrated and easy to use platform
Scalable for rollout across the company
Employees have submitted more than one hundred ideas since edison365ideas was introduced in 2017, with nine of those being taken forward. Ideas so far have ranged from an increased focus on specific industry needs to internal process improvements, and project proposals for research.
One great example of the success of the platform was the idea to establish a programme of honorary and emeritus positions at Orica for retired staff. The purpose of the programme is to retain access to many of Orica’s highly valued and knowledgeable employees, while recognising their achievements, and encouraging loyalty amongst future generations of Orica’s most talented people.
Because many of its staff come from science and engineering disciplines, Orica finds they have the kind of enquiring and questioning minds that respond to the strengths of edison365ideas. Employees particularly enjoy the tagging, voting, campaigns, and reporting features. The R&I team augments the platform with regular ‘shark tank’ style’ innovation sessions, and offers awards and hack days to encourage use.
Even at such an early stage, R&I management believes the platform has improved innovative thinking in general, collaboration, and employee satisfaction. Research Support Lead Magdalena Ball says it also shows new recruits that Orica is serious about ideation and innovation.
What to know about this implementation?
Arrange a call with the team to find out more!
What do our customers think?
Haley & Aldrich
"We identified $1M of lost revenue per annum through the collection of ideas submitted through edison365ideas. That was within the first few months of turning the system live "Read more
South Gloucestershire Council
South Gloucestershire Council empowers decision makers with edison365projects and Project Online.Read more
"With 6,000 users across multiple locations and with varying technical capabilities it was essential that the idea platform we selected was user friendly"Read more
"Nothing else that we reviewed or tested matched our requirements, edison365ideas is delivering over and above what we need and expected"Read more