How Global Packaging Corporation Winpak Uses Shark Tank-like Practices and IdeaScale to Innovate
On the Ideascale Nation podcast, we talk with Manuel Moreno, corporate director of innovation at Winpak. As a global packaging company constantly in need of ideas, Winpak developed 25hundred Innovators, which reduced the challenges of geography and language.
Winpak designs and manufactures packaging materials and machines with a particular emphasis on preserving and protecting perishable items such as food and medicine. If you’ve eaten something that came in a package, Winpak was likely the company behind it.
With a background in industrial design and innovation management, Moreno noticed that the company’s innovation depended on time and location. While they were gathering ideas and developing them through workshops, participation was limited to those who had the time and spoke the workshop’s language. “We need to have a more horizontal organization in which there’s a communication and that it’s fluent between everyone at win-back everyone’s ideas and thoughts are equally valuable and important,” explains Moreno. “So for us, it was about really creating a platform that would enable everyone from shop floor employees to our C level executives to share and discuss ideas, projects, challenges, and initiatives.”
In response, Winpak developed a new program called 25hundred Innovators, named after the fact that Winpak’s workforce is 2500 people, and everyone could be an innovator. “In 25hundred Innovators, which is how we use the IdeaScale platform at Winpak, it allows everyone to break that barrier because you can submit your ideas, get harnessed feedback from subject matter experts or from any other people. You can interact and discuss those ideas further. You can ask questions and feel things that you can provide time for those questions to be answered as well.”
The mixed style of the platform, which combined online and in-person sharing and discussion, paired with in-house promotional efforts including posters, emails, and meeting notes, helped to surmount concerns over geographical location and language. Winpak is a global company with three major languages spoken. “One of our first campaigns was about communication, and how do we reach out to those that don’t have a corporate email? We were overwhelmed with the amount of responses that we got,” says Moreno.
This created a sort of virtuous cycle effect, he explains. “As we started our first campaign, you know, very few people shared their ideas, but on the second more people shared their ideas. So it becomes kind of a snowball effect in which, you know, everyone seems to be losing fear, they kind of start liking it, then they are trying it, and they get feedback. And so then it starts growing.” This was part of the reason Winpak is one of IdeaScale’s key case studies, to help clients understand the impact of a company-wide innovation platform.
The pandemic has only accelerated the demand for better and safer shipping of more perishable goods, and Winpak sees that as one of the changes that will “stick” as a post-pandemic future takes shape. It’s going to make the 25hundred Innovators program all the more important as new challenges arise.
This blog was first published on the IdeaScale.com blog.