A constant flow of new innovative products to the market is the single most important source of organic growth. Successful product development is therefore vital for the Group’s future. ASSA ABLOY’s vision is to be the most innovative supplier of total door opening solutions.
Successful product development and product leadership are the single most important driver for maintaining the target of 5 percent organic growth per year over an economic cycle. The focus on product leadership has been very consistent and can be seen in the number of product development engineers, which has risen by 32 percent to over 1,200 people in five years. Sales of products launched in the past three years exceeded 20 percent of total sales for the second consecutive year, a sharp increase in just a few years. The target is 25 percent, which is a well-considered level in view of the 10 to 15-year product life cycle.
Product leadership is achieved and maintained through the continuous development of products offering enhanced customer value and lower product costs, often in close collaboration with ASSA ABLOY’s end-users and distributors.
The product development process is under constant improvement and renewal. Several customer segments were studied in detail during the year giving rise to interesting new product concepts. ASSA ABLOY Future Lab is an internet forum in which the Group can ask customers questions to obtain information on long-term trends and product initiatives.
The implementation of Lean Innovation has shown that development time can be halved and results improved. Using this new approach, the Group has also seen the benefit of continuous parallel technology development. Customers are increasingly demanding more advanced lock and door products and the technical level is constantly rising, with electromechanical door opening solutions growing considerably faster than traditional mechanical products.
Global common product platforms adapted to the local markets have therefore become increasingly important. These platforms are developed by the Group product development function, Shared Technologies, and through collaboration within and between divisions.
Published 9 Sep 2011
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