Innovations are a fundamental requirement for competitiveness. From car manufacturers to pharmaceuticals and from home furniture manufacturers to the producers of the most advance jetliners in the world, innovation is the main source of differentiation and provides a producer the competitive edge it seeks in order to be a market leader. Innovation plays a vital role in any business as it shows the world what it has never seen before in the past. Every firm that seeks to innovate in order to surface something new and extra-ordinary has a very unique and effective innovation strategy on which it operates. The amount of money and time to be put in research and development and aligning it effectively with the product life cycles. Upon successful innovation in any technology, the next and the most vital step is to how to protect that intellectual property from the rest of the industry through an efficient intellectual property strategy so that none of the competitors in the market copy what you have discovered. Since the First Flight of Wright brothers back in 1903 no one could ever imagine how fast the aviation industry would change and new innovations will be made with in the next decades to come. Over the past decades, innovation has totally changed the face of aviation industry and Boeing is one of the main stakeholders in this race today. Boeing has been in the production of commercial jetliners for more than 40 years and since its merger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, it has gained a 70 year heritage in the leadership of commercial aviation. In this report we will discuss how effectively Boeing has mastered the art of implementing an effective innovative strategy and managed its new and intriguing discoveries to make the world of aviation faster, slicker and most importantly efficient. Furthermore, the report will in depth analyze how Boeing has protected its innovations and devised an efficient intellectual property strategy in order to keep its technological advancements from getting into the hands of its competitors. (Boeing, 2012) Boeing 737’s Innovation Strategy through Demand Analysis
Due to the complexity of the aviation industry, when innovating Boeing has segmented its market according to many different variables. Over the years, Boeing has adopted more of a demand analysis approach towards innovating new technologies and has always listened to its customers and successfully provided them what they have demanded. A key example of this can be seen in one of the main and oldest plane made by the company known as the Boeing 737. The aircraft is made keeping in mind the vital philosophy of Boeing which is “delivering added value to airlines with reliability, simplicity and reduced operating and maintenance costs” (Boeing, 1012). According the information provided on the official Boeing website, the airline customers whose demands were to be considered in the making of this aircraft asked for only three things that was simplicity, reliability and low-cost. Boeing was successful in providing the customers with exactly what they needed by innovating a new advanced-technology wing design that helped increasing fuel capacity and efficiency which both led to the aircraft flying for longer distances. Besides this, in April 2009, Boeing and its engine manufacturer Commercial Fan Motors (CFM) introduced the new CFM56-7BE engine enhancement program to match 737’s airframe improvements. The combination reduces fuel consumption by two percent. CFM's engine hardware changes improve airflow, and the engine runs at cooler temperatures resulting in a one percent reduction in fuel consumption. As quoted in an interview with the editor in chief of the Design News, when asked a question relating to what more after the new 787. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s chief project engineer responded “Another new airplane, probably (laughter). We’ll listen to the market and respond with the right product” (Dodge,...
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