Maple’s innovation programme encourages staff to suggest how to make products and processes better, and transform the customer experience.
The Government, CBI and business leaders keep telling us that innovation is the key to success and economic growth, and that companies should embrace an ‘innovation culture’. But what does that look like at a company such as Maple?
For more than 30 years, Maple has been at the forefront of innovation in solar shading and architectural façades. By listening to the needs of clients, architects and contractors, we have used our experience and expertise to create products and services that have transformed the industry.
It is part of our DNA or, to be more accurate, our DRA - a Diamond Route Approach that is designed to provide exceptional service at every stage of a project. Covering everything from communication and project management to value engineering and HSEQ, it also underpins our company-wide approach to innovation.
“Innovation is one of the building blocks of DRA,” said Shmail Shahid, who spearheads Maple’s innovation initiative. “Most typically, it’s seen in our design department, where we use our expertise, technology and the latest thinking to (as we put it) ‘bring our clients’ visions to reality’.
“But people throughout the company have ideas on how to make products and processes better, and how to transform the customer experience. What we’re doing is gathering these ideas from everyone – ideas that go above and beyond the everyday – assessing them and, were appropriate, implementing them.”
A rotating team of Maple staff, led by Shmail, meet once a month to discuss the ideas. “Some are game-changers and others are small changes to a process that makes us more efficient and improve the customer experience,” said Shmail. “But nobody’s voice goes unheard. Without innovation, businesses don’t move forward.”