The CBI has called for British businesses to launch innovative service offerings as the economy slows down.
Launching its Excellence in Service Innovation report, the business organisation said the service sector has an opportunity to come up with bold business models.
Faced with the economic slowdown, companies "face two choices, they can hunker down and hibernate, the other choice is to keep spending on new products and services,” said Richard Lambert CBI director general said.
“So we should see plenty of innovation over the next two years.” The CBI, in association with weapons development company Qiniteq produced the report to highlight the need for innovation in a sector that now dominates the British economy.
“This survey comes at a critical time for the economy,” Lambert, the former editor of the Financial Times said.
“There has been no real study on service sector innovation and we wanted to look at its importance to the UK,” said Amanda Turner, product management director at the Qiniteq who carried out the research. During the research 16 companies were studied from a wide variety of sectors, including building engineers Arup, Norwich Union, BT Wholesale, Clarks shoes, HSBC, KPMG, Fujitsu, Legal & General, Nike and Web 2.0 production company Magic Lantern.
The study broke innovation down into: technology innovations, design, board or marketing innovation; process or organisation change and business model innovation.
Examples studied included how Clarks developed new technology, with Qiniteq; the design of Newcastle International airport, marketing at Nike, process changes at architects Benoy and self-service banking at HSBC as a change in business model.
“The main drivers of innovation in all of these organisations was competitive advantage,” Turner said. She divided their drivers into two categories, internal and external.
Internal drivers included a growing company, strategy and growing the brand.
External drivers were an evolving market, environmental and regulatory requirements and satisfying customers.