“Thanks to this structured innovation process, we were ready with everything well before the release of our drone radar.”
‘Robin Radar Systems is a fast-growing scale-up with a lot of emphasis on innovation. As the company has grown rapidly recently, we needed more structure in the innovation process and in how we market products. BEACON is an experienced party, with whom some of us already had positive experiences. When we were looking for help in professionalizing our innovation processes, it made sense for us to turn to BEACON.
We are ready, on all fronts
‘Innovation is not only technical development, putting the product on the market in the right way is also part of it. At Robin Radar, a high percentage of developments always end up on the market. With the market release of our new drone radar IRIS®, we expect it to take a storm. One of the deliverables during the project was a marketing rollout, which was very well thought out with marketing and sales. Robin was always strong on that. Already weeks before the release, teasers were sent around, with each time an extra tip of the veil was lifted. As a result, everyone was eagerly awaiting the release. What is different now than before is that we had already finished the training material, the brochure, the technical documentation, the installation manual, the maintenance manual and the transfer to service and support well before the release. We used to do those things afterward, which was messier. That’s really an added value of this structured process.’
‘Working with a cross-functional team, with meeting times and shared goals and milestones throughout the company, was really new to us. Many employees didn’t see the need for it; they weren’t used to having meetings. Alignment used to happen at the coffee machine. But Laurien Wolfswinkel managed to get even very skeptical people to participate. She really knows how to create support in a very pleasant but compelling way. That is to her credit. Before the very first meeting, there were people who said, “I’m not coming.” She personally went to them and said, “I understand that you are busy. But you have a role model within the organization. Please do come this one time. I understand you can’t always participate after that.’
‘During that first meeting, which Laurien had organized very well, everyone came to speak. Even the skeptics noticed that it was very useful and wanted to attend afterwards. That way she got everyone on board and created support, not just for the meetings. Laurien does not let go and explains why something is important. It is nice that she also understands the technical discussions. That is relevant, because we have a lot of techies walking around. If she doesn’t understand something, she doesn’t pretend. She asks questions and asks for explanations. This attitude fits very well with the atmosphere in our company.’
‘At Robin Radar, we value social interaction between people. Laurien joined our team from day 0. The same night after we signed the contract, we had a New Year’s Eve event, which was all about après-ski. She was there, dressed up and all! That also helps a lot with support. Every Friday we have drinks, and we celebrate our successes together. Often we organize that from management. But Laurien did it herself, ordering pastries in the shape of radar, for example. Very nice. It was like she was working for Robin Radar.’
Let’s make it happen
‘I joined Robin Radar myself in 2018. Before that, I also worked in the way Laurien handled this. But it was difficult for me to get this way of working done here. With an external party, it is easier to bring about this kind of change. That definitely added value. From the external who breathes it, dreams it and has the expertise in it, the organization accepts it more easily. That’s why I had announced in advance with a video message, “I know it’s scary, but we have good guidance. Someone with experience is coming, who is going to take us by the hand. Let’s make it happen.” That worked very well.
Securing method with blueprint
‘Laurien has now transferred her role to a project manager within Robin Radar. She is still involved on the sidelines to coach him so that the process is secured for that project. Six cross-functional projects at different levels are planned for next year. We would like to start working according to this method by default. That’s why I’m going to create a blueprint for the innovation process with Laurien.’Back to overview