THE CHALLENGE

Help us create an innovation centre that delivers measurable commercial impact to our organization.

When Friesland Campina approached Propellerfish about building an innovation centre, they were determined to steer clear of the usual pitfalls that set most innovation teams up for failure. They wanted to avoid a team of people sitting in a separate office, surrounded by colourful furniture and 3D printers, playing ping pong on breaks from having ideas that go nowhere because the team has no personal or commercial connection into the realities of running a multinational business at scale.

FrieslandInnovation

If our goal was to drive commercial experimentation the team needed to work in close proximity to a business unit. But what if we transformed an entire country-level opco into our lab? The Singapore OpCo was in the middle of Asia Pacific and the Singapore market was small enough to be a controlled testing ground. It was also advanced enough to put real-time sales tracking and analytics in place to turn experiments around at quickly.

From OpCo to Experimentation Lab

Propellerfish helped the team design the capability and create a plan for the first year of operation. The team also stayed involved as a resource for senior management over the course of the deployment phase.

The Singapore OpCo was reconfigured into an innovation engine. Real-time analytics platforms were put in place and commercial teams were upskilled in how to track experiments and distill insights from data as it came in. The entire office was moved into a space designed to keep those metrics in front of everyone at all times.

The innovation centre came to be called iHub and the team churned through a huge volume of commercial experiments in their first year. Successful experiments were scaled into pilots across Asia Pacific. Successful pilots transformed operations within countries. Ultimately, Friesland had a new way of thinking about growth across a variety of commercial functions within an increasingly dynamic organization.

“Propellerfish gets the importance of designing innovation centres around commercial results. They helped us create an integrated growth engine that delivers real impact.”

Global Chief Commercial Officer, Friesland Campina

Impact

The iHub is an example of how innovation centres can deliver massive commercial impact when done right.

  • iHub delivered a $200 million uptick in sales within 2 years
  • iHub was awarded the Winsemius award for Innovation in 2017
Alex-Marquez-Propellerfish-Founder

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Alex Marquez

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