INNOVATION - A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY
There is no doubting the fact that we are living in a global economy and that we are all going through an intense period of change. For many of us, our focus is on our immediate vicinity and surroundings and the issues that affect our customers and business operations. However, there are a number of fundamental issues that affect and drive us all, the world over - financial stability, safety, environmental concerns etc. One area that can directly affect these issues, and more, is innovation.
For most manufacturers, innovation is a critical factor that is equated to their success. It builds competitive advantage and in turn financial stability. It can also improve environmental performance and health and safety, criteria that are at the very heart of many businesses' operational ethos. In many instances, product innovation is developed at a local level, often as a result of customer demand or identification of an opportunity. Some innovations are developed at a global level but this poses great challenges with regards to local interpretation, market need, performance expectations and regulation differences. Factors that drive product specification can greatly differ from one country to another, due to issues such as legislation, climate, culture and infrastructure.
As a leading manufacturer of products working across multiple industry sectors (watch video) Sika has a robust - and shared - approach to product innovation. The company has created a number of Global Technology Centres. These centres are design to drive product innovation at both local and global level. The UK centre, based at Sika's Head Office in Preston focusses on liquid applied membranes and coatings, utilising the vast experience that Sika UK has within this field.
Whilst developing products for the UK market, the centre can call upon global market intelligence and the resources of the rest of the group. This helps to advance product development within a network that has the ability to share outcomes and successes around the world, often in turn helping to drive other innovations. In so doing, Sika is able to leverage the benefits of both local and international approaches to Research and Development, responding to market and customer demands and sharing this advancement around the world. For organisations such as Sika, successful innovation results from the inter-connected nature of broad knowledge networks and the sharing of know how within these networks.
A great example is the recent development of extremely low odour, liquid roofing waterproofing systems. Conventional products have traditionally contained significant quantities of organic solvents that can lead to significant odours during application. This can lead to risks of disruption occurring when used on live sites such as hospitals and schools. Through the development of new technologies, Sika UK developed Decothane Ultra, the next generation in liquid waterproofing.
Decothane Ultra is a unique product which has extremely low odour, using patented technology, which has been developed specifically for use in highly sensitive areas, such as hospitals, food manufacturing plants and schools. Decothane Ultra opens opportunities for architects, specifiers and contractors, to use liquid waterproofing within these niche and specialised markets. This unique technology within Decothane Ultra provides consistency with its predecessor, ensuring ease of application for the contractor.
It is supported with comprehensive guarantees - 15, 20 and 25 year systems are available and can be backed by Sika's single point guarantee, covering the entire roofing system from the deck upwards, and the workmanship of our Quality Assured Contractors - and includes consultation and roof survey, design and specification, and site support via applications.
In creating Decothane Ultra Sika drew upon its significant expertise and longstanding involvement in the UK roofing market, with UK developers worked collaboratively with colleagues in Zurich to pioneer and patent novel curing compounds, commissioned specialist manufacturing equipment and worked in close partnerships with colleagues overseas to support successful market introductions across Europe and the US.
As a global brand, Sika has the ability to deliver local innovations on a global basis. To find out more about the impact Sika are making every day, visit http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html