Collaborating For Value

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October 09, 2014

During September’s International Tire Exhibition and Conference (ITEC), Michael Hochschwender, president and CEO of The Smithers Group, Inc., delivered the keynote speech, The New Reality of Innovation. “ITEC and the Tire Society’s Annual Meeting and Conference on Science and Technology both provide an excellent opportunity to discuss innovations that are shaping future products with some of the best minds in the industry,” he said in an event press release. 

In a follow-up article to the event, explored his idea that collaboration could add value for the entire industry. According to the article, as research and development budgets stay flat and demand from shareholders, customers and consumers increases, collaboration could be the best route to continued success. But, Hochschwender cautioned, it’s incredibly important to understand the collaborators in play, what that collaboration looks like and why it exists. 

“Collaboration simply to collaborate is cost without value,” Hochschwender was quoted in the article. “Smaller collaborations driven and managed by frontline technical leaders can be very effective.”

Perhaps the best reason for collaboration, according to Hochschwender, is that it can lead to innovation. “Innovation is not about the equipment you have, and it’s not about the facilities that you own,” he told “It’s about the spirit of the people, how they find a way to get it done, and how they find a way to innovate regardless of the obstacles.” 

Collaboration is a vital element to business growth, especially when it comes to working with younger generations. Consider OGS Industries, a family company we work with and recently blogged about. Their collaboration happens across generations, using the wisdom and experience of tenured company leaders while leveraging the knowledge and emerging talents of the founders’ sons to grow the business. Alternatively, Smithers Quality Assessments is a collaboration, in the sense businesses that choose to work with us are on a mission to innovate in ways they haven’t yet already, which most often comes in the form of an organizational assessment along the guidelines of ISO 9001. Read more about how to get started.

Related Tags:ISO 9001, SQA