The Strategist

The Most Innovative Companies in the World

12/02/2015 - 14:47

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has introduced another top 50 most innovative companies in the world. More than half of the companies included in the rating are residents of the United States, 11 Europeans, 10 - Asian. Half of them are not operating in the technology sector.
The top five has had a minor reshuffle. Apple and Google have retained the first and second places respectively. It’s worth noting that Apple takes the first place every year since 2005, and Google - the second place every year since 2006. Tesla has made a remarkable breakthrough, up from seventh to third place. Microsoft and Samsung close the top five. The rating has been drawn up since 2004. BCG polls more than 1,500 top executives on innovations from different countries and industries to get an idea about business innovations. 29 companies in the ranking came from the United States, 11 - from Europe, 7 - from Germany (BMW, Daimler, Bayer, Allianz, BASF, Siemens and Volkswagen), 2 - from France (AXA and Renault), one - UK (BT Group) and Switzerland (Roche). Asia is quite a bit behind from European companies: there are ten of them in the ranking. The countries represented are Japan (Toyota, SoftBank, Fast Retail, Hitachi, NEC), China (Tencent, Huawei, Lenovo), South Korea (Samsung) and India (Tata Motors).   

Making up the ranking, researchers evaluated four main parameters of each company: ability to provide a high rate of innovation, improving resource processes in the course of research, the most effective use of technology platforms, systematic study of the related markets. BCG notes that the rate of innovation has always been one of the priority factors. Compared to last year, number of respondents, indicated importance of new technologies introduction, has grown by 22%. As an example of new ideas’ rapid implementation, the researchers cite Zara company. A usual fashion retailer needs few months to develop, implement and advertise new products. Meanwhile, the process takes two to four weeks in Zara. For this, the company has created a multifunctional integrated structure, which allows to shorten the time between all stages of output trends in the market.
Speaking about optimization of resources in the course of research, the authors note the importance of creating a company environment. It means that all employees, not only specialists and researchers, are interested in optimization of working processes, rationalization that will allow the company to reduce both human and material costs on R&D. BCG notes that if one wants to reduce material costs for researches, he must not forget about the most efficient use of technology products. Take, for example, General Electric, which uses 3D-printer to produce probe transformers - one of the most expensive components in ultrasonic equipment. Introduction of 3D-printing technology enabled the company to reduce costs and optimize the production process.

The ranking’s authors say that being innovative does not imply work in the high-tech. Five of the top-10 companies work in other sectors: Tesla, Toyota, Gilead, Daimler, BMW. However, the researches note that Tesla works at the intersection of the automotive and high-tech industries.