Buying In To Innovation

This article examines the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in bringing innovative products to the rail sector. These challenges include: difficulty in predicting when a structural product will need updating, which then makes difficult to override existing technologies in favor of innovative ones; a risk-averse mentality on the part of large corporations purchasing the product, which can cause suppliers to be reluctant to pitch more innovative, less-proven products; and the tendency for infrastructure managers to rely on suppliers with whom they are already familiar, making it difficult for smaller and newer companies to break through the legacy providers. The author suggests that the rail industry should emulate the creative environments of other sectors that cultivate innovation and demand processes that promote the best products. She discusses the importance of networking to open up supply chains and uncover potential opportunities as well as the need for infrastructure managers to allow contractors the space and freedom to decide upon suppliers within their own projects.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01487419
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2013 7:59AM