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Innovation needed for business survival, growth

Innovation needed for business survival, growth

The route to growth for our value adding enterprises, or merely to survive the challenge of China's manufacturing prowess and low labour costs, is by investing in innovation, according to the chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern), Alasdair Thompson.

Mr Thompson made the comments at EMA's Thrive Breakfast this morning in Auckland addressed by Prime Minister Helen Clark. Over 250 business leaders attended.

"In future, New Zealand manufacturers' strategies for growth in our highly exposed trading environment will be determined by how rapidly they can bring new and improved products and services to market," Mr Thompson said.

"Innovation is no longer an option but a requirement of market entry and business survival.

"Innovation importantly holds the key to incremental improvements in our productivity performance and productivity is the driver of economic growth.

"The performance guarantees provided to customers 10 to 15 years ago under the product quality certification of ISO 9000 and other accreditation systems were similar to the innovation demands now facing our producers.

"Innovation is not limited to scientific or technical research; important innovations in skills development and in new and improved techniques for managing people capability and material resources are open equally to productivity boosting innovations.

"On October 9th, EMA's New Product Development Summit: InnovationVoyage, New Zealand's first such conference will be exploring the range of options for business growth through innovation with many case studies, including from 3M, Fisher & Paykel, Montana, The Icehouse, IRL and Navman."

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