Four Steps to Build an Innovative Platform for your Business

TI_Logo-FINAL-01Thinking outside the box tends to be the best way to have that big breakthrough. Many ideas that you have could fail to take off, not because of bad ideas but simply because innovation depends on the success of the product just as much as the idea itself. This is why having an effective innovation platform will help you along the way. We have 4 steps that can assist you in your ventures.

Step 1. Understand why you should innovate. Markets in this economy are always changing so it is very important that you stay up-to-date with the latest trends. There are different types of innovation that you can apply to your business, these include: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation, and organizational innovation. These types of innovation can help you find your “why”.

 Step 2. Acknowledge ideas from any place. Whether its customer feedback, employees, partners, or the executive team, anyone can help give you that great idea. This means that you might have to monitor your customer service lines to hear feedback. Maybe you have a suggestion box in the office to hear from your employees. Host fun and friendly competitions with rewards around the office to boost and motivate your workers to be creative. All of these can generate the opportunity for an idea to be born.

Step 3. Hire or train new employees in different areas. If you see a gap in you company between growth and capability then it might be time to look outside for help or look to the veterans for their experience. Hiring outside help, even if it is a short-term contractor, can bring in a new perspective that your employees can learn and adopt. Look to your veterans who might not have previously voiced their opinion but can give you beneficial information on what they think would be better for the company. Sometimes people are too shy about speaking their mind, so you should ask. Who knows maybe the next big idea is sitting in your own building.

Step 4. Choose your processes and tools wisely. There are a couple different ways to go about doing this. Some of the processes are, closed innovation which is doing things all in-house. Collaborative innovation is working with your closest partners. Open innovation is being open to customer feedback and ideas. Lastly, a co-innovator is partnering with another business to develop something that you couldn’t do on your own. The tools are the structure and the methods you use to implement these strategies. Any type of innovation can involve risk but having a plan in place can make the process a lot smoother.

Thompson Innovation is here to help make your business more innovative. Contact us to learn more about ways to kickstart innovation and improve your operations.

Phone: 712-224-3800


Exciting Announcement


On May 22, 2018, Electric Innovations and its sister company Thompson Automation and Specialty Services were brought together as a stronger and even more dynamic technology integration company called Thompson Innovation.

Our strategic plan has always been focused on strengthening the technical capabilities and portfolio of solutions we can offer to our customers. This is another step in fulfilling our Corporate Mission: “To be the prime solution provider as recognized by our employees, customers and the communities we serve.”

Under the direction of General Managers, Tasha Barker and Jason Glover, Thompson Innovation will continue to passionately lead our solutions teams in:

  • Managed IT & Software
  • Life Safety & Security
  • Automation & Robotics
  • Electrical Safety & Preventative Maintenance

The addition of solutions previously provided by Thompson Automation and Specialty Services strengthens our ability to meet current and new customer’s needs as one company. For more information contact Thompson Innovation at 712-224-3800 or visit us at

The Partner for Agribusiness


The Partner for Agribusiness is a quarterly publication for Austin Mutual Insurance Company.  Thompson Automation & Specialty Service was recently featured talking about the Dangerous Power of Arc Flash.

Kent Voigt, Senior Risk Consultant, for Austin Mutual Insurance saw the Thompson Automation & Specialty Services presentation at the Ag Cooperative Safety Directors of Iowa in Story City, IA and asked if we would be interested in presenting our presentation to their Risk Consultants in Omaha.  They also asked if Thompson Automation and Specialty Services would like to be interviewed for an article in their The Partner for Agribusiness publication that is mailed to their agricultural customers quarterly.  Here’s the article.  Safety pays dangerous power of Arc Flash

Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference


On May 15th Thompson Automation and Specialty Services hosted Innovate; the first ever industrial automation & technology conference in the Siouxland area.

This exciting automation and technology conference highlighted several emerging automation technologies, the development of new security systems to protect IT infrastructures from attack and identify ways companies can leverage workforce development partners to meet their future employment needs. The attendees were able to learn more about emerging industrial trends being implemented to reduce downtime, cut costs, find process improvements and utilize data to make better decisions.

This was a very exciting event for Thompson Automation to be able to host.  Thompson was able to bring in a panel of national leaders in the areas of automation, IIOT, security, and workforce development to have a robust discussion on relevant topics like connecting industrial systems to traditional IT infrastructures, infrastructure security, and workforce development.

The days’ keynote speaker was Bob Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Rockwell Automation, and a national leader in transforming business operations. Bob discussed how Rockwell was able to transform their manufacturing operations through a focus on people, processes, and technology. Bob shared many of the actual business benefits Rockwell realized and how others could achieve the same results through implementation of modern control and information systems.

After the keynote address, Bob Murphy also participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges he faces leading an organization through transformational change.  Other panelists talked about their own real-world examples of implementing new technologies, preparing organizations for the Industrial Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

The day also included presentations from Chad Richards, a Cyber Security Specialist with Cisco, and Corey Cronin, a Solutions Architect from Rockwell.  Chad discussed the importance of having an integrated approach to network security. He talked about how companies need to properly protect their organization from multiple types of attacks and multiple sources. Corey discussed real examples of how improving a few automation and IT processes can make a huge difference in an operation.  Benefits discussed were how modernizing an operation can increase productivity, decrease downtime, and improve change over times.


The day finished with a tour of the WITCC Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Confined Space Trailer.

It was an exciting day and a special note of appreciation goes out to the days’ sponsors and hosts:  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services, Electric Innovations, Cisco, Rockwell Automation, The Siouxland Initiative, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.

The 2017 Innovate Industrial Automation & Technology conference was a huge success! We are already looking forward to the 2018 Conference!