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

Website: www.Thompsoninnovation.net

Exciting Announcement

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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 www.thompsoninnovation.net

What does the new NFPA 70E 2018 Standard mean to you?

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The NFPA 70E has been the go-to playbook for electrical safety practices since 1979 when it was first published. To keep it updated and current, every three years it is revised to include new regulations and requirements for electrical safety. The 11th edition, also known as the 2018 version, is right around the corner and there are hundreds of minor and major revisions specifically, regarding Arc Flash that you need to educate yourself on.

So, what does all this mean to you the employer? Why should you care?

Complying with consensus standards can be difficult. NFPA 70E offers electrical safe work practices for the industry. The NFPA 70E is a how-to-comply instruction manual for several of OSHA’s regulations including electrical hazard assessments and how to select the appropriate PPE for electrical hazards. It is however ever changing and keeping up with all the changes can be difficult.

OSHA enforces compliance to NFPA 70E using Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is commonly referred to as the GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE, as the basis for implementation. As the employer, you “shall furnish to each of its employees’ employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” As a result, companies can be cited by OSHA for non-compliance of NFPA 70E.

It is more important than ever that you utilize a third party that specializes in Arc Flash Risk Assessments and has the experience and knowledge of the OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements. Call Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today at 844.321.3869 to learn more and to find out how we can help you stay compliant with OSHA and the new NFPA 70E standards.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Keep Your Electrical Gear Clean and Tight

Electrical failures often can be avoided and good preventative maintenance programs can help predict the imminent failure of equipment.  According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the failure rate of electrical equipment is three times higher when electrical preventive maintenance programs are not performed. This tells us that electrical failures can be avoided.

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But what should be included in a good electrical preventative maintenance program (EPM). There are so many things that could be done.  Equipment maintenance, cleaning, and thermal imaging are just a few of the things to be considered.  However, where does one put the priority?  Just consider the top causes of failure in electrical system: loose connections, improperly installed parts, defective/inadequate insulation, foreign objects causing short-circuiting, overloading inadequate capacity, and the accumulation of dust, dirt and oil.  All things that can be prevented with routine and systemic electrical inspections.

Common in all these causes of electrical equipment failure is gear not being clean and well maintained.  Here are things to keep in mind when developing an EPM.

  1. Keep your gear clean. The buildup of dirt and metal debris in an electrical enclosure can cause arcing and arc flash explosions. A second issue brought about by the buildup of dirt and debris is an increase in heat and the temperature of the electrical equipment.  Restricted airflow and an increase in the temperature of gear decreases the quality and usable life of the equipment.  Finally, a dirty environment also creates a hospitable home for rodents and vermin. Dust is not your only enemy in dirty environments and lurking to cause problems.
  2. Keep your gear tight. Loose connections are a major cause of electrical failures. Greater than 75% of the problems uncovered during routine thermal imaging inspections are loose connections. Thermography (infrared scanning) is a common way to identify areas that need repair but must be done while the gear is energized. While the gear is off and being cleaned why not take an extra minute to check and tighten those loose connections.

If you have more questions or are looking for ideas and more information on best practice electrical preventative maintenance programs give the experts at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services a call today.  Given their 85+ years of experience as an electrical contractor, Thompson specializes in the development of custom electrical preventative maintenance programs for customers across the country.  Thompson understands the importance of keeping facilities safe, efficient and operating at peak performance and can custom tailor a program for you.

www.thompsonspecialty.com