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CI CEO Discusses How Change is Good

Articles Central Innovation 30 May 2017

CI CEO Discusses How Change is Good

In recent years, Australia and New Zealand’s manufacturing, construction and technology industries have seen rapid change as a result of many global and local environmental factors. From the GFC to the mining boom the birth of 3D technology, Central Innovation has been at the forefront of this transformation to everything digital for over 25 years.

There is a saying, “change is inevitable”. So, being prepared for change and how to effectively respond to it has always been a focus for Central Innovation’s CEO, Max Piper.  He said, “It was also the driving force behind the Company’s recent repositioning and rebranding”.

In a recent discussion he provided insights on how customer needs have changed over time, and how the emergence of Central Innovation and the Ci Way in response is now helping customers to promote their own growth through improved design performance capabilities and productivity.

As doing business has become trans-global, the markets we serve have experienced increased competition, rapid technology advances, and demands for faster production and even faster delivery.  “Previously global companies were either aligning or segregating themselves from local partnerships and those businesses that were not prepared for drastic-change were being hit harder than most” Piper said. He further explains, “For our customers to keep up with global competition, there is increased pressure on us to provide improved solutions for the design process”.

Central Innovation, through various businesses had traditionally provided value through a variety of 3D software packages to customers operating in 2D environments.  Piper explained, “that the GFC required us to carefully analyse the impact we could have on tech-driven companies who strive for growth, performance optimisation and their ability to compete increasingly on a global stage”.

Compared to 10 years ago, Max saw that there was a perspective change in customers’ minds and the “product-push” mentality had shifted.  Customers expressed a need to get more from their design systems and suppliers in support of improving their own process and customer interaction via automation and increased integration. Therefore, Central Innovation had to analyse all the components that made up that design workflow.

Piper said, “the challenge for us was how to accommodate our changing customer needs, toward an all-in-one solution, whilst staying true to the core business our reputation had been built on. Changing a business model is risky but we decided it was riskier to do nothing.”

Central Innovation has a fundamental purpose which is driven by the principles of; developing meaningful relationships with customers whilst recognising the need to shift from offering clusters of product-based packages to one that provides a holistic solution across hardware, software, systems and people – all the elements of an integrated and efficient design workflow.

“Capitalising on our long history, our goal has always been to be customer centric in all our interactions, whilst at the same time providing some of the best products and services a customer can expect. This is the point of difference approach we offer and believe that it will support individual customer growth and the performance enhancements they are looking for. Becoming more ‘customer centric’ is about embracing international trends and developments but applying it appropriately for our ANZ market, it is complex, multilayered and multifaceted. Helping our customers successfully navigate the options deepens our relationship and our capability to help them” said Piper.

Like all Companies going through change, challenges are inevitable and Central Innovation has been no exception. “Juggling the change internally and externally for staff, systems and customers has been pretty intense”, says Piper. Staying true to the vision, while aligning staff to a new business paradigm, all designed around lifting the customer experience, has delivered many enlightened moments, both good and bad. The greatest benefit is that had we done nothing these challenges would have remained buried and we would have been none the wiser. By unearthing them we can understand and address them.

A core theme for Central Innovation was to implement teams focused around the customer, tasked with creating a united front that empowers teams to connect seamlessly and collaborate with each other integrating their efforts, all toward enhancing our customers’ experience and outcomes. Helping our customers win is central to our philosophy and our united effort should be to that end.

Max explains “the shift from a series of small fragmented businesses to a single company approach was not easy. However, results so far have been overwhelmingly positive and we are delighted to say more and more customers are embracing the new approach and are taking advantage of the Ci Way, buying into a single holistic solution offering. We are learning and growing together with our customers.”

“We believe if we continue collaborating, drive performance with an innovative attitude and operate with integrity in partnering customers we can continue to be the difference between the technology and our customers’ ability to get the most out of it in the new digitised age.”


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