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Systematic Innovation in Bagir

A suit is a traditional and conservative item of clothing, or so it is usually thought to be. However, Ofer Gilboa, CEO of Bagir, saw this as an opportunity for creating a competative advantage. In 2000 Bagir has developed a unique suit that may be washed in a regular washing machine at home (instead of dry cleaning). The innovative suit has since become a commercial success, selling over 600,000 suits in the UK, through Marks & Spencer, which even won the the queen's award for innovation and industry 2003, because of this suit. Bagir itself has won the 2003 entreprenuership and innovation award of the IDB Concern because of the suit. Since then, the suit has been sold in the USA and Germany. In view of the suit's success, Ofer Gilboa has decided to establish Systematic Innovation processes in Bagir, and has asked ZOOZ to help do it.

Bagir presents: the world's first washable suit

To start the process, four Systematic Inventive Thinking and Problem Solving courses were held with mixed teams of managers from all the department and subsidiary companies of Bagir Group, including a workshop for the New York office. The courses, so it turned out, helped establish a company value of innovation and in multi-national integration.

In the second stage, Gidi Gilda, a ZOOZ consultant, helped four task teams during 6 months. Three of the teams were given the task of developing innovative suits of various kinds, while the fourth team concentrated on developing logistic solutions. In addition, teams to supervise and jump-start innovation processes were established, including Bagir's senior management.

The products of the second innovation stage were registered as patents and trademarks, and were presented in London to Bagir's biggest client - Marks & Spencer buyers. Their response was that it was the best presentation they have ever seen for clothing. The presentation included items such as flexible suits, ventilated suits (breathing cloth and ventilation-holes), and lightweight suits (weighing 40% less than regular suits). These suits made it possible for Bagir to penetrate new chains around the world.

The  logistics team developed 2 products simultaneously. The first: an improved process for making a client order much faster than normal. The second: a kit for turning a regular shipping container into a special container for shipping hanging suits (a unique and up-till-then costly solution). In addition to the relatively low cost of the kit, it may be folded and sent back from the client to Bagir. This is expected to save nagir several thousand NIS each year.

In the third stage, in the final months of year 2003, in a series of two Systematic Innovation workshops, facilitated by Ari Manor, ZOOZ's CEO, hundreds of ideas for innovation in suits were developed.

The fourth stage, taking place in 2004, an idea screening commitee will systematically screen the ideas from stage 3 and other sources. Internal screening will follow uniform criteria, and external screening will be done with buyers and consumers. Considering the echo of Bagir's innovation activity in a relatively dormant and conservative market, the firm is now establishing an ability to constantly and systematically innovate, and fortify the competative advantage it gained.