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Is Your Company Innovative?

Sent for publishing at DIY Europe, December 2003
By  Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ Ltd.

Imagine this: under a magician's spell, you become a prophet and manage to predict all the new products that will appear on the market during the upcoming decade. Paul Steiner, CEO of Kapro Measuring Tools, experienced just that. Seven years ago, during a 4-day in-house workshop, his team developed 73 ideas for new spirit levels. Since then, many new levels were introduced to the market, but this bank of ideas already predicted them all.

TopGrade by Kapro - a gradient level
with vials set at 0, 1%, and 2% slope respectively

With this in mind, Ari established ZOOZ four years ago, a consulting and training firm (ZOOZ means 'move' in Hebrew). So far, ZOOZ has been instrumental in implementing innovation programs with a broad range of Israeli firms, many of which are within the DIY and Home Improvement sectors.

Typically, these firms wanted to provide themselves with a competitive edge in the global segments they were operating in or to branch out into new areas, and also to eventually institutionalize innovation within their organization.

As a result of ZOOZ training programs, they have been able to predict and bring to market the significant ideas and changes in their field. Once these companies have tasted and integrated the success, the evolution to innovation management was a logical extension. Within a few years, their growth has been fueled by new products, which are traditionally at least 20 percent of annual corporate sales.

"Nowadays, it’s hard to find an aisle at Home Depot that doesn’t have a product that we have helped develop." "This really makes us all very proud!” adds Ari. Examples of such products include TopGrade by Kapro (see picture above), and New Handyman Tool Kit by Noga (see picture below).

A newly designed handle
that accepts 3 types of drilling and deburring blades -
part of the New Handyman Tool Kit by Noga .

Recently, ZOOZ is facing another demanding challenge. It has decided to help experienced subcontractors in developing a branded product line from scratch, in just 6 months. So far, a few Israeli plastics and metal subcontractors have joined this effort. Together with ZOOZ, they identified categories of interest, defined programs and developed unique products that are currently sold globally in DIY and professional markets. Tefenplast, a plastics subcontractor, has already introduced an innovative line of GATOR clamps within 6 months. This is soon to be followed by other subcontractors, including TechnoPlast, one of Israel's largest plastics manufacturer.