Launch of Innovation and Design Management Club a success

IDM club

The IfM's newly formed Innovation and Design Management (IDM) club was successfully launched in March. There are around 25 members, representing a range of local businesses from heavy machinery to consumer goods.


The IDM Club follows on from its predecessor, the New Product Introduction (NPI) Club. The NPI Club ran from around 1992 through to 2004, with roughly 4 meetings per year. The club seeks to provide a non-competitive forum for sharing of experiences (good and bad), for informal benchmarking and for insight into new ideas. The club has historically had a close link with innovation and NPI research activities going on at the Institute for Manufacturing.


This first meeting included discussions over dinner on the key issues and challenges facing SMEs in the management of design and innovation. This will inform the selection of future topics and include:

  • Organisational issues: dealing with a desire to innovate, but with scarce resources and the best ways of coordinating or managing these resources was a common issue.
  • Innovation hurdles: it was perceived that there are a number of hurdles that a small firm must overcome in order to be more innovative. What are the key hurdles and how might they be easily overcome?
  • What should the process look like in an SME? How to balance the need for a process vs the need to enable creativity?
  • Where will the next idea come from? Issues around organisational creativity and the sources of new ideas.
  • How to choose projects: Recognising the scarcity of resources, the likelihood that at any one time there will be few projects on the go, how do small firms choose what to do next?
  • Controlling projects: how to control projects to ensure that we meet targets for time, cost and quality
  • Design for manufacture: There were several issues raised around the theme of design for manufacture.
  • Managing design freeze / design creep: How to stop a design evolving away from the initial vision during the course of a project.

These topics will be covered in future meetings, with a full schedule planned for 2007. For more information please contact James Moultrie: 

Date published

1 May 2007

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