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It has been more than a decade since IKEA came up with the idea to provide affordable low-cost housing which incorporates functionality, space, and high-quality housing all at low costs (Davies, 2005). Thus the age of flat-pack houses commonly known as Bokloks began and this idea which began as a way to solve housing problems in Sweden is now making its way into other countries such as Britain (Davies, 2005). In addition to being low priced compared to the price of building a house or dealing with mortgages, the homes come in a ready-built manner with fitted kitchen furniture and wooden floors and all the home buyers need to do is to assemble it by following instructions (Davies, 2005).
With the concept applied in providing low-cost homes, I believe that the same concept can be used to provide housing for charitable organizations such as UNICEF or Red Cross that are engaged in charitable duties which take them to different countries at any time. Flatpack housing is a model of housing for the workforce engaged in charitable activities is the best choice for a number of reasons. The innovation to have flat pack homes for charitable organizations should bear in mind some important factors. These factors include and are not limited to making sure that the homes are easy to put up compared to the normal flat pack homes. Normally flat pack homes made by IKEA are made of timber because they are supposed to be durable for a long time (Fisk, 2009).
However, timber can prove to be quite heavy to lug around especially when an urgent response to a disaster is required. Another thing is that the timber flat-pack house may take time to put up and time is always limited when responding to disasters. Therefore, in creating flat-pack homes for charitable organizations, IKEA should come up with an innovative flat pack home made of material that is easy to transport such as timber that is lighter than that used in normal homes. Also, included in these homes are shelves and convertible furniture which can be easily be converted into examining tables and beds for both the aid workers and those seeking medical assistance. The main idea for this innovation is to make it easier for the aid workers to set up camp, provide and distribute medical assistance in the shortest time possible in addition to saving costs and time incurred searching for accommodation (Fisk, 2009).
This new innovation will enhance the life of the aid workers in a number of ways. One of the benefits will be saving on time (Davies, 2005). Time will be saved on looking for accommodation for the aid workers which in most cases may be found in areas far from the disaster sites. By having flat-pack homes, aid workers can easily set up camps close to the disaster areas. Another area that time will be saved will be on settling down as the flat-pack homes will be easy to put up and distribution of supplies can be done at the site of the disaster. Saving on cost is another benefit that this innovation is likely to bring (Fisk, 2009). Costs that could have been incurred by having the aid workers booked into the hotel can be saved by having the flat-pack houses which can be designed to cater for a number of aid workers per house. Another benefit is that with the flat-pack homes the aid workers will not be competing with those affected by disasters on the limited housing available during such times. Therefore with the new flat-pack homes, in comparison with the old life, the new life experience will be that the aid workers will save on time and cost in addition to having the surety of having shelter anytime anywhere.
This innovation will definitely add value to any organization that sets out to implement it. The said organization will not only be considered socially responsible but it will also be the one-stop company for the provision of flat pack homes for charitable organizations. The best recognition an organization can have is that of being recognized as being socially responsible (Kotler & Lee, 2005). By having flat-pack homes designed specifically for aid workers, the organization will improve its image in the eyes of people who will view the organization as one which takes time to know what happens around them and what they can do to ease problems. By investing in this innovation organization will be silently advertising itself in addition to being associated with humanitarian acts which add to its value. The organization will basically increase its profits by being the distributors of these homes for all the interested aid organizations.
Whenever a new product makes its way into the market, there is a number of implementation issues involved in the commercialisation process. The first generally entails coming up with ideas for the product and this is after taking an analysis on a particular need in the society and therefore coming up with an idea to capitalise on the opportunity that presents itself (Rafinejad, 2007). After generating ideas that can solve the problem or need to be identified the ideas are screened in order to do away with those which may be lead to a waste of resources should they be implemented. In the screening process each idea is submitted to a number of checks such as whether the product developed will benefit the target market, whether it will be profitable to once it’s manufactured, the competition the product is likely to encounter and whether the product will be affected by competition pressure amongst other checks (Lambert, 2008). Once this stage is done the next stage is to business analysis such as the selling price based on product competition or target market (Lambert, 2008).
After business analysis what follows is the market testing stage whereby the product is subjected to testing by having customers give feedback on it and thereafter adjustments can be made (Lambert, 2008). The last stages are technical implementation whereby the final touches on the product such as quality management is done collaborations with possible suppliers are made (Rafinejad, 2007). Finally commercialisation comes in and at this point the product is launched into the market accompanied by having advertising campaigns and promotions.
Davies, C., 2005. The prefabricated home. London, UK. Reaktion Books Fisk, P., 2009. Marketing Genius. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley and Sons.
Kotler, P., & Lee, N., 2005. Corporate social responsibility: doing the most good for your company and your cause. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley and Sons.
Lambert, D. M., 2008. Supply chain management: processes, partnerships, performance. Supply Chain Management Institute.
Rafinejad, D., 2007. Innovation, Product Development and Commercialization: Case Studies and Key Practices for Market Leadership. Fort Lauderdale, FL. J. Ross Publishing.
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