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A simple idea that made millions: Swan Vesta matches

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Creating a culture of innovation to encourage employees to share ideas is the best way a company can achieve innovation success.

This was proven true decades ago when Swan Vesta’s leaders started capturing employee idea to scale quickly.

Let’s see how an employee helped the company save millions of dollars.

About Swan Vesta

Swan Vesta was founded in 1883 and is a Glasgow-based producer of matches. It manufactures matches shorter than conventional pocket matches, and until 2018, they were famous as strike-anywhere matches. And here’s how Swan Vesta emerged by capturing an idea.

Related Read: Top 8 Ways to Capture Innovation in an Organization (Free Template Included)

Capturing employee idea and its implementation

In the early 1900s, a factory worker approached the leadership of Swan Vesta with an amazing idea. He believed that his idea could possibly save the company millions of pounds.

Although they disregard the idea initially, the worker was later given a few minutes to present his concept to the board. And, he explained how they must stop using the sandpaper strike on both sides of the matchbox and start using it only on one side.

After seeing his conviction, the company’s board accepted the idea and began implementing it by using the strike only on one side of the box.

Related Read: Why Employees Stop Sharing Ideas? (Your Action Steps)

And they made millions

The sandpaper used on one side had a layer of phosphorus that made igniting possible. Using the layer on one side enabled the company to cut down the cost of chemicals and manufacturing the matches.

Essentially, capturing employee idea and fostering an intrapreneurship culture saved Swan Vesta a fortune.

This story not only answers how managers can inspire innovation in the workplace but also depicts the benefit of idea management and implementation. 

Your employees have tons of ideas, all you need is an idea-capture tool to seize those ideas.

Business growth through innovation is a game changer.

The flow of new ideas opens new markets, increases market share, drives profits and, maybe most importantly, energizes employees.

Related Read: How to get more invention disclosures?

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