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Capturing employee idea saves Swan Vesta millions of dollars

capturing ideas swan vesta

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. This is the story of how Swan Vesta emerged by capturing idea.

Capturing idea and its implementation:

In the early 1900s, a factory worker approached the leadership of Swan Vesta with an amazing idea.
He proposed that his idea could possibly save the company millions of pounds. Although the idea was initially disregarded, the worker was later given a few minutes to present his concept to the board. His idea was to stop using the sandpaper strike on both sides of the matchbox and start using it only on one side.

The company’s board accepted the idea and began using the strike only on one side of the box. The sandpaper had a layer of phosphorus on it that made igniting possible. Using the chemical on one side, cut down the cost of manufacturing the matches. The company benefitted a lot of money in sandpaper and chemical costs by having only one igniting side.


Capturing idea, Swan Vesta saved a fortune by embracing this simple idea that came from an employee.

This story not only answers how managers can encourage innovation in the workplace but also depicts the benefit of idea management and implementation. If such innovation stories interest you, we post two innovation culture stories about capturing ideas from employees on our blog, weekly. You can subscribe to the blog by filling out the short form below.

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.

Read next: Want to capture more employee ideas? This simple 10-step plan can guide you to capture more employee ideas in your organization. 

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