Case Study: Innovation strategy for transformation and growth


Innovation Strategy Case Study for Global Manufacturing Company

Key Client Level: Chief Technology Officer

Domino Printing Sciences is a global expert in industrial printing systems for high-volume production lines in FMCG, pharmaceuticals and discrete manufacturing. Having enjoyed decades-long periods of above-GDP growth, new trends, market entrants and price pressures are challenging the company. Customers demand that suppliers provide much more sustainable products and consumables and much higher technical performance. Strategically, the company looks to significantly raise its revenue over the decade and respond to technology and market challenges.

It’s a familiar scene. How to defend and grow in the context of much higher technical demands. This project was delivered via our association with IfM Engage at the University of Cambridge helped Domino respond to the challenge.

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash.


Domino operates in over 120 countries employing over 3000 people directly.  With manufacturing sites in the UK, US, China, India, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland it produces printers and consumables for industrial markets, labellers and coders.

The company wanted to take a fundamental look at its technology and innovation strategy, establish new areas for breakthrough growth and make necessary changes to the innovation organisation setup.

The project was conceived by Rob Munro after a first conversation with Domino Chief Technology Officer, Dr Andy Clifton following his attendance at the Breakthrough Innovation Masterclass.

The support provided was to lead the company through a multi-step process to understand its innovation strengths and weaknesses, identify new sources of value and identify how to make the changes to embed that growth. This was done with a  small team of discipline experts in sustainability, innovation, technology management, strategic workforce planning, and change management.

The assignment in total ran for 21 months.


A three-stage process was designed with the client.

Part 1: Assess the current stage of the innovation organisation and set priorities for improvement.  The Breakthrough Innovation Assessment was used to evaluate the situation; online surveys with interviews with the senior team developed an evidence base.  A workshop was run to validate the results and select potential improvements. This provided a reasoned rationale for change to the innovation system; both incremental and radical.

Part 2: Several high-potential areas for innovation strategy with selected and innovation toolbox was designed and deployed. A hand-picked cross-functional team was guided through a rigorous innovation process to identify real product and service innovation options and new capabilities and technologies. Innovation approaches included ecosystem mapping, strategic roadmapping, opportunity assessment, technology make v buy analysis, technology intelligence plans, and strategic workforce plans.

Part 3:  The implications for change to the innovation system, workforce and organisation were examined and plans were developed to support these growth platforms.


The tangible benefits of the project included the development of 9 high-value breakthrough products and services each with the potential to close the strategic growth gap, along with the identified associated technologies with acquisition plans.  These selected new digitalisation and sustainable technologies and the necessary changes to the R&D/innovation system were identified.

Intangible benefits include developing a more collaborative way of working and injecting into the company a strategic innovation approach to be used in other topics areas; building innovation fitness, agility and longevity.

Domino CTO Dr Andy Clifton said,  “To remain competitive, we knew we needed to enhance our innovation capabilities, leveraging emerging technologies that may transform our approach to delivering value to customers in the future. Our R&D generally focussed on product development, so our focus was often constrained by short-term thinking and incremental innovations. We needed help to move away from a short-term incremental innovation model and challenge our thinking in how we view innovation as an organisation. IfM Engage were the perfect fit to help us review our capabilities and rethink how we do things.”

Rob Munro, who designed and led the project with Domino, says: “These approaches are essential for any company as you need to understand strategy before you get into technology. After using ecosystem mapping and strategic roadmapping to identify attractive areas of growth, we used IfM’s make vs. buy and technology acquisition tools to identify the approach to technologies and strategic workforce planning for future capabilities.

“Innovation fitness means doing things differently. We had to help everyone to map out the changes they were making and make sure those changes became a natural part of how the organisation works.”


Want to know more?

Read Here about the process to quickly but rigorously produce a strategic roadmap for your organisation. If you are interested in Technology Planning read Here about the approach.

Rob Munro is an innovation strategist and consultant focussing on improving innovation results within organisations. Please get in touch with me to discuss ways to bring greater effectiveness to your innovation and technology management processes.