When I begin working with a firm to enhance ROI on their R&D spending, the portfolio company often
tells me that it needs to invest more in R&D. The truth is,
until you identify the right projects, that’s a fool’s errand.
When we beef up (or implement) the Stage-Gate process,
there are generally two areas that need a lot of work:
• Removing the bureaucracy, while still developing robust
business cases for new products and ensuring that proj-
ects align with strategic objectives.
• Paying attention in the early stages, prior to detailed
design, to amping up the goals for differentiation in the
product concept in a way that customers will pay for.
We have a whole tool set around customer-value innovation
and voice-of-customer capture planning to discover ways to
increase project value. So, bottom line, bring in resources to
minimize waste in current R&D investment before you invest more; you may be able to invest less to achieve equal or
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WHAT KINDS OF RESOURCES SHOULD PRIVATE
EQUITY FIRMS PROVIDE TO HELP THEIR
PORTFOLIO COMPANIES INNOVATE?
Brenda Reichelderfer is a senior vice president and managing director at TriVista, an operations consulting firm focused on middle-market companies.
She has more than 30 years of experience in general
management, engineering and operations. In addition to her
extensive P&L background, Reichelderfer gained operational
expertise as plant manager, vice president of operations,
director of engineering and chief technology officer.
BRENDA REICHELDERFER // Senior Vice President and Managing Director, TriVista
A QUALIFIED OPINION