For over 50 years, Parker GSFE has been instrumental in the development of filtration technology, shaping several international standards. However, new price-based challengers were threatening their lead position in the market, and the company needed to find new sources of product innovation and distinctiveness. But how do you create added-value and distinctiveness in a very crowded market sector? Parker had already been working with Northumbria’s Design School, on a consulting basis, when they described their ambition to establish a new, accelerated approach to innovation.
For the first time in 40 years, Parker overcame legacy colour preferences from its three EMEA filtration plants, and proudly launched a unified family of gas filters, enjoying an overwhelmingly positive response from customers. NITROSource, the first product re-launched, generated a 30% jump in sales. Through the new investigative methods, Parker GSFE defined an entirely new, high-value market-sector (in beverage gas filtration) and is currently working with key customers and agencies to define new standards.
The KTP established the facility at Gateshead as a thought leader on product and marketing innovation, helping to secure its future within the Group. Corporate HQ in Ohio recognised several of the tools and methodologies as ‘best practice’, jointly presenting the work at a key global design conference in 2016.
Their new responsive approach has already helped Parker secure business in major export markets and in May 2018, the company was awarded their first ever Red Dot International Design Award. One KTP Associate, Callum Whitehead, with guidance from the academic team, used his skills to design the main interface / display which was highlighted by the Red-Dot judges.
Parker estimates that the impact of their KTP will be to boost annual pre-tax profits by £1.5 million within three years.
“The complementary strands of strategic marketing with industrial design in the KTP mean the business is now closer to its customers, with multiple benefits including a strong financial performance” commented Neil McPherson, Division Marketing Manager, GSFE, Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Limited.
John Clayton, Knowledge Transfer Adviser at the KTN, added: “This has been an exemplary double associate KTP, deservedly graded outstanding by Innovate UK, and delivering a world class design award winning product. The KTP impact went well beyond the core knowledge transfer and created a new customer-centric innovation culture in the business which established the North East England plant as an innovation beacon in a global business.”