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30 Jul 2018

Why R&D Is So Important for Your Business

Why R&D Is So Important for Your Business

Regardless of the industry in which you work, research and development (R&D) is crucial to its ongoing evolution and success. As the branch of your operations that deals with expanding and manipulating knowledge to improve existing products and services, introduce new ones, streamline business practices and connect various facets of the company with each other, the role which R&D plays should not be underestimated.

What is R&D?

It’s tempting to think of R&D as responsible solely for investigating new and innovative products or services which your company can market to its customers, as well as perhaps adding extra features to existing offers. These both comprise important components of R&D’s functionality, but it can also be used to add value to a business in other ways.

If R&D can hit upon a method of operating which sets your company apart from rivals – perhaps through improving productivity or bringing down your overheads, even marginally – it will establish an advantage for your business over others. In this way, both the research and development aspects of R&D are equally important to keeping your company at the forefront of its particular industry.

The benefits of a top-performing R&D department

Here’s a handful of reasons why you should prioritise investment in your own R&D department:

  • Innovation. Perhaps the biggest incentive to devote significant resources towards R&D is the massive rewards it can reap in innovation. Think about all of the big companies of today, in pretty much any industry; often, they got to where they are now by doing something different to their competitors. Pinpointing this new USP (through research) and honing it to perfection (through development) forms the backbone of all technological advances.
  • Knowledge. Without knowledge, no company can adequately conduct itself in its market. R&D are responsible for accruing, refining and analysing as much knowledge as possible from as wide a variety of sources as possible. This knowhow is key to not only ensuring you stay cognisant of the latest developments surfacing in your particular niche (and so potentially incorporating them into your own operations) but also testing your own products against the rigorous demands of real-life situations.
  • Optimisation. Using the data regarding all aspects of your company, the R&D department can analyse the efficiency of individual processes within the business and streamline any which encompass unnecessary or overly time-consuming steps. This can help to save time and money, giving a boost to your bottom line whilst also freeing up resources to tackle more important aspects of the business.
  • Sustainability. Think of all the industries which would have been redundant without R&D; as living conditions change and fashions and trends ebb and die away, new products are needed to meet new demands. For example, a plethora of sun creams and other skin care products has sprung up to service a population increasingly aware of the risk of cancer. Environmentally friendly forms of energy generation are being gradually supplanting polluting ones as we realise the impact of climate change. R&D is key to futureproofing your business by allowing it to move with the times.

Any business serious about progressing in its niche and holding its own against the competition simply can’t afford to neglect R&D. Of course, it’s easy for multinational corporations and industry tycoons to pour vast sums into new research, but even small- and mid-sized should do as much as they can to supplement their R&D programmes. After all, you could discover the Next Big Thing and find yourself at the apex of your industry, practically overnight!

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