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R&D Comes to Services

Modern business today is a paradox, because although the economy is increasingly dependent
on services, yet the innovations remain focusses toward products. Many a times services
require the presence/participation of customer and is tailored according to the needs of an
individual buyers at the time of purchase so they cannot be tested in laboratory in controlled
conditions. Also, in a commercial setting the noise during the experiments can drown the
With most of us living in a service economy it is imperative for companies to develop
services to be able to stay in the game. But the challenge is performing R&D task in an actual
marketplace rather than in controlled laboratory environments.
Bank of America is one of the corporations leading R&D in services by converting some of
its branches as R&D centres named Innovation Market. The process they follow for service
innovation is as follows:
1. Evaluate Ideas
2. Plan & Design
3. Implement
4. Test
5. Recommend

In the first stage, the I&D team evaluates the ideas through three steps:
Conceive Ideas: a list of ideas is prepared
Assess Ideas: the ordered list is then checked and approved
Prioritize Ideas: the ideas are then prioritized
The desired outcome from this stage is generating an exhaustive list of innovative ideas, from
internal and external sources; the success factors are the awareness and commitment by the
employees and the key measures to check this is to identify the %age of approved ideas out
of the total ideas.