Who We Are
The premise for Elemence is that innovation is able to thrive when ideas are allowed to connect and recombine across traditional boundaries. We are a multidiciplinary team for uncovering practical adjacencies across a vast array of intellectual property, invention, operations and business models. Our methods present a lower risk, high impact, adaptive approach to creating opportunities and solutions for new services, products and their manufacture.
Elemence is able to provide these services through unparalleled advisory, consulting, and outlook services tailored to meet the innovation needs of diverse businesses and decision makers within those organizations. The end result is an outcome-oriented approach where our collective success is measured by business impact.
Services We Offer
Elemence provides Innovation Advisory Services (IAS) to our small and mid-market clients on a retained or subscription basis. IAS allows key individuals at your company to access our teams’ wide range of expertise and experience related to the questions or initiatives you are considering. Whether you have a question about improving business strategy, materials used in manufacturing, breakthrough product innovation, information technology, supply chain or improving the customer experience, you will have a readily available trusted source to call. The objective is for Elemence to provide an extension of your organization and expert resources that understand your business and individual department needs.
Our Innovation Consulting Services help clients develop a wide array of capabilities to achieve market-leading products, revenue and profitability growth. We have successfully helped many organizations develop new innovative businesses, products and services. We also help our clients build sustainable internal capabilities, ranging from innovation incubators to R&D centers that provide sustained, consistent results. Our experience in delivering innovation results is foundational to both improving core product and service innovation, as well as development of new paths to growth.
Having a good research team is indispensable to help explore, as well as validate, any innovation effort. Our Outlooks deliver the related insight necessary for our clients to make the right decisions. From CMOs and senior Product Management leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in manufacturing, high-tech enterprises and professional services firms, to venture capital and private equity, we are a valuable partner to clients. Through Elemence staff and our expert network of specialists, we work with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of innovation within the context of their company.
For more information, please go to the Research Services section of our website or Contact us directly.
Industries We Serve
- Consumer Products
- Building & Construction
- Industrial Products
From personal care to food and beverage to electronics to toys and games, consumer products are the foundation of much of our global economy. At it’s core, user(maybe use “consumer” here?) needs via their experience and a product’s pure required function must be met. This massive industry is accordingly about the products and how they are conceived, designed, manufactured and distributed, but also about how they are advertised and sold. Consumer product success is often far more about marketing, often by promoting a strong brand identity and following. The competition is ferocious for shelf space, mind share and digital attention, so package design, marketing, and customer satisfaction are key to success. Product lifecycles can often last years but more often can last literally only weeks and months. If you miss the mark, the costs can be dear.
The driving force behind all consumer products is no less than, the consumer. Consumers love to love their products as a symbol of who they are and what they stand for. Like never before, consumers are looking at products that have a purpose and a story. A story doesn’t just fill in the gaps for consumers, it intertwines with who they are and is a visible representation of where they are going in the future. Because it’s essential for the consumer to bond with the product, it’s essential the product engage the consumer where they are, through trends. Trends today like “real”, where we see consumers placing imperfect real wood cases on high end electronics or purchasing personal beehives to have authentic all natural honey at home, give us personal insight into who the consumer is and what drives them to buy. Tapping into a consumer’s needs and wants based on their current desires are essential for sustaining growth and increased market share… not to mention a happy consumer. We dig deep into every aspect of your consumer and “live their life” to uncover hidden insights that transform products and markets.
The Elemence team focuses on how to develop the materials as well as manufacturing methods and machinery to deliver superior consumer products. We play in how flavorings may be adhered to snack with involving crunch crushing water (?) to how musical instrument strings can deliver the best sound while transforming their manufacturing speeds. We’ve developed entirely new classes of hair care polymers that now only resist the environment better but are still completely digested after they hit the shower drain. We’ve even developed new techniques for assembling sexy panties. Yes, our innovations are just about everywhere helping people make more money while delighting their consumers daily.
The building and construction industry encompasses everything from the fundamental elements of buildings, homes, and infrastructure like highways and power plants to the actual construction of the same. The materials, design, architecture, project management, as well as the physical labor and the machines, processes and myriad regulations and codes that make this all possible are far more complex than most would realize. From ensuring that the design looks right, functions and is resilient to how easy or complex is it to build and maintain, to simply ensuring that it does not fall, the skill sets required are near infinite and the collaboration required across disciplines are daunting. Finally, the rise of the digital and connectivity needs places ever changing demands on the ability to control and monitor structures for safety, efficiency, maintenance and convenience.
Of late, skilled labor shortages are a global crisis – the single, number one overwhelming need in the building and construction business. A massive percentage of labor who left during the recession simply never returned. Companies are constantly struggling to find workers at all levels to adequately staff their projects. Offsite, modular or prefabricated construction continues gaining ground and offers the benefits of reduced development time, less waste and often significant cost savings. The crippling recession and labor shortage have also spurred many firms to be far more cautious about the amount of new work they can handle, fearing over staffing and commitment. Commercial construction has been a leader in green and clean materials and structure adoption, but the residential sector is still catching up. A growing desire to produce environmentally friendly structures while meeting consumer demand for the same with higher-quality results and lifecycle cost savings drives this trend. Finally, lifestyle changes are seeing walkable communities, where one can walk to everything needed, from restaurants to shopping to doctors and schools. At the same time, consumers’ time constraints are driving the need for more lifetime services included such as yard maintenance and security.
Elemence’s role has spanned developing new materials and construction methods through enabling the DIY consumer to accomplish more and more sophisticated work in ever-simpler ways at lower costs. From the award-winning Nexabond adhesives, building cabinetry in 48 hours versus eight weeks, both the industrial and consumer benefits from our assembly technologies. The green movement benefits from our solvent and heat free chemistries and assembly technologies are simultaneously providing for ever safer and more environmentally compatible yet resilient materials.
From product components and assemblies of all kinds supporting, industrial products cover many applications where user experience, assembly methods, materials, cost, effectiveness and efficiency dominate. From the materials of construction to the human centered design for use, repair and result, this industry space finds itself in an ever evolving, often complex supply chain. The automotive industry exemplifies this supply chain complexity, where tier one through four manufacturers endlessly coordinate not simply manufacturing but multi-year, global product design, conception, prototyping and commercialization programs. From required digital collaboration to how a key need by the user influences the exact metal required for a single component, this overall complexity only grows by the day. Accordingly, one can find making confident, informed, capably assessed and effective decisions overwhelming and frustrating.
Simplified, low energy and higher speed manufacturing are common themes. Sustainability, clean and green plays an ever increasing role, but not at the expense of overall cost, safety, effectiveness and efficiency. From household durable goods to consumer electronic components to packaging and assembly machines, these trends exemplify an ever increasing competitive landscape where resource and time constrictions are only accelerating in their pressure. Novel assembly technologies, from new welding techniques, adhesives and coatings to high speed, servo actuated erection and assembly machines and robots are alleviating these pressures. Digital collaboration software can simplify complex work, bringing disparate global resources together into a single space for moments in time as required to achieve objectives and deadlines quickly. Finally constantly evolving new materials, often far more sustainable, clean and green are only improving design, assembly and functionality.
Combining highly varied disciplines, from the digital to the manufacturing to the materials and design, Elemence and its team have consistently and collaboratively with our clients delivered superior results. We’ve often achieved this at high speeds and lower costs than usually imagined. Deep practical knowledge and experience drive these results. Our staff are not only former CEO’s and senior functional executives but the same are also current practitioners, up to date on most of the newest materials, technologies, capabilities and trends or in contact with the experts who are. Many client cases involving key industrial component changes saw tens of millions saved and results in only a week or so where production was stopped, including in furniture and cabinet assembly, musical instrument production and a key automotive component.
Moving ourselves and our valued goods and services around the globe facilitates, enables our global economy. From the horse to the wheel, from sails to steam, from rail to cars, trucks and now air and space, our ability to move about the planet efficiently, quickly, pleasurably and conveniently keys profitable logistics both personally and commercially. How we build our transport, how we facilitate it by our highways, rail and ports, how we direct it via automation or manual guidance and also power it keep changing at an accelerating pace. Making solid, informed decisions requires multidisciplinary context, knowledge, understanding and then insight. It’s one thing to make bold pronouncements about megatrends not yet realized and another to see the required what must be trues and then the realities and thus realistic insights into what the real trends truly are. Only then can one capably and effectively develop confident insights on perceived needs and then act upon realistic conceived, analyzed and ranked opportunities.
Alternative, green and clean fuels dominate here, but not just to by some save the planet, but in the end to achieve improved efficiencies, resilience and reduced resource volatility leading to lower costs. Ever improving battery technologies and powering speeds and networks such as those Tesla is driving forward lead here. Still even improved gas mileage via hybrids and other technologies are playing a big role. Material science is also playing a huge role in building more fuel efficient, safer and lower energy, faster to build vehicles. From ever improving electric vehicles to potential autonomous transportation to simply safer vehicles, vastly improving digital capabilities also key transportation’s future operations. How we utilize transportation, eying revolutionaries like Uber or simply shared vehicles to digitally finding a parking space transforms how we live every day.
Elemence possesses a practical, deeply experienced and connected team throughout not simply transportation but all of its supporting industries and the pure science behind those industries enable a product focused, specific commercial application capability not often seen. Most vehicles of all types contain products our team has developed, sold, serviced and employed – sales that soar into the high hundreds of millions globally. We retain a deep network of multidisciplinary experts whose accomplishments include founded firm Sirrus whose novel polymer technologies can not only cut automotive coating operation costs by 75% or more while eliminating solvents, but also lightweight vehicles by as much as 15% via newly enabled, inexpensive composites. We eagerly look forward to the exciting transportation revolution and our role in collaboratively helping enable it.
Our lives, our planet – indeed our futures – depend upon chemicals. Everything that exists today is a chemical combination of some sort. Today’s vast, ever changing chemical industry spans fuels to pharmaceuticals to plastic to coatings and adhesives to advanced composites. The industry’s complex supply chain derives from chemistry itself and how raw materials from many different sources can be combined or cracked into new chemicals over and over supplying the world with many of the materials powering, constructing and protecting our world. Understanding the chemical industry and how this complex supply and relationship web impacts your own firm’s key strategic and tactical decision making in ways not often appreciated or recognized. One’s future and the impact of chemicals requires combining market knowledge with a deep understanding of chemistry to identify and develop new opportunities effectively.
Green and clean dominate here but so do infrastructure and product resilience. New medical, power and digital capabilities also depend greatly upon new chemical developments. While the world depends upon oil and gas for most chemistry today, alternatives to fossil fuels could help protect the planet, alleviate price and availability volatility and provide improved efficiencies and overall sustainability and supply resilience. While many attempts at green and clean chemistry have been made, few have been profitable and then highly adopted and scaled. Resilient polymers key building and home, thermal and environmental protection as well as persistently running power, electronics and machinery. From computational chemistry to wild Amazonian plants, novel medicinal chemistries are extending and saving lives at ever accelerating rates while also providing key breakthrough in personal care and even beauty. Finally, nanomaterials, quantum chemistry and novel polymers are driving Moore’s law’s extension into the next decade and beyond.
Uniquely, Elemence possesses a deep, current and practical chemistry knowledge coupled with deep analytical, financial and strategic and tactical marketing experience. The result provides unparalleled strategic and tactical opportunity analysis, assessment, development and commercialization that delivers real products for real customers at enhanced profitability collaboratively and at high speeds. Our team has and continues to live, work and breath this industry on a daily basis with billions of dollars in commercialized, globally beneficial products sold by the world’s leading companies.
Almost everything we buy, store and transport is packaged. From a simple paper bag to multi-layer films for perishable foods, drugs and electronics to the water bottle, a highly complex set of materials, machines and assembly techniques are usually required to protect products. Some require a certain packing geometry to be easily placed or removed, others need physical protection from transportation and handling damage while others require environmental protection to stay cold, warm and everything in between. Many would even consider packaging to be a “protection business”, where clothing, especially for say a fireman’s safety, involves carefully packaging a human who still needs to perform a job. Other would see protecting a house this way. The bottom line – packaging is a very large, distinct, complex and valuable business where new challenges emerge constantly.
While recycling, sustainability and being green are critical trends for protecting our earth while maintaining functionality, other trends seemingly dominate packaging. For food and beverage, it’s not just about protecting food, but also about enhancing its appeal to buyers both in the store and on storage at home. By example, eliminating frozen food ice crystals has never been achieved and harms shelf life and packaging options, especially regarding closure options and appeal. For food, beverage and drugs, tamper evident packaging began with the 1980s Tylenol scare but has been exacerbated recently by potential biological agents, intentionally or naturally placed. E-Coli infections seem to be announced daily. Packaging that can not only indicate infection but in fact stop or eliminate it is highly sought after. Of course, the oldest trends are always the most sought after – increasing speed and lower costs. From packaging machine reliability to closing boxes, sealing pouches or filling bags faster, many new product innovations depend upon that increased speed and lower cost to be viable. Finally, packaging ourselves and our homes and buildings to be safer, last longer and be more comfortable has become a hundred billion dollar business in and of itself. Surprisingly, the same technologies for food are finding their way into your clothes and our buildings ever more frequently.
The Elemence team possesses knowledge and practical experience in both packaging materials and the machinery required to assemble, erect, fill and seal packaging across many industries. In fact, many global food company’s packaging machinery has been designed, built and serviced by members of our team or the firms that they led. New adhesive, coating, material and automation technologies developed and commercialized by the Elemence team not only has enabled new products for our clients but has also uniquely improved their profitability and market positions. From refrigerated, ready to bake holiday cookies to your favorite cereals to some of the leading fashion brand’s materials, we are in your home or business somewhere!
Breakneck change permeates the technology industry. From robotics and industrial automation to semiconductors, the internet of things, ambient awareness, network computing and software services. The technology sector is not for the weak of heart. In an industry where the innovate-or-die mantra rings loud and clear, many companies have changed little in how they approach the innovation process. Clearly there are some great, recent examples of large-scale radical change, such as GPS, the world wide web, digital cameras, or the iPhone and apps ecosystem. On the other hand, major platform innovations only come along every 7-10 years or more.
The more relevant innovation focus in the technology sector, or any sector for that matter, should be on more slowly moving, market shifting changes that most companies are blind to. How many times have we heard a dominant player describe a new innovation as niche, it can not scale, it’s really for smaller applications? How many times have we heard “our customers could never use something like that, or it’s not up to our standards or requirements”?
Now, think about these comments and how they relate to 3D printing’s potential disruption. Would you have ever thought that GE would make 3D printed parts for jet engines? Guess again. GE is using 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing tools to make parts and products that once were even impossible to produce at all. GE now views advanced manufacturing and 3D printing as the the industrial revolution’s next big chapter.
Next, think about medicine and consumer products. The ability to print pills for medication or even human tissue and organs. Imagine printing your own spare parts or jewelry or keys and on and on. Now think about entire products. What if, instead of buying a physical product, you could simply download the instructions and immediately print the product on your 3D printer at home, office or other remote location? The technology industry enables it all.
3D printing is merely one example of market shifting technology innovations that will slowly, but ultimately, create massive new opportunities and lay waste to many more who are too slow to adapt. Companies and their cultures will find many reasons to not to take these types of innovations seriously and spend more time defending their positions and rationale than embracing ideas of how they could take advantage of these new opportunities. This lack of foresight in scanning, assessing the market, and responding is a much bigger risk to dominant corporations. As Arie de Gues put it, “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”
At Elemence, we understand that many companies fail when faced with technology changes in their environment. Our team possesses deep experience, knowledge and relationships in the technology space. Combine this with our deep materials, manufacturing and design capabilities, from molecules to machines to the user experience and a unique capability emerges for an Elemence collaboration. We work with our clients and partners to intimately understand their business, the competitive landscape, and assess current and emerging technologies, market trends, and practical adjacencies. We then work together to not only create relevant strategic foresight but to proactively address the potential risks and opportunities through our adaptive innovation program and fast-track development of practical breakthrough innovations.