Innovation is vital to staying relevant with customers, adding value, maintaining a sharp competitive edge, attracting & retaining great talent and driving profitability upward despite economic or political headwinds. In short, innovation = survival.
Harper recognized this fact long ago. Nurturing an innovation culture and mindset has helped us to build an evolving, thriving enterprise.
We continue to demonstrate through measurable actions and results our commitment to the development and application of industry-leading technologies, applications and solutions. Our most recent innovations include:
- Fully implementing LEAN in our engineering, construction and service offering.
- Developing and continuously improving our Limbach Modeling & Production System (LMPS).
- Establishing a full service, in-house engineering team - Limbach Engineering and Design Services.
- Mastering off-site construction methodologies including pre-fabrication and modularization.
- Developing cutting edge energy strategies and solutions.
- Implementing energy performance contracting.
- Appointing a dedicated Director of Innovation and Research.
Our full-time Director of Innovation and Research (DIR) is charged with maintaining Harper's thought leadership in the MEP arena. Our DIR focuses on anticipating owner needs over the next 100 years, studying megatrends related to:
- Fossil fuel depletion.
- Renewable energy evolution.
- Environmental degradation.
- Aging infrastructure.
- Quantum growth of technology.
- Big data.
- Power grid instability.
- Global trade & conflict and its impact on the economy.
- Global food production challenges.
- Evolution of the workforce.
- Scarcity of talent entering STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, math) and the impact on the built environment.
In our application of innovative thinking*, we challenge norms by exploring answers to seven questions as they relate to our world of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems:
- Substitute. Can we substitute a product, system, material or solution with an alternative?
- Combine. Which products, systems, materials or solutions can be combined to great more value than the sum of the parts?
- Adapt. What can be done to modify a product, system, material or solution to improve it?
- Magnify. Can scale, frequency or additional investment improve the product, system, material or solution?
- Put to Other Uses. What are other uses or applications of the product, system, material or solution that would deliver more value?
- Eliminate or Optimize. How can we simply reduce or eliminate waste in the creation or use of the product, system, material or solution?
- Rearrange. Can the product, system, material or solution be rearranged or redesigned to improve operation or deliver more value?
*Adapted from the SCAMPER method developed by Bob Eberle and explored in detail by Rich Horwath in Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action.