This post is from an article posted on LinkedIn written by Managing Director of Walker Edison's European Division, Suzanne Connell.
Business leaders across the globe agree that finding opportunities and innovating in business is critical. If you are not innovating, you are so yesterday! But just what does innovation mean?
If you look for the answer online, it can lead to more confusion than clarity, Google alone delivers a mind boggling 6 billion search results! For me in my role as Managing Director of Walker Edison Europe, innovation means working in a way that delivers new ideas to new customers in new markets, and in a way that that adds value to the organization, our partners, and end consumers.
When brainstorming our core values, one of the first ideas out of the gate was” WE Find Opportunity & Innovate.” This has been a longstanding central pillar of success, founded in entrepreneurial spirit from day one, we at Walker Edison have broken away from the standard mold and helped our customers to ”Live Outside the Box”. Our constant drive to create better systems, better products, and better versions of ourselves is why we stand out and why Walker Edison has ranked in the top 50 fastest growing business in Utah for more than more than a decade!
Way back in 2017, when planning our expansion into Europe, we were faced with a decision on which products would see success in this new and exciting region. With a selection over 600 amazing SKUs in our USA catalogue, we consulted with our valued partners and took a data-based approach, evaluating existing top sellers and regional demographics when deciding on which products to bring across the pond.
We saw amazing success, with many of these SKUs becoming top sellers (which still are today!) and some products which weren’t quite hitting the right notes with the European landscape (after all, improvement at anything is a result of many small failures). Seizing upon the opportunity and building on our accomplishments, we took the leap and established an awesome team and local presence in the UK to take on the challenge of expanding and growing our European presence.
One of our top priorities was to provide more and better affordable, stylish furniture to the European landscape. We never settled and pushed the boundary by re-engineering our whole design process. In conjunction with our brilliant development team in the US, we harnessed our deep knowledge of the European market and completed extensive research around styles, dimensions, materials, and price points. We identified a massive opportunity to design products from scratch bespoke for the European market, and reworked some of the existing US designs to better suit European style. We invested in people too and founded a terrifically talented European product development team, including three expert designers in 2019 to exponentially ramp up our European product offering. Since then, our EU catalogue has grown by more than 500% in just two years with a super exciting pipeline of new designs yet to come!
Our success comes from an attitude of innovation, never settling, and giving back to the community. The future is bright and at Walker Edison we will continue to push our limits, find opportunity, and innovate as we grow exponentially. It is at the core of who we are, and I am excited to be a part of the team making it happen.