Working Toward Growth Objectives (Milliken Interview)
Chris Wert speaks about the recent roll-out of Planisware Enterprise (rebranded as “Idea to Market” or I2M) at Milliken & Company and the profound impact the Planisware solution is having on Milliken’s innovation process.

An interview with Chris Wert, Business Intelligence Specialist, Milliken & Company


Hello, my name is Chris Wert and I'm with Milliken and Company and my role there has been rolling out our Planisware system, which we call I2M, or Idea to Market. It's been a fun year or so, rolling the software out.

What does Milliken do?

Milliken is a private company located in Spartanburg South Carolina, been in business for 150 years, since 1865, primarily doing business in the chemical floor covering and performance for specialty textile markets.

Why adopt a PPM Tool?

In 2012, Milliken came to the realization that in order to meet some business objectives, some things had to be done to help our innovation process. We knew that we would get some of that growth through normal marketshare gains, but in order to get that growth from our innovation or organic or internal growth, we had to make improvements to our innovation process.  And so Planisware, along with some other companies were looked at to see what toolset might help us to achieve those objectives, and it was determined that Planisware had the best shot at helping us to get to where we needed to be from an internal, or innovation, or organic growth standpoint.

How does Planisware help Milliken reach their objectives?

We really want Planisware to help us meet our growth objectives and we're going to do that through four different ways:
- We have many different divisions and different businesses and so Planisware gives us a standard toolset: a standard set of processes, a standard set of reports and outputs that can be consistent across the company.
- The second thing is really making sure we're working on the right projects, managing our portfolio. Planisware has given us the tools that will help us do that.
- The third thing is that once we figure out what we're going to work on, working on it effectively - in other words, doing the projects right. And so that is another big component of Planisware and that's helping our Project Managers as we get our system up and running and being utilized. 
- And the last thing is, just like every company, we have limited resources - limited innovation resources - so we want to use Planisware to help us make sure that the resources are working on the right projects and the right areas.

In fact, when I do training sessions, a lot of time, I'll lead it off with, "When you leave this room, remember five words, because that sums up what we are trying to do with Planisware, or what we call I2M, and that's 'Doing the Right Projects Right'" and that's really what's driving this initiative.

Has your experience with Planisware led you to learn more about Innovation Management?

I think at Milliken, the Innovation process and the toolset we use to enable that innovation process do go hand in hand and I think my involvement in the project has - I don't want to say has forced, but maybe it has forced - it's forced me to learn more about project management techniques, learn more about project management methodologies, as well as learning the toolset that enables that or facilitates that.