Lean Innovation: How Team Caterpillar Develops Products That Work

As a Global Product Application Specialist, Joao Zalla operates with a commitment to delivering products that help our customers build a better world.  He does this by coordinating Lean Innovation Projects to gain insights directly from the end-user on product improvements and potential project obstacles. He likens the process to that of a startup company. Joao says, “We immerse ourselves in the customer reality to understand what we can do to help them, evaluate possible solutions and test different business models before products are designed. “

So how does it work? Joao uses a recent project focused on customers in Africa, the Middle East and Asia as an example - He shared that small multi-disciplinary groups were formed with the goals of learning from the customer and creating innovative solutions.  The groups were sent to the customers directly to experience their work in action and any challenges they face. Joao says that executing this project was certainly not easy, as there were logistic and language barriers at play, but what they learned from the customers made it all worth it. “The result of this team effort was a new design to the models of Track Type Tractors aligned with the needs of this specific segment of customers. The new design will drive success for the customers in the long term.”

Due to the global nature of our business there is no shortage of opportunities for members of Team Caterpillar to make an impact. “I believe that when our customers are successful, work safer and with greater resource efficiency, we all help to build a better world,” shared Joao. Are you ready to do the work that matters?