BLOG ARCHIVE FOR: 2013

Dec.30
2013

Open Innovation

For some Amway scientists, their “lab” might be a farm in Asia, the halls of academia, fjords in Norway, a trade show in France or a TED talk in New York.

Confused?

It’s all about Open Innovation, a non-traditional approach to new product development that has been used at Amway since 2005. It’s built around the idea that new technologies can come from beyond the four walls of a laboratory.

Our Open Innovations team canvasses the planet for what team leader David Groh calls “the game-changers” – things like plants, proteins and prototypes with the potential to transform existing Amway products … or trigger completely new ones.

“We find some pretty amazing technologies out there,” Groh says. “But the bottom line is whatever we bring home and pitch as ‘product potential’ must meet the needs of our customers.”

They have had several successes, too. You can read more about their exciting work at the Amway Global Newsroom.

Dec.27
2013

Juxtaposing Japan

When placing Japan’s results side by side with those of the 23 other countries studied in the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), some of the most glaring cultural differences about entrepreneurship become evident.

Others have reported on Japan’s hesitancy to embrace entrepeneurs, who have been viewed as self-promoting in a culture that values group harmony over individual expression. In addition, in Japanese culture, business failure quickly evolves into personal and societal shame, which is in deep contrast to a country like the United States, where failure is often seen as a necessary precursor to success.

The AGER data does not contrast these conventional beliefs, but gives insight into what could make Japan’s would-be entrepreneurs more risk-tolerant.  We learned that:

  • Only 17% of Japanese respondents ranked “independence from an employer” as an important consideration for starting their own business. For the rest of the world, that number was 43% and consistently one of the highest ranking reasons.
  • In Japan, fear of failing with one’s own enterprise was the most prevalent in the world. More than nine out of ten respondents (94%) saw fear to failure as an obstacle to starting a business. This is 24% more than the international average.
  • When participants in Japan were asked what would encourage them to start a business, half said that finding “mentoring and support through business networks” would. This number is twice as high as the international average (24%).

Thankfully, mentoring and support is becoming more prevalant in this nation where career success has traditionally been defined too narrowly to include entrepreneurship. And on the horizon: more entrepreneurial courses offered by top Japanese universities.

We look forward to following Japan’s emerging entrepreneurial culture in the coming years – and doing all that we can to stimulate it.

Dec.24
2013

Merry Christmas!

Our World Headquarters is closed today and tomorrow, Dec. 24-25, in celebration of the Christmas holiday. For those who celebrate, may it be filled with joy!

Dec.23
2013

Christmas elves

Remember on Nov. 20 when we told you about the 1,400 bikes being assembled at our Spaulding Avenue facility near our World Headquarters for Amway Universal Children’s Day?

Those were being built for Elves & More of West Michigan, a nonprofit that delivers bikes to children in need each Christmas season. The elves were busy over the weekend.

They delivered those 1,400 bikes, plus 1,100 more to children in the neighborhood of Burton Elementary and Middle schools in Grand Rapids. See great coverage of the bike give-away here from WOOD TV. It includes a lot of smiling faces.

More Amway volunteers were on hand to help with the give-away. The gesture had an extra special meaning for them because Amway has long had a partnership with Burton schools, volunteering at Christmas and other times of the year.

Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the give-away.

Dec.20
2013

Reporting on Russia

In just three months, Moscow will play host to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, an event with goals that are very much aligned to that of our recently released Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), including:

• To exchange ideas favorable to entrepreneurship.

• To show entrepreneurs how collaborative communities can help them launch and scale.

• To increase global recognition of entrepreneurs for the important role they play in society.

In fact, Russia was one of 24 countries we studied, and our findings could be useful in shaping the nation’s policy, education and image-building for entrepreneurship. For example, we learned that positive attitudes toward self-employment in Russia are declining, down from 73% positive in 2012 to 65% in 2013. And that the Ural and Northwest regions were nearly 20 points lower in positivity than in Siberia and the South.

Alarmingly few females in Russia said they could imagine starting their own business (26%), which is surprising given the independence and mobility of Russian women.

This warrants discussion during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and beyond about how to strengthen and nurture women’s entrepreneurial spirit and meet the particular needs of would-be female entrepreneurs.

We’re committed to these conversations, to the actions that can come as a result, and most of all, to our amazing Amway Russia Business Owners – people such as Mark and Marina Kaplun and Vladimir and Elena Sidorov. They stay the course, encourage others to define themselves through entrepreneurship and, along with other direct sellers in Russia, help build better economies and communities.

Dec.18
2013

Progress at Spaulding

The new $81 million Amway manufacturing facility on Spaulding Avenue in Ada, Michigan, USA, is taking shape just down the street from our World Headquarters.

Walls, flooring, plumbing and ventilation are mostly in place. As those aspects of the job are being completed, leaders are now shifting their attention to the equipment that will actually make the soft gel capsules and tablets for our Nutrilite products around the world.

This week, several members of the engineering team – along with staff from manufacturing and maintenance – are meeting with soft gel equipment manufacturers to complete something called a Factory Acceptance Test.

The manufacturers have created a full production line at their site, setting up the equipment in the same way that it will be installed at the Spaulding Avenue facility. They will use the same or similar raw materials that we will use to simulate a full production run. This extensive review is part of making sure that everything is right, and, if not, fixing any issues before the equipment arrives in Ada.

All other equipment is undergoing similar testing as well, and the efforts don’t end there. Once the equipment arrives, more  tests and trials will be run over several months to ensure the highest standard of quality and validation.

Getting it right is what Amway is all about. The Factory Acceptance Test is one more step in helping us get there. Check out more photos of the progress at our Amway Facebook page.

Dec.16
2013

Crescendo takes the cake

We always believed we were award winning, but now, it’s a fact. ARTISTRY YOUTH XTEND won the Gold Award for its sleek packaging in the New Jersey Packaging Executives Club Health and Beauty category.

Crescendo is defined, especially in music, as a gradual and continuous increase in volume. This name was adopted as the title for the new ARTISTRY package design to signify the grace and height of the upward-slanted caps.

YOUTH XTEND is the first product line to launch in signature Crescendo packaging,” said Maud Pansing, vice president global beauty. “It underscores the ARTISTRY brand’s ‘Forward Beauty’ positioning and commitment to the most advanced research and technology yielding clinically tested results.”

Congratulations to our YOUTH XTEND team!

Dec.13
2013

A fair go

The concept of ”a fair go” is uniquely Australian. There, the meaning is deeper than just an opportunity or a chance. It’s part of the country’s value system.

Maybe that’s behind the results found when we studied Australia as part of the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.

Australia ranked third — behind only Finland and Denmark — with the most positive attitude toward self-employment. In fact, positivity down under is 14% more than the international average. Half of Australians can imaging starting their own business.

Australians are also fearless. While 70% of global respondents cited fear of failure as an obstacle to their own entrepreneurship, only 53% of Australians felt the same.

It makes sense given the entrepreneurial endeavors under Australia’s belt — like the world’s first notepads and pacemakers, penicillin, black box flight recorders and anti-counterfeit technology. Australia’s history of bringing ideas to life is impressive — as is its future with 83% of Millennials stating they would like to be self-employed.

Or, as one Aussie publication worded its headline about the study: “Go get ‘em attitude reigns supreme.”

Dec.11
2013

Quality assured

Pull any cleaning product off your shelf at home. Do you know how much that product is quality-tested before it gets to you?

We can tell you, if it’s one of our Amway home care brands.

Amway Quality Assurance lab analysts perform hundreds of tests a day on our surface, dish and laundry care products made in our U.S.-based manufacturing plants to ensure they meet our exacting quality standards.

That amounts to 124,000 tests every year on raw ingredients, finished products and even packaging — just for home products made in Ada, Michigan. Our home care products made in Belgium, China, India and Vietnam are tested with the same rigor. All to ensure our products always look, smell and perform exactly as promised by the scientists who created the formulas — and that they are safe for your family.

We don’t have to be that exacting. No regulatory agency in the world requires that much testing.

We do it for one reason: to ensure the more than 3 million people worldwide who proudly use and sell Amway products are getting the quality they deserve — in every package.

Dec.09
2013

Shared responsibility

According to Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel, business leaders, policy makers, academics and experts share an important responsibility: to eliminate unnecessary regulations, taxes and other barriers in order to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.

Van Andel wrote this opinion piece for CNBC and provided a similar view to the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He believes that in order for individual entrepreneurs to flourish and prosper, more business training and entrepreneurship education resources should be available.

His comments were prompted by the findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report released this past November. The report, developed in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Center at University of Munich and GfK Global Research, helped open a global dialogue on fostering the entrepreneurial mindset, something that Van Andel certainly knows a thing or two about.

Photo: Van Andel presents Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report findings at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce