MMK, one of the world's largest steel producers and a leading Russian metals company, says you can't beat a good idea. The company, which turns out a broad range of steel products with a predominant share of high-value-added products, is claiming that the total economic impact of the introduction of 'innovative proposals' amounted to RUB 269 million during the first half of 2018.

In the first six months of 2018, 2,533 ideas were examined by expert committees and 1,857 ideas, or 73.3% of the submitted ideas (63.8% in H1 2017), were implemented. More than half (52%) of these ideas concerned questions of labour protection and industrial safety while 15% were devoted to savings on material and technological resources, 7% on energy efficiency, and 26% on ideas concerning other areas of MMK's activites. The total economic impact of the introduction of innovative proposals in H1 2018 was RUB 269.1 million.

Rationalisation and innovation are the basis for facilitating the development of personnel and competitive advantages for the company, says MMK. The company plans to continue its efforts to attract employees to the field of technological creativity. In the first half of this year, nearly 800 people submitted ideas, of which around half submitted more than one. During H1 2018, the company paid out RUB 10 million worth of royalties on top of a further RUB 10 million paid as remunerations for facilitating the introduction of rationalisation proposals. The highest involvement of personnel (the percentage of people who submitted ideas divided by the number of employees) in rationalisation activities was seen in the power plants of the works, which led by 13%. In second place were the chief steelmaker departments.

To optimise rationalisation, annual competitions were introduced. ‘The Best Young Innovator and Inventor of MMK’ and ‘The Best Rationalisation Proposal of MMK’ are annual events, and winners are awarded diplomas and monetary prizes. The most promising ideas and rationalisation proposals are highlighted, and the winners of the quarterly competitions for the best proposals designed to solve problematic issues are commended. The promo event ‘New Idea’ was held on the Day of the Innovator and Inventor on 29 June. Winners were presented with souvenirs with images symbolizing ‘action’.

To encourage a high level of creativity beyond the company’s walls, MMK holds an annual competition for the ‘Best Qualified Work’ for students and university graduates. Competition winners, besides winning prizes and royalties, are highly recommended to MMK's personnel department for employment.

Seminars for the exchange of ideas and experiences are regularly held, the goal being to create a cohesive team of innovators united by one common objective: to solve production problems quickly and creatively.

Mobile applications are used to simplify the submission of ideas instruments such as the ‘Evolution’ and ‘Energy Management Platform’. The apps make it easy to submit and track ideas without needing to use a desktop computer. This works on the principle of ‘see an opportunity for improvement and submit an idea to fix it immediately’. The app is geared towards making group work between specialists and external experts, who want to play a part in the rationalisation activities of MMK, more convenient.