A supermarket and a pharmaceutical company get together and a large health supermarket is 'born': there, in addition to food and other products, people can have access to medicines, professionals from different areas, medical advice… 

This is not science fiction: it is one of the ideas put on the table at a meeting between the Mexican business groups of Bayer and Walmart during the meetings of Bayer's Collaboratory initiative, promoted by Opinno Mexico. 

Initially, Bayer Mexico was embarking on master conferences with leaders from different companies, but they turned to Opinno to make the initiative evolve and have more impact. 

“When the time came, we took it upon ourselves to take it to the next level. For us, the natural evolution would be not to just stay at the conference, but to move on to taking action,” explains Milagros Pérez, Project Leader at Opinno Mexico. In other words, to bring together decision-makers or managers from Bayer Mexico and other large, well-known companies in order to seek “new business models, new alliances and opportunities that mutually benefit them”through various hybrid meetings aligned with the strategy of their innovation area. To sum up, to make “open innovation, which is the heart and essence of Opinno”, he adds. 

So, the consulting firm set out to organize five Bayer meetings with globally recognized companies: the three that have already taken place this year, with AWS, Rappi and Walmart, and two more that will occur in 2023, with Nestlé and Unilever. 

To do this, they had to overcome various challenges that came their way, such as establishing points of connection between businesses that seemed to have little to do with each other and following up on the ideas put forward to ensure that they were implemented. For the latter, the ideas were passed through a matrix that filtered those with the greatest impact and viability, so that they would not remain in the air, but rather in proposals that would be feasible in the medium term in most cases. 

All of this is with the aim in mind of the participating companies “to better understand the customer and offer them a better service, to make their life easier,” recalls the Project Leader about the meetings: “It speaks highly of the companies that have accompanied us and of Bayer,” she says. 

Among the dozens of opportunities identified in the hybrid meetings (face-to-face at Bayer offices and via streaming across Latin America) with the top three companies, Perez highlights the following examples: 

  1. The meeting with AWS (Amazon Web Services) helped Bayer focus on data analytics and better understand the importance of properly collecting and analyzing data to get the most out of it. 
  2. Getting to know customers better was the focus of the meeting with Rappi (a delivery company with a large presence in Latin America), where a “sampling” initiative and loyalty programs with promotions were launched.
  3. Digitalization and product traceability emerged as key concepts in the meeting with the Walmart supermarket chain, in which there was also talk of a wellness center, or a kind of health supermarket, among other proposals. 

“I believe that the impact on Bayer has even been cultural,” reflects Milagros Pérez on the influence of Collaboratory on the multinational company, since the program has contributed to establishing a greater connection between its different lines of business, broadening its strategic outlook and boosting its innovation. 
 
The proof of its success: Bayer Mexico will present it at the end of the year as one of the outstanding projects of the innovation department, and Opinno has been asked to continue it. 
 
“Whatever the project you have, it's good to think about its evolution” and not just do it for the sake of doing it or inspire for the sake of inspiring, analyzes Pérez. That's where Opinno comes in, to bring innovation and “more value to the company”, in any case and context: it's about taking each initiative “to the next level”, until it “has an increasing impact on your business and your customers' experience“, he concludes. 
 
Thanks to this project, 3 meetings were held, which resulted in 15 meetings between Bayer C-Level executives with C-Level executives from other companies, and an average of 200 Bayer members from all over Mexico attended the talks via streaming.