Manufacturer of Electrical Connectivity Products
Market Sizing and Opportunity Analysis
A leading global manufacturer of electrical and communications connectivity products suspected that a potential market for outdoor versions of their products might exist. The market would comprise a completely different set of end-use customers than the company currently served. We first brainstormed with a cross-section of company personnel to identify their “hunches” for where opportunities might exist. We then identified several potential segments, including universities, municipal parks, casinos/resorts, outdoor retail complexes, and stadiums. We conducted in-depth telephone interviews with facility managers, electrical specifiers, engineers and other professionals involved with each segment. Once a general understanding of issues and opportunities had been generated, we designed an online survey to be completed by a broad cross section from each industry. Separately, we conducted secondary research to quantify the number of each facility type in the US, by region. Together, the market sizing and online survey generated a detailed snapshot of the high probability products for each segment, as well as well-reasoned estimates for the market size opportunity for each product concept.
Global Commercial Office/Conference Rooms
Market Sizing and Opportunity Analysis
The project started with a seemingly simple question: “How many conference rooms exist around the world?” With no available data to answer this question, a leading global manufacturer of electrical and communications connectivity products turned to R.C. Gregory & Co. to help figure it out. That simple question turned out not to be so simple. Conference rooms ranged from small interview rooms, to board rooms, to auditoriums. Very little data existed, especially on a global scale. Yet, the information was crucial to supporting a major new business investment decision. The company believed their technology could be applied in commercial office conference rooms (a market segment unfamiliar to them), especially as connectivity and interactivity were becoming more essential elements of the workplace. Understanding the scale and dynamics of the opportunity would be essential to securing management support.
After weeks of intensive investigation, a research plan was crafted that would collect and extract data from a variety of sources to feed an innovative model that would generate estimates of the number of small, medium, and large conference rooms, as well as auditoriums and other meeting rooms. Raw data on commercial office square footage was collected from a variety of government and real estate industry reports. R.C. Gregory & Co. then worked with architects and space planners to study hundreds of blueprints for commercial offices. This analysis yielded metrics on the prevalence of conference room types per square foot of total space. These initial prevalence estimates were later validated and refined with a broad-based survey of office architects, space planners and real estate brokers. The end result was a model that detailed the number of rooms by type, by region, as well as the frequency of new construction and renovation activity for such rooms. The research also identified several emerging office design trends, including the expanded use of collaboration space, which would further validate the opportunity and inform the client’s product development team. The project results were presented to the company’s U.S and global executive teams and formed the basis for the launch of a major new growth initiative.
Manufacturer of Construction Access Equipment
Market Potential Evaluation
A European maker of vertical access equipment for commercial construction had struggled to establish a viable business base in the U.S. Use of the company’s technology had become standard practice in Europe, but adoption in the U.S. was slow. Their Board sought to understand whether the U.S. market merited further investment, and if so, what the priorities should be. Our research consisted of in-depth interviews with masonry, window and exterior cladding contractors, equipment dealers, competitive equipment makers and other industry specialists. We also conducted a quantitative study to measure regional differences in the way contractors viewed and used the equipment. We concluded that the technology had achieved near saturation in the only two U.S. regions that were likely to accept the technology (due to construction methods, climate and other reasons). Further, we advised that projected slowdowns in the residential building market (in 2007) would negatively impact retail construction, which represented a core segment for the technology. Our research led the client to emphasize other segments of its business in its growth plans and enabled it to avoid investment just as the residential construction market collapsed.
Water Purification Technology Manufacturer
New Market Opportunity Assessment
A manufacturer of industrial water treatment technology was seeking opportunities to develop applications for its technology in other markets. We worked with the management and technical team to identify and prioritize potential targets. We then assisted the firm’s lean management team in assessing the market opportunity for applying the company’s core technology to the commercial swimming pool market. The comprehensive project included complete a quantitative market profile, detailed interviews with industry players and decision makers, identification of required product and service attributes, pricing strategy implications, channels to market and identification of potential JV partners. The study ultimately identified a technology gap that would have led to sure failure if the company entered the market unprepared.
Mining Equipment Finance
Customer Satisfaction and Perception Study
The finance arm of a manufacturer of capital equipment for the mining and rock-crushing industry engaged R.C. Gregory & Co. to conduct customer satisfaction and perception research among key decision makers to support its strategic planning process. The project commenced with several planning conversations and meetings, during which we helped the client develop the project scope and to articulate and structure the following objectives:
- To gain an understanding from customers about the role vendor finance plays in their decision to purchase mining and construction equipment.
- To gain feedback from customers about how they perceive the overall service package received from the firm, including comparisons with other finance options (banks, other equipment vendors).
- Understand why non-customers chose not to do business with the firm.
- Understand dealer (channel) opinions on the role finance plays in equipment sales.
To answer these questions, we developed and executed a research plan that combined qualitative and quantitative elements, securing input from multiple stakeholder segments (users, non-users, dealers). The research involved extensive in-depth interviews with customer decision makers (primarily CFO and CEO/Owners) and with principals from mining equipment dealers, as well as a broader online survey. The study identified several strengths that were not being exploited as well as barriers that would need to be overcome to ensure future growth.