The identification and implementation of an effective growth plan is one of the most important actions a company can take to ensure its future viability. Effective growth strategies typically involve the implementation of new initiatives that are different than traditional approaches and which offer new benefits to customers. Unmet customer needs must be identified and better understood with the idea of developing integrated solutions that leverage the company's core competencies.
Working with BDA provides you with the benefits of market knowledge, industry experience, growth strategy expertise, and independence to facilitate the growth development process and identify the best growth opportunities for your company. We work closely with your management team to assess market dynamics, unmet customer needs, the competitive environment, organizational capabilities, or whatever information that is needed. The extent of our involvement depends on your particular objectives and management needs.
Effective market research is essential to properly identifying and assessing growth opportunities. To that end, we have the expertise to perform a wide range of market research services. Whether using our internal resources or the specialized capabilities of our affiliated partners, we are capable of doing targeted, broad-based, directional, or quantitative research studies using all available mediums such as the internet, email, phone, fax, and direct mail. Actual research methodologies utilized depend on the specific requirements and project objectives. Because of our industry focus, we can design and implement research programs that are relevant and properly focused. Some examples of the types of research we have done include:
- Customer Satisfaction Research
- Buyer Analysis
- Brand/Image Studies
- Share and Usage Studies
- Market Segmentation Research
We are able to help clients better assess opportunities based on our thorough understanding of industry segmentation and the associated market dynamics across the entire supply chain. Suppliers, investors, producers, and converters look to us to provide an independent perspective and help assess market opportunities. Our analyses are based on sound research methods and analytical techniques that uncover the key information required. Specific tools used on a given project can include market interviews, price and demand forecasts, statistical analyses, bench research, and the use of in-house data sources. Typical market studies include:
- Opportunity Screenings
- Market Assessments
- Segmentation Analyses
- Competitive Analyses
- Benchmarking Studies
- Price and Demand Forecasts
Business success in any new growth initiative requires the right mix of capabilities, a properly focused organization, and flawless execution. Significant deficiencies relative to competition and market requirements in any one of these areas will ultimately lead to failure. Before embarking on a new growth initiative, management must have an objective view of the organization's relative strengths and weaknesses. BDA has the capabilities to evaluate your business practices and processes relative to the rest of the market, provide an objective assessment of your relative capabilities, and identify your highest margin improvement opportunities. If necessary, BDA can assemble a team of proven functional experts and evaluate the strength of your business relative to competition or on an absolute basis. Typical projects include:
- Business Plan Development
- Capability Assessments
- Benchmarking Studies
- Margin Improvement Initiatives
- Opportunity Identification
In some cases, a well conceived merger, acquisition, or strategic alliance may offer a company the best overall opportunity for growth. In other cases, the most critical need is to withdraw from non-strategic markets or dispose of non-performing assets. Regardless of the indicated action, BDA can provide the outside support needed to identify and assess the different strategic options, quantify the associated risks and opportunities, assess the relative growth potential, and provide an independent recommendation. BDA is not part of an engineering or information services company and therefore can provide you with unbiased opinions and recommendations. This is important when a critical investment decision needs to be made or an acquisition is being considered. The significance of these transactions almost always warrants an independent assessment of a particular issue to ensure that the best possible decision is made and all the risks and opportunities are identified. These services are typically provided to outside investors or industry participants considering an acquisition. Depending on the specific need, a wide range of expertise can be provided that includes market analyses, technical reviews, risk assessments, and valuation estimates. Following is a list of the primary services provided in the past:
- JV Formation / Analysis
- Acquisition Support
- Due Diligence Studies
- Fatal Flaw Analyses
- Business / Asset Valuations
- Strategic Alliance Targets
- Capital investment Assessments
- Expert Witness Testimony
In low growth markets, the most successful suppliers are those that a) understand market / customer requirements, b) are fully capable of meeting current / emerging needs, and c) offer competitive advantages in those areas most important to target customers. From the customer's perspective, buyers must develop strong relationships with the most capable suppliers and establish systems that ensure that the overall supply chain minimizes cost while maximizing quality and performance. BDA's broad / in-depth industry knowledge and understanding of paper / packaging supply / value chains within each segment means that we can help both buyers and sellers create the most efficient and effective supply chain systems. Supplier Services. Specific services that help suppliers of packaging materials maximize value within the overall supply chain include:
- Buyer Needs Identification. Based on targeted customer and market research, we can help you identify emerging and unmet customer / buyer needs that may not be apparent based on your existing customer contacts.
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys. These ongoing / periodic surveys will help you assess your relative performance in meeting customer needs and identify areas of opportunity.
- Competitive Assessments. Success in a given market or customer segment is often dependent on your competitive position relative to major competitors on key dimensions that are important to your target customers. By knowing how you rate relative to competition, you can identify the most critical areas for improvement and how to most effectively leverage your strengths.
- End User Market Assessments. Targeted research of your customer's markets can help you identify key business trends and changing market requirements. With this information, you can better anticipate changing requirements and develop better products and services.
- Customer Growth Opportunities. By evaluating your customer's business, internal processes, and overall product supply chain, improved / new products and services can be developed that would better meet customer needs and provide a competitive advantage.
- Lost Business Analysis. These targeted assessments will help you identify reasons for lost business and identify corrective actions.
- Total supply chain costs. A dynamic cost model can be developed that identifies the major cost components and the factors that drive changes in these cost elements. This helps clients better understand the impact on total packaging costs of a wide range of factors including product design changes, increased service requirements, cost reduction opportunities, and price changes of individual cost components such as the base paper / paperboard, raw materials, energy, labor, exchange rates, etc.
- Supplier assessments. This service involves the identification and assessment of potential suppliers relative to specific criteria to ensure that the best overall supplier is selected for a given material. With this information, suppliers are able to better align themselves with suppliers that are most likely to meet short and long-term sourcing requirements.
- Supply market dynamics and forecasts. This involves the identification and analysis of key market / supply dynamics and trends. With this information, better decisions can be made relative to sourcing alternatives, product and service alternatives, contract requirements, and material options.
- Price benchmarking. This service includes the tracking of current, historic, and forecasted price analyses by major grade or selected packaging material to determine market price levels and price movements over time. This information helps clients understand price drivers and the relationship of their actual prices to market averages and historic levels.
- Packaging material assessments and identification of alternatives. This involves an independent assessment of package material performance throughout the supply chain including performance in the manufacturing operation, during transit, and at the customer / retail location. With this information, clients can identify the optimal package designs and material contents that minimize costs while maximizing product and service performance.
- Cost reduction opportunities. Based on our analyses of your overall packaging procurement process, we can identify the best opportunities for cost reductions within the overall supply chain.
The 12 Things You Should Know to Minimize Packaging Material Supply Chain Costs
Management Training / In-House Seminars
To assist client companies in the transformation to an organization focused on growth and innovation, management must create a new corporate culture, identify and develop new capabilities, and establish new business priorities. Working closely with the senior management team, BDA can help facilitate this process by a) providing an outside perspective and resource to facilitate the change process, b) helping to identify and establish new methods and priorities that support innovation and growth practices and, c) identifying and developing specific growth opportunities.
Typical services offered to facilitate this change process include:
- Personalized in-house seminars focused on encouraging / developing growth and innovation within the organization
- Presentations at company meetings focused on specific aspects of growth and innovation
- In-house workshops and work sessions designed to identify / develop growth opportunities A tailor-made in-house program can be provided based on your specific needs. Please call for details.
To grow effectively in mature markets, companies need to have access to market information and an enlightened management team representing diverse points of view. However, in many downsized organizations (which tend to have limited management depth and built-in biases and opinions), independent market oriented perspectives may be lacking. This often causes companies to lose touch with the latest or emerging market trends, changing customer needs, and significant competitive developments. Even when awareness of these changes exists, internal biases or information gaps can easily kill promising growth ideas before they have a chance to develop.
In response to this significant barrier to innovative growth opportunities, BDA can provide clients with targeted or ongoing market intelligence or low level information needs. In return for a low fixed fee, companies can develop targeted information on an hourly or daily basis. This approach can be much more cost effective than hiring full-time employees or outside consultants on a project basis by providing highly responsive, timely information and support with a minimum of administrative and learning curve expense.
Examples of potential outsourced services include:
- Marketing plan development
- Market research surveys
- Customer monitoring
- Market intelligence gathering
- Strategic planning and analyses
- Competitive tracking
- Market segment identification and analyses
If interested in arranging this type of service level, contact Frank Perkowski at BDA to develop a specialized program of support that best meets your needs.