Case Studies: Product Improvements
Other Case Studies: Revenue
Enhancement | New Market Opportunities | Organizational
These case studies are examples of EastSight Consulting CEO Parmelee
Improving Products in Evolving Markets:
A provider of Internet ecommerce applications was in the midst of
planning for the next version of its flagship offering, but found that
its lack of information clouded the planning process. As is typical
of evolving markets, users varied considerably in the potential solutions
being considered. Other firms offering solutions in this space made
claims for product features that seemed questionable. Faced with this
quandary, the provider sought an unbiased view of top user problems,
needs, and desired characteristics in a product. Plus the provider
sought a clear understanding of what features and functions were included
in existing products in the market and what would be included in the
next version. With this knowledge, the company could put plans for
its next version into effect, confident of user acceptance and leverage
vs. existing products.
Results: The company’s next
version was highly rated by industry experts and increased the
company’s win rate for contracts.
Surprising Insights from PC Users:
A manufacturer of PCs communicated with and surveyed its users regularly
to determine satisfaction. However, the firm decided to gain additional
insight by commissioning a blind study comparing its products with
those offered by its fastest growing peer. Users from a cross-section
of industry, geography, title, and company size were interviewed on
their opinions of their PC features and functions, PC supplier, channel
preference, and buying patterns. The majority of the sources were contacted
via telephone; however, a subset of the interviews were conducted in-person
which yielded surprising additional information. With the intelligence,
the firm could determine which features and buying mode were most significant.
Results: The firm modified
its product plans, but also revised its advertising to emphasize
certain features more prominently.
Conforming to Standards in the Infrastructure Market:
A major manufacturer of telephony infrastructure equipment needed
to learn how the rest of the industry planned to incorporate new industry
standards into new releases of their products. Were the new standards
being ignored? Which release would incorporate the standards? Discussions
with appropriate product managers and marketers at the other organizations
revealed that adherence to the standards was already being included
in future versions which were likely to be released within a year to
Result: Faced with falling
behind the rest of the industry, the manufacturer accelerated its
development plans in order to meet the same time frame.
Evaluation of Emerging Optical Networking Organizations:
A developer of networking components needed to assess the attractiveness
of start-up optical networking organizations as potential acquisitions,
and if not acquired, what was the potential threat posed by these companies.
The flood of venture capital money into the optical networking field
allowed start-ups to ramp products up rapidly which could take market
share from the industry leaders. A review of secondary literature and
interviews with knowledgeable third parties generated a list of emerging
participants. A spreadsheet summarized important information, including
funding, management experience, and underlying technology, and permitted
the manufacturer to prioritize further research.
company decided which acquisition candidates to investigate in
more depth in this rapidly-changing marketplace.
Benchmarking Company Services and Functions Against Best-in-Class:
A fast-growing supplier of technical support and training for open
source software sought to improve both its service offerings and its
organizational effectiveness. To do so, the firm needed information
that could only be obtained by benchmarking its services and functional
areas against its chief peer and the best-in-class organization for
each service and functional area. After extensive discussions with
each of the functional areas on issues, the best-in-class companies
were selected. An industry trade show coincided with the commencement
of the project so the peers and several best-in-class organizations
were interviewed very quickly. Additional information was obtained
with primary research. A long table comparing the client, chief peer,
and best-in-class for each area/service allowed a detailed visual analysis.
client re-vamped its services to better match the marketplace and
implemented organizational changes based on the effective practices
of the best-in-class firms. The client saved considerably more
than the cost of the project by eliminating services that the study
found to lack customer interest.