Energy Efficiency Services Market Scan and Acquisition Target Indexing

shutterstock_296369054.jpg

Problem:

A leading HVAC systems manufacturer was interested in building its presence in the Energy Efficiency Services (EES) market to generate services revenues and additional product pull-through.  The client believed the EES market offered a strong growth opportunity, and was prepared to pursue one or more acquisitions to enter the market, but leadership needed to validate the size of the U.S. market opportunity. The Client wanted a better understanding of the market landscape in order to determine what type of acquisition target it should pursue. To this end, the client asked Beacon to rapidly validate the EES North America Market size, characterize the competitive landscape, and identify a force-ranked list of potential acquisition targets.

 

Approach:

At project kickoff, Beacon worked closely with the client to clearly define the strategic footprint the client was seeking to acquire, and developed a set of key criteria by which potential acquisition targets could be evaluated. First, Beacon conducted a two-week rapid market scan and opportunity validation. Insights collected during Phase I helped refine the client's understanding of the requirements for success in the market, which allowed Beacon and client to collaboratively refine and weight each variable in the criteria set. In Phase II, Beacon shifted research focus to identifying and profiling companies that fit the client's target footprint. Beacon identified and profiled ~40 potential acquisition targets that met client criteria at high level, scored these companies in an Excel-based indexing tool, then conducted a deeper dive into the top scoring companies.  The final phase of work focused on developing of a set of recommendations for the client based on Beacon's assessment of the potential options. Over these seven weeks, Beacon interviewed over 150 market participants, including financial and industry analysts, regulators, customers, OEMs, and service providers. We engaged with the client's core team on a weekly basis to brief our progress.

 

Results:

Beacon's assessment identified a small top tier of Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) and highlighted a clear favorite. Later that year, the client acted on the study's recommendation and completed a significant acquisition of an Energy Services Company. The acquisition positioned the client to grow its services footprint rapidly in key regions and exceed its North American growth objectives.

Industrial Manufacturing Sales Lead Generation

 

Problem:

A leading industrial automation and equipment manufacturer with a significant footprint in the US automotive market was seeking to diversify its customer base across a wider range of industries and geographies. Beacon's client identified Mexico as a market with significant near-term growth potential, but its limited sales resources were struggling to identify new potential customers. To support more rapid growth in Mexico the client asked Beacon to use its primary research capabilities to identify immediate and near-term sales leads and analyze industry trends in 4 regions of interest. As an output, Beacon's client asked for profiles of 50 businesses, outside of current customers, with an expressed interest in the firm's product.

 

Approach:

Beacon worked with the client to identify the industries of greatest interest based on past or potential demand for client products and solutions.  Beacon leveraged in-house bilingual primary research assets to identify attractive growth industries in each of the 4 regions.  Within the course of 5 weeks, Beacon reached out to over 220 facilities to identify potential customers for the client's products, and understand their requirements and timeline for investment. Beacon focused on capturing the following information from its conversations:

  • Customer's application of the client's equipment
  • Required number of machines based on typical factory throughput
  • Capital equipment budget
  • Budget autonomy/whether the budget was managed locally or abroad
  • The customer's need for maintenance, repair, and consulting services

Beacon engaged with the client's core team on a weekly basis to brief its progress and deliver identified leads in real time.  Weekly updates also provided the client an opportunity to focus or redirect Beacon activities based on information uncovered.

 

Results:

Over the course of 5 weeks Beacon identified 68 sales leads and prioritized leads based on the urgency of requirement and size of opportunity.  Beacon presented the client with a profile of each lead, including the name, phone, and email of the appropriate point of contact within the organization. In addition, Beacon provided the client with a database of all 220 customers contacted in order to reduce redundancy when pursing future leads.  Final project deliverables included a detailed analysis of research results, which force-ranked industries and regions based on the total volume of leads identified and the effort that was required to generate each lead.  Beacon used this analysis to craft recommended next steps for developing a long-term growth strategy in Mexico.  The Beacon team continued to engage with both the client and potential customers beyond project completion to further support near-term sales tactics.

Global Adjacent Market Analysis: Diagnostics

shutterstock_339441968 (1).jpg

Problem:

A major medical diagnostics vendor was interested in moving its focus beyond the testing and screening market and into a diversified set of offerings along the patient care continuum.

The Beacon Group (Beacon) was tasked with defining potential adjacent markets (for both product and service offerings), sizing the global market opportunity, evaluating growth potential, understanding the customer requirements within each market segment, assessing competitor positioning, and providing entry strategies.

 

Approach:

To define the market and evaluate opportunities, Beacon used its primary research capability as a starting point. Beacon spoke with over 350 competitors, customers, analysts, and industry association sources and customer interviews to serve as a starting point for its assessment. Beacon used this data in concert with weekly client briefings to clearly identify attractive segments, collect client buy-in, and build towards a strategy. Beacon evaluated opportunities both upstream and downstream in the care continuum looking at both product-based offerings and service models to drive both revenue and loyalty across the different market segments studied.

 

Results:

Beacon provided its client with an analysis of current and future market segments across the care-continuum, opportunities to expand beyond its current testing and screening market, areas of particular customer interest and unmet need, as well as several potential paths to market entry.

Beacon's strategy balanced the client need for near-term revenue to balance long-term payout.  As a result, Beacon offered a strategy organized by timeline with key milestones to hit prior to triggering the next phase of market entry.  Included in the analysis were also multiple business development options for consideration as Beacon's client progressed with its strategy.

Special Mission Aircraft Global Market Scan and Opportunity Assessment

Problem:

A division of a major prime contractor was struggling to grow its topline and looking to boost its five-year plan by pursuing adjacent areas in the Special Mission Aircraft market.

Beacon was asked to help determine the total market size, segment the market in order to prioritize opportunities, analyze and benchmark the competitive landscape, and then provide strategic recommendations to improve performance and growth.  Specific emphasis was placed on international opportunities due to DOD budget concerns.

 

Approach:

The Beacon Group, leveraging its in-house primary research capability, contacted over 250 market participants from multiple geographies including Asia, Africa, and South America to identify opportunities and trends in the market.

Over the course of the engagement, Beacon determined the 10-year global market size and segmented the market by both mission area and geography.  Global opportunities were identified by both timing and size.  Additionally, using proprietary tools, Beacon force-ranked the global competitive landscape and highlighted potential gaps for our client to exploit, as well as areas of weakness that would need to be addressed in order to be successful.

 

Results:

Beacon provided our client with a strong understanding of a broad and nuanced market enabling creation of a more comprehensive and actionable business case.  The competitive analysis provided a clear picture of organizational areas that needed to be addressed in order to boost competitiveness, as well as opportunities to improve its brand in the market.  Specific recommendations included targets for potential partnerships to address new business models while also providing capabilities that weren't currently part of the client's organization.  Additionally, Beacon's recommendations enabled the client to put limited resources to work on targeted opportunities to help improve its topline growth.

Commercial Operations and Sales Strategy: Hospitals and ASCs

shutterstock_368021759.jpg

Problem:

A leading healthcare company was seeing changes in its customer base and more of a need to drive utilization of its products in both the hospital and Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) markets.  The Beacon Group(Beacon) was asked to develop a commercial operations strategy andsupporting tactics to ensure proper customer engagement. Beacon's Client was particularly interested in the specific tactics it could usewith its sales team to support execution across customer settings.  Theassessment was focused on ways to use all customer interactions – sales,  service, education, distributors – as a tool to improve loyalty anddifferentiate from key competitors.

Approach:

In ten weeks, Beacon evaluated customer requirements for commercial engagement, how our client and other market participants were comparing to expectations, and identified both gaps and opportunities.  Beacon used over 300 direct conversations with customers and other market stakeholders as the basis for its analysis.  We used the conversations to test various sales and marketing programs and engagement models as a way to ensure their viability long-term.

Each week, Beacon captured client feedback on progress and its findings.  Questions from each update were incorporated into the next week's research and analysis.  This process ensured regular intereaction and a set of actionable recommendations upon completion.

Results:

Beacon's client has implemented its proposed strategy to date with great success.  It has seen both sales and profit grow over the past 12 months and is continuing to implement different pieces of the overall framework.  Beacon identified several ways to add value beyond the product, streamline interactions with the customer, identify and take advantage of competitor weaknesses, and anticipate changes in the overall market environment.

Renewable Energy Adjacent Market Analysis & Opportunity Assessment

shutterstock_155706680.jpg

Problem:

A long-time Beacon client identified renewable energy as an attractive adjacency for the company. The client team identified four market segments it believed could provide the best near-term market entry points: Energy Management (Micro-grids/Smart-grids), Solar, Wind,  and Biomass.  Our client asked Beacon to assess the potential synergies between its capabilities and customer need, and investment in each segment and to force-rank addressable opportunities in order of attractiveness. Beacon's objective was to help the client focus scarce business resources on the most attractive entry points to shape and win new customer markets.  Additionally, Beacon identified and profiled specific near-term opportunities for the client to pursue in each market segment.

 

Approach:

Beacon's opportunity assessment included a four-week scan to identify potential federal customers within each segment, followed by a deep-dive into top-tier customers to assess addressable opportunities.

Phase I and II - The client briefed Beacon on the specific functional capabilities it believed it could leverage in micro-grid, biomass, wind, and solar industries.  The client was able to set parameters on the types of opportunities it wanted to pursue in terms of size, scope, and timing, and discuss hypotheses regarding its go-to-market strategy.  Phase I continued with an exhaustive review of all publicly available, open-source information with the collision of opinion from the analyst community, including investment analysts, industry-watchers, journalists, and academics.  Secondary research included a thorough analysis of Stimulus Package funding streams to identify which federal agencies were receiving allocated ARRA dollars.  Beacon then conducted a deeper dive into the most attractive potential federal agency customers to identify and profiled specific client-addressable opportunities.  Over an eight-week engagement Beacon interviewed >170 market participants, including analysts, industry organizations, regulators, customers, and competitors to assess and force-rank potential client opportunities.  All research was conducted in "blind" fashion in order to collect unbiased market feedback and opinion.  Beacon engaged with the client's core team on a weekly basis to brief its progress and provide the client an opportunity to focus or redirect Beacon activities based on information uncovered.

Phase III - Beacon assessed client capabilities and objectives against market characteristics to force- rank the attractiveness and viability of each potential adjacent market opportunity and generated recommended market entry strategies and tactics for the client.

 

Results:

Beacon identified two of the potential market segments as most attractive based on opportunity size, growth potential, competitive landscape, and strong synergies between customer needs and the client's core capabilities.  Additionally, Beacon's assessment concluded that the client would likely need to explore partnership or acquisition to build a reputation as an energy solutions provider or systems integrator.  These findings led to a second project in which Beacon identified and force-ranked potential client partners.

Telecom Software Product Launch Support

shutterstock_579332875.jpg

Problem:

A US-based global technology company was interested in launching a software product targeted at line of business (LOB) customers in Europe.  They needed to understand customer expectations and how those tracked with their current offerings. The client asked Beacon to study the European enterprise customers, identifying segments, buying processes,  and requirements. Additionally, Beacon was asked to assess and analyze the competitive environment in the space, how the established competitors were positioned, and what it would take for our client to displace them. As an output,  Beacon's client wanted a go-to-market strategy for a European product launch.

Approach:

Beacon worked with the client leadership team to evaluate and identify top customers and competitors to study, as well as understand the client's current knowledge and activities. In a four- week engagement, Beacon interviewed >55 market sources to drive the customer and competitive findings. Market sources included financial analysts, competitor stakeholders, and junior and senior members of customer organizations. Beacon engaged with the client's core team on a weekly basis to brief its progress and provide the client an opportunity to focus or redirect Beacon activities based on information uncovered.

Results:

The conversations with customer stakeholders yielded a clear view of their wants and needs, and allowed Beacon to help our client improve its value proposition. Beacon outlined a strategy to penetrate the market, and gain share in order to leverage this value proposition. The strategy included tactics to accelerate both customer cost savings and revenue drivers, as well as pointed strategies to create market leadership. Additionally, Beacon was able to identify a number of near-term opportunities and presented customer specific strategies to best position the client for success, including timeline detail and specific needs within customers. Beacon also recommended a path forward to transition near-term success into downstream opportunities.

Strategy Development: Global Research and Development

shutterstock_524351890.jpg

Problem:

A major US Medical Device vendor was in the process of developing across-business, global R&D strategy.  Client leadership believed a coordinated strategy was a requirement for success, but historically fragmented decision-making posed a challenge.

To support an organized and strategic approach to R&D globalization, the client asked The Beacon Group (Beacon) to benchmark competitor organizations, identify best practices, evaluate internal client activities, and align the proposed strategy with internal activities.  As an output, Beacon's client wanted a clear framework for its R&D strategy and data to support its decisions.

Approach:

Beacon worked collaboratively with its client to select 8 companies for study – both inside and outside the Healthcare industry.  In a 10-week, 3-phase engagement Beacon interviewed over 150 market participants - financial, industry, and trade analysts, in-country KOLs and regulators, junior and senior members of benchmark R&D organizations - and approximately 30 client executives across businesses and roles.  Beacon engaged with the client's core team on a bi-weekly basis to brief its progress and provide the client an opportunity to focus or redirect Beacon activities based on information uncovered.  In week 6, Beacon transitioned from a data-collection exercise to analyze and synthesize the information as the basis for its strategic planning work.

Results:

The set of data collected during the course of Beacon's research yielded stories of success and failure, a clear picture of industry norms, best practices and requirements for success.  This knowledge drove development of a 5-year cross-business roadmap for R&D globalization.  Strategies and tactics were presented along a timeline, included recommendations for when, where, and how much to invest, and which specific therapeutic areas and R&D activities should be prioritized in specific geographies.  Recommendations also included market shaping, market development, and competitor differentiation strategies by geography.  Country-specific strategies were presented in the context a comprehensive framework for global R&D operations.  Beacon also recommended a path forward for structuring and coordinating internal R&D roles, responsibilities, and processes across the client's organization.  Since completion, Beacon's client has executed on several of the proposed recommendations and is in-process on others.

Global R&D Partnership Indexing

shutterstock_622797050.jpg

 

Problem:

A US-based technology company was interested in expanding its Intellectual Property (IP) licensing and Joint Development Activity(JDA) to drive growth in its global Research and Development (R&D)  organization. The client had pursued R&D partnerships with a range of companies over the past decade with varying levels of success, and needed to find a better way to predict which companies would yield productive long-term relationships. To support its Global IP partnership strategy, Beacon's client asked Beacon to independently analyze,  refine, and develop a set of key criteria for attractive partnerships that the client could leverage to focus its scarce resources on the most attractive opportunities.

 

Approach:

Beacon used a three-phased approach to refine and build on the client's initial hypotheses:

Phase I – Criteria Refinement: Beacon independently analyzed the client's past partnership experiences, both successful and unsuccessful, and conducted over 250 interviews with industry analysts, past client partners, potential client partners, and internal client sources to gather a range of perspectives on the industrial, cultural, administrative, geographic, and economic factors influencing IP partnership viability. Findings from this analysis drove adjustments, deletions, and additions to the initial partner criteria.

Phase II – Potential Partner Identification: Beacon leveraged its primary research capabilities to identify companies across 15 different industries that fit some or all of the attractive partner criteria. Beacon collected company background and conducted interviews to gauge the company's willingness to partner for R&D, need for innovation, and interest in the client's core capabilities and areas of strength.

Phase III – Analytical Tool Development and Refinement: Beacon constructed an Excel-based analytical tool to score and force-rank past and potential partner companies against key variables, enabling in-depth and ongoing analysis and refinement of criteria based on the model's output. Beacon developed scoring definitions for each identified cultural, financial, administrative, and geographic variable to enable its client to easily evaluate and score potential partner companies, and assigned initial weightings to the variables to reflect their relative importance to overall success. To test its model, Beacon scored the client's past partners and ~60 potential partner companies against the criteria and variables in the tool and iteratively refined and adjusted variable weightings to produce a force-ranking that most closely mirrored the client's past experiences.

 

Results:

Over a 10-week engagement Beacon validated and refined client hypotheses through independent research and analysis, generated a force-ranked list of near-term partnership opportunities to pursue, and developed a Partnership Analysis Excel Tool. Beacon provided the client team with step by step instructions for how to leverage the tool in its ongoing analysis of criteria and potential partners. The tool allows the user change variable weightings, add/delete criteria, and add new partner profiles to the force-ranked list, and will allow the client to adjust to shifting internal priorities and changing market conditions. The tool also automatically links potential partner variable scores to different aspects of the client's value proposition to support a more tailored sales approach.

Unconventional Natural Gas Market Assessment

shutterstock_630801938.jpg

Problem:

A large regulator technology manufacturer wanted to better understandgrowth in the Unconventional Natural Gas (UNG) market and whether thiswas an addressable adjacency.

Beacon was asked to perform a rapid market sizing and segmentationassessment covering China, Europe, and the U.S.  Within the U.S. marketwe were asked to identify the technologies driving UNG growth, and toidentify potential candidates for acquisition in order to improve ourclient's position and footprint within the UNG market.  However, targetswere limited to regulator technologies that have strong synergies withits current portfolio.

Approach:

The Beacon Group leveraged its primary research and analytic framework capabilities in order to assess 187 component technologies as potential acquisition targets through conducting over 300 conversations with industry participants, academics, and analyst sources. This assessment included a market sizing analysis of the identified attractive technologies which highlighted expected growth over the next five years.

Beacon was able to screen the 187 analyzed components down to five potential acquisition technologies that met requirements based on size and growth, profit margin, component technology, and utilization of unique IP. Within each of the five potential acquisition technologies, Beacon identified and analyzed the leading competitors in order to provide our client with a force ranked list of acquisition targets.

Results:

Through developing a robust understanding of the component technologies required for extracting and processing UNG, Beacon provided actionable recommendations for our client to achieve organic and inorganic growth objectives.  In analyzing the attractive component technologies, Beacon recommended more in-depth analysis of five potential acquisition candidates. We outlined key points of contact and the potential points of interest in positioning our client's discussion. Further, Beacon identified a significant organic growth opportunity and provided actionable recommendations to best position for growth using existing client technology.

Army Vehicle Modernization Capture Support

shutterstock_78983239.jpg

 

Problem:

A major prime contractor in the defense industry had identified a significant opportunity for expanding its footprint in the ground-vehicle space. However, due to the upheaval in the DOD budget environment and recent cancellation of the FCS program, there were significant concerns over making additional investments.

Beacon was asked to provide an understanding of the specific ground-vehicle opportunity, including expected timing and an assessment of the competitive position of our client. Additionally, Beacon was asked to develop strategies for future positioning to maximize the amount of revenue achievable through this potential new program.

 

Approach:

The Beacon Group, leveraging its market-based primary research capability, conducted over 100 interviews with customer, competitor, and partner sources to gather accurate and timely information for our client.

Beacon's research confirmed the path forward for the program through conversations with Army operational, requirements, procurement, and budget personnel. Beacon provided a detailed understanding of customer perceptions of our client's capabilities across a broad range of requirements, and within different influencing communities inside the customer organization. Additionally, conversations with a main competitor and potential sub-contractors for this program enhanced our client's understanding of its current position, and more importantly, enabled Beacon to recommend how our client could improve its position moving forward.

 

Results:

Beacon provided multiple specific recommendations for our client to take in order to maximize its probability of winning significant portions of the program. Specific recommendations included actions to encourage the customer to segment the opportunity based on mission. This would allow our client to maximize its strengths and marginalize the competition. Since Beacon utilizes an iterative process, recommendations were applicable and actionable, ensuring maximum value for the client.

Rapid Competitor Assessment: Public Sector Services

shutterstock_294234641.jpg

 

Problem:

A Fortune 500 technology corporation asked Beacon to provide an assessment of the public sector market. The overarching driver was to identify opportunities for increasing market share. The company was interested in developing an understanding of how top competitors were organized to support public sector sales and services, and how they defined customer segments within the market.

During this rapid competitor assessment, Beacon performed across-competitor analysis by evaluating how competitors were positioned to serve the public sector services market. Beacon focused its efforts on identifying segmentation within the public sector and evaluating competitive activity, specifically within the healthcare market.

 

Approach:

The Beacon Group focused its primary research efforts on industry stakeholders, including competitors, customers, analysts, and channel partners. Over the course of the four-week project, Beacon interviewed over 100 market participants in key source communities to develop a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape and trends in the target market.

Through an iterative process, Beacon analyzed services, products, and organizational models among the most mature industry competitors, identifying the strategic importance of public sector and healthcare operations relative to other service and product portfolios. Beacon segmented its analysis based on individual and cross-competitor trends, providing an in-depth understanding of the structural approaches being utilized to capture market share.

 

Results:

Beacon identified innovative activity and alternative strategies being implemented by the four major competitors in public sector software and services. The client was provided with a thorough understanding of the rationale behind healthcare position within the organizational models of top competitors. Based upon established best practices within the Public Sector, Beacon developed an analysis of management and service integration strategies shown to increase effectiveness in meeting end-user requirements.

Within a condensed timeframe, Beacon identified strategic advantages based on market projections and competitor orientation within the target sector. Customer insights and emerging industry trends were integrated into Beacon's initial assessment and used as the basis for additional analytical recommendations.