Research is becoming increasingly important for product innovation, and for maintaining leadership positions. In the global business environment, one mechanism for enhanced competitive advantage is to have a thorough understanding of the technology trends occurring in the marketplace, e.g., the competitions’ research, development and engineering [RD&E] investment plans and patent trends impacting on your business.
We identify current and future research thrusts and provide snapshots of core competencies as perceived by a company itself, by the trade and by the “competitive community”. We assess trends that may have an adverse impact on the future outlook and indicate lessons learned. We undertake patent analysis. To do technology assessments, we are often called upon to answer the following questions:
Company Research Thrust.
- What are the fundamental know-how traits possessed by the target company?
- What is done to leverage this know-how as a competitive advantage?
- What is the main focus of research?
- What are the drivers?
- market leadership
- commercial and market demand
- international influences
- competitive pressure and response
- process cost reduction
- profit contribution
- What is the product family emphasis?
- What is the R&D structure, and is the structure a competitive advantage? Why?
- Internationally-based [identify the key countries]
- What are the staffing-levels and what is the caliber of the staff?
- What are the estimated budget expenditure levels?
- Which of the products will sustain the targets’ future growth? How is R&D geared to accommodate the perceived future growth and demand?
- What are the primary competencies and know-how [both proprietary and non-proprietary] that are responsible for the company’s position?
- Is the company’s ability to industrialize products, (i.e., to move product concepts successfully from R&D to manufacturing to commercialization) a competitive advantage?
- Are a company’s “patents and licenses” perceived as a key competence?
- Is the company’s technology leadership role, if any, an advantage?
- Is strategic alliance [and funding new venture start-ups] perceived as a long-term competitive necessity? Which alliance types?
- How is success measured [R&D point of view]?
We research in-depth and provide qualitative and quantitative assessments of competitors’ R&D. Our ground-up approach builds on interviews held at all levels. Information and data are challenged and tested across the full spectrum, with the least sensitive interviews undertaken in the beginning of the field research, and the most sensitive interviews held last.
We are experts in the assessment of privately held companies, divisions and subsidiaries of major corporations, and foreign-based firms operating in local markets.