construction industry overview
Helping you understand your customers and markets better
In the construction sector, we have helped many members of the supply chain to understand their markets and their customers better. For some, this has meant adapting their strategy and targeting new business streams. Others have developed new products or services, while some have found new ways to serve their customers better. We have found that over time, products that were differentiated become commodities, as competitors copy them. This means that they are bought on price. A major part of our business is based on helping companies work themselves out of this scenario.
Using our skills to design research to crack your problems more effectively
Our expertise has allowed us to develop specific methodologies to solve apparently complex problems. Market sizes and trends can be hard to establish but, using conventional research techniques, we look for the drivers, enablers and then usage rates. This may involve mapping the market back to the end-users and then talking to them.
With your input, we can tailor a research programme to help solve your marketing issues. From this we can provide you with a quantitative analysis of the situation which can feed into your strategic decision making process. The findings from the project often come as a surprise to our clients, and these have then been borne out by events in the market.
Getting staff to understand the benefits of the strategic marketing process
Our research has confirmed our own belief that a customer orientation delivers better quality revenue. Often the solution requires just a few enthusiasts to take it up. Then as the success becomes evident, the culture shifts.
It's good to see the real principles of marketing being widely adopted by non-marketers. The complexity of technical services, like consulting engineers, means that marketing and business development is best done by their staff. They can be successfully taught marketing as a value-driven process. We have the business tools to evaluate the strategic options, make recommendations and develop a marketing plan. We have developed our own software application to run live in workshops. It can test objectives, strategic options and drive out a SWOT analysis.
Identifying and publishing best practice for meeting customers needs
Our recent work for Constructing Excellence and involvement in conferences has brought us into contact with a large number of forward-thinking companies. They have adopted many of the recommendations of the Egan Report, with demonstrable benefits. Mostly, this has involved a new way of working in the supply chain - or demand chain, as we prefer to think of it. For example, a manufacturer or contractor working early in the supply chain has the critical advantage of understanding the ultimate customers' needs in detail. This can stand him in good stead, even if a project has to be offered through OJEC.
What is interesting is that these companies have had a committed management, and in some cases they had to recruit from outside construction. We have come across several contractors who have employed experienced supply chain managers from the manufacturing sector to help them implement best practice.
You can view the latest publications we have helped produce for Constructing Excellence, that cover a wide range of best practice initiatives, from our free downloads page.
Understanding how changes in the decision-making process affect your profit
Much of our work has been driven by the need to develop new or improved products & services. We have carried out all types of market research fieldwork, covering trade customers and consumers. There is an increasing realisation that to add value, you need o understand the needs of the ultimate user. Some companies have found that products with low whole life costs may be deselected for cheaper ones on PFI projects. This runs completely contrary to expectations, and requires a different route to market.
Getting the buy-in of managers to the outcomes from our work
Our philosophy is to help our clients improve their businesses by skill transfer. This means that every project engages the client, and that we work closely with them to secure their 'buy-in' to our recommendations. For some clients, we have provided implementation workshops and company specific training.
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