Industries Served

Equipment and Machinery

Equipment and Machinery HVAC and Related | Metalworking Machinery and Related | Industrial Machinery and Components | Construction and Mining Equipment | Industrial Distribution | Miscellaneous Equipment

HVAC and Related

  • Developed a market entry strategy in the building controls/energy management product area. The objective was to develop a clear perspective on user needs and thus select a product technology path that would satisfy current as well as long term objectives. Information was gathered from building owners re: control product features and functions. This was coupled with information and analysis of competitive products. All reasonable alternatives were evaluated, from grass-roots, to acquisition and joint venture. As such the client’s potential supplier relationship was confirmed as a viable and preferred approach from both technology and strategy points of view.
  • Evaluated the state of the screw compressor marketplace and its potential threat to traditional HVAC chiller machines, centrifugal and reciprocal. Technical advantages and disadvantages, first- and life-cost perspectives were developed through interviews with engineers and others.
  • Conducted an evaluation of the chiller business market position in four selected cities - Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Philadelphia. Perspectives from engineers and contractors were developed as well as competitive perspectives from systems competition.
  • Recently completed an extensive program to determine the components of market image and rate/rank the major HVAC systems manufacturers. Initial personal interviews were conducted to refine program issues and comparative ranking factors. Then a Mail survey was completed among three market groups: building owners and operators, engineers, and contractors. Follow-up personal interviews in selected geographies and with selected competitors rounded out the data gathering effort. By virtue of both qualitative and quantitative methods a complete picture of competitive comparisons was developed. The results are intended to be the basis for long term market development efforts.
  • Recently completed a program for a manufacturer of gas/oil boilers used in residential heating. Evaluating the viability of a dealer/contractor promotional program; assessing the pluses and minuses and determining the next steps in the development of this program which is intended to achieve long-term share gain. The study program was conducted via focus groups with dealers and consumers in selected geographies plus personal interviews with distributors in those areas.
  • Conducted a program for a leading European manufacturer of gas burner and burner control products. Examined each facet of the North American market from consumer products, such as appliances; commercial and industrial space heating and process; utility applications. Detailed new and replacement markets, size and growth, changes in technology, competitive environment; detailed a comprehensive market-entry strategy.
  • Conducted an entry analysis for a manufacturer of split system products. Assessed various geographic markets, their unit placement potential. Selected primary distribution companies and conducted introductory meetings between the client and potential distributors.
  • Have conducted several programs for clients/manufacturers of industrial and commercial products, assessing energy-related trends: lighting, HVAC chillers and unitary systems, building automation controls and systems, industrial process controls, motors and drive systems.
  • Examined the marketplace for remanufactured compressors and the pricing approaches of several leading companies. The objective was to develop a list price and discount system.
  • Assisted a major equipment OEM in a business development program to expand field service capabilities through the acquisition of local contractors. The program screened over 1000 companies, developed candidate profiles, evaluated financials and conducted initial negotiations.
  • In order to enhance growth, a heating manufacturer added a new product line that required additional dealers beyond their current distribution network. Marketplan developed a dealer expansion program that screened and evaluated dealers on the basis of location, expertise, and the desire to sell and market a niche product. This had resulted in several industry leading dealers adopting this product line.
  • Evaluating alternatives to turnaround a specialty HVAC equipment company. This company serves a highly fragmented application market requiring significant selling and service skills. This program examined alternatives of product development, rep evaluations, and sales redirection.
  • Evaluated the potential acquisition of a building controls company for a global electrical and electronics manufacturer. This program examined the candidate’s market position, image, technology capabilities and customer relations perspective from the viewpoints of customers, channels, and competitors and confirmed expected values and future direction of the joint enterprise.
  • For a leading manufacturer of gas and oil fired boilers, conducted a competitive review and analysis of a niche manufacturer who had made share gains by pursuing a super-premium product approach through traditional and non-traditional channels. The program recommended several non-price actions to add value and regain leadership image.
  • For an HVAC manufacturer, assessed aftermarket parts activity, particularly questions and price competitiveness and product availability in order to more effectively serve customers by bundling proprietary and generic parts.
  • Examined certain aspects of the market for specialized dehumidification equipment used in the indoor swimming pool market segment. Conducted a program to detail market share by product size; type; and region to arrive at a clear statement of client share and future growth actions.
  • Conducted follow-on pool market programs to assess client position in specific market subsegment and determine competitive customer satisfaction levels of product and service.
  • Examined product line expansion efforts in dehumidification products; specifically evaluating the most acceptable product characteristics of an “outside airâ€� based product.
  • For a manufacturer of a critical boiler system component, evaluated the market acceptance and share of a competitor employing a new technology and aggressively pursuing channel selling tactics. The program examined possible tactics to counteract competitive efforts, including product changes and promotional efforts.

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Metalworking Machinery and Related

  • Conducted an acquisition evaluation of a specific company within various types of automation components used in a variety of production machinery. This study addressed market demand, impact of technical trends and candidate/competitor positions.
  • Evaluated two product segments within the machine tool industry - vertical lathes and broaching machines. This program evaluated market size, likely growth, trends in machine capabilities and competitive profiles. The end results focused on recommendations for product changes and niche markets to pursue.
  • Conducted an acquisition screening study of the U.S. machine tool market for a non-participant. This program examined a large list of companies within certain client criteria and determined their strengths /weaknesses, future market position. The end result was a specific acquisition.
  • Conducted an in-depth analysis of state-of-the-art grinding technologies and practices for a leading manufacturer/ supplier of grinding wheels. The study focused on analyzing the potential for a new binding and abrasive technology that would greatly enhance the productivity of current grinding methods. Extensive, highly technical discussions were held with users and manufacturers of grinding machinery to determine feasibility and acceptance.
  • Conducted a study of the work holding/machine fixturing market for a manufacturer of power clamping devices.
  • Evaluated the market for electric and air drills used in machining centers, transfer lines and other custom engineered machinery. The study program analyzed user trends in automating drilling, boring and tapping operations across a large number of market segments; assessed the opportunities for placements by HP size ranges and developed a strategy which addressed specific niches.
  • Developed an extensive evaluation of the likely demand for automotive stampings, the effect upon industry capacity and the demand for metalforming equipment. The study examined the effects of downsizing, alternative materials, import share, etc. The end result assisted the client in capital spending priorities.
  • Examined various automation components such as hiperformance motors and controls within the machine tool market.
  • Redesigned the price-discount structures for a manufacturer of machinery mounts utilized in metalworking equipment. The result of this study was to restructure the manufacturer's original OEM price discounts to meet the requirements of industrial mill distributors and specialty tool distributors.

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Industrial Machinery and Components

  • Conducted a study of the market for centrifugal pumps in the U.S. This study evaluated the usage of both centrifugal and vertical turbine centrifugals in industrial process, and non-industrial markets and identified opportunities by segment
  • Conducted a study in the fan and blower market which evaluates the usage of positive displacement of fans and blowers in the pneumatic conveying systems, waste treatment systems and air pollution/dust control systems.
  • Directed a strategic planning study for a major manufacturer of specialty clamps and fittings to industrial hose market. This study examined the alternative growth opportunities available through increased penetration within existing product markets as well as possible new product /acquisition potentials.
  • Conducted a segmentation analysis of the U.S. positive displacement pump market for a major manufacturer. This study evaluated present market size, product/market segmentation and future growth. This study included a detailed analysis of PDP technology within oil and gas processing markets as well as the pumping of liquid petroleum (LP) gas and Freon in refrigeration systems.
  • Conducted an extensive examination of a specific manufacturer of plastics processing equipment. This study examined the rationale for recent performance problems of this acquired company for a leading U.S. manufacturer.
  • Conducted a comprehensive analysis of the closing machine market. The study focused on defining the base of installed units, replacement cycles and an in-depth examination of competitors' positions, strengths and weaknesses and likely future strategies.
  • Conducted a study of canning machinery which evaluated a manufacturer's long-term business strategy and the interdependency of parts/service performance and new unit placements. This program evaluated user/ manufacturer rebuilding, parts demand, obsolescence practices and competitive actions.
  • Conducted an analysis of the parts and replacement market for centrifugal pumps. This study focused on identifying the impact of non-OEM/ "counterfeiter" parts, profiling the major manufacturers of non-OEM parts and suggesting OEM/ distributor programs to combat further erosion.
  • Conducted a study of the industrial markets for air and hand tools for a major broad line supplier to the market. This program focused on analyzing segments of the market, competitive product positions and channel strategies. The results were used to shift distribution emphasis from one group/type of distributor to another.
  • Directed a strategic planning study for a specialty manufacturer of portable electric power tools. The study analyzed the industrial /construction markets, segmented the market by products to determine served market share position/ potential and structure the channels of distribution.
  • Conducted a regional analysis (specific metro area) of hand tools into industrial /contractor markets for a broad line manufacturer. The study was used to analyze a weak geographic area and establish a specific strategy plan.
  • Directed a strategic planning program for a manufacturer of specialty fastening devices. The study focused on analyzing current market/product potentials and establishing likely extension /alternatives that the company could employ to meet growth objectives.
  • Directed a new product strategy study for a manufacturer of specialty screws and fasteners. This program identified potential market segments, specific type of distributors for entry with a new line of fastener/new installation tool.
  • Restructured the price-discount curves for a manufacturer of specialty fasteners used in the construction industry. This study focused on shifting break points (buying volume breaks) on existing curves to be more competitive in the marketplace and correctly align cost/volume relationship with handling distributors' orders.

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Construction and Mining Equipment

  • Evaluated the market for grinding mills used worldwide in the processing and beneficiation of iron ore and copper. This program examined the demand side for copper and steel products, particularly the analyzing the effects of pelletizing and direct reduction upon traditional methods of production. Many of the major mine and production sites in North America were visited. The program focused upon future demand scenarios and how the client could best anticipate future mill demand.
  • Conducted a study of the drilling tools and accessories market used in underground mining operation on the US, specifically bits and drill rod used in hard metal applications. Marketplan visited over 85% of then-current capacity among copper, zinc, iron, uranium, and other metals. This resulted in a well-developed perspective on product consumption, competitive share, and trends in usage and unmet needs. From this data an entry strategy was developed and business unit ROI plan were made.
  • An acquisition study was conducted for an international client that was examining the US coal mining market for the possible acquisition of an equipment supplier. A profile was developed of the typical process steps, from drilling to excavating to conveying and processing. The position, image, capabilities and attractiveness of candidates were developed. The program was followed by introductory meetings between companies.
  • Evaluated the marketplace for mine hoists used in underground operation including metals, non-metals, and coal. These hoists are used for product, not personnel. The program examined current mine capacities and expected developments vs. product hoist capacity.
  • Completed a study of surface mining operations in the US, especially iron, copper, and coal. This program was conducted for a component supplier to producers of large haulage vehicles, loaders, scrapers, and trucks. This program was concerned with the specifying of components by users and the aftermarket demand for product and services.
  • Directed an analysis for the potential growth of single-ply roofing systems in the U.S. The study was concerned with defining and determining the size of the market with respect to current commercial /industrial construction as well as defining the retrofit potential among existing buildings.
  • Completed a study of the electric utility industry and large capital equipment used in that market. This study evaluated competitive strategies of equipment suppliers and expected electric utility scenario within the U.S. by extensive interviews with leading utility engineering/ design firms.
  • Conducted an evaluation of the welded hydraulic cylinder market in the U.S. for a supplier of hydraulic cylinders to major heavy equipment OEMs in construction, mining, fire and related industries. This study evaluated present market sizes, product segmentation and future growth.
  • Evaluated the market for grinding mills used worldwide in the processing of iron ore and copper. This program examined the demand for copper and steel products, particularly analyzing the effects of pelletizing and direct reduction upon traditional methods of production. This study required international field efforts and developed long-term strategies for the client.
  • Directed an acquisition study evaluating companies that are equipment suppliers to the U.S. coal mining industry. This study was a screening effort for a foreign concern wishing to expand into the U.S. mining industry.
  • Completed a study of the market for large aluminum heat exchangers in the U.S. This study evaluated the usage of heat exchangers by petroleum, natural gas and related industries. Also evaluated were the national energy picture and the development of alternative energy sources.
  • Conducted a study for a manufacturer of construction equipment in the U.S. and Canada. The study dealt with the acceptance of a new product concept for selected markets, both industrial and municipal, focusing on present equipment usage patterns and future trends.
  • Conducted an analysis of current trends within the commercial roofing market for a manufacturer/ supplier. This study focused on direction of one-ply versus built-up systems, forecasted new versus reroof potential, identified likely penetration levels for the different systems and outlined some specific alternative strategies /programs.
  • Evaluated the international market for mine hoists. This study focused on mine hoists that are used in all types of underground mining operations including metals, nonmetals and coal.
  • Completed a study of surface mining operations in the U.S. iron, coal and copper minerals. This program was conducted for a component supplier to producers of large haulage vehicles in the U.S. market and evaluated their present position and future market strategies.
  • Evaluated the market for deep foundation techniques used in non-residential construction for a European construction service company wishing to establish a joint venture relationship with a U.S. company. The study established market size, foundation segment utilization and size, competitive profiles of major contractors and the outlook for future growth.
  • Additionally, Marketplan has conducted other related programs in the construction equipment market where mining was a served market segment.

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Industrial Distribution

  • Electric Motor Resellers - Electric motors are a key client product and independent resellers/repair shops/distributors are a key channel. This overview program examined the role of the independent vs. factory-direct, national industrial supply chains, and others. The program focused on whether the independents should be a greater part of the client’s motor strategy.
  • Exploring the Role of Job Descriptions as Predictors of Customer Behavior - The client has developed a body of research examining the correlation between job titles/description and their result buying behavior regarding MRO and other supplies. Marketplan tested this hypothesis by surveying 50 building and facilities managers in selected market segments such as manufacturing, commercial, healthcare, education, and government. Research examined these decision-makers and their relationships to suppliers versus seven distinct but common goals of their positions.
  • Evaluation of Home Depot - The emphasis was on understanding the tactics that Home Depot has pursued in addressing the contractor segment of the marketplace as well as Home Depot efforts to expand via other merchandising and targeting concepts.
  • Evaluation of MSC Industrial Supply Company - The objective was a comprehensive review of this successful distribution company detailing its history, philosophy, analysts’ viewpoints, marketing, organization, target segments, products lines, targets markets, operation, financial analysis, and outlook. Marketplan interviewed customers, local distributors, distributors acquired by MSC, competitors, and MSC management.
  • Packing Slip Needs Among Industrial Customers - This survey of local contractors and industrial customers examined the information content of packing slips and whether pricing/discount information represented a potential competitive advantage.
  • Assessing Consolidation Trends in Selected Market Segments and the Impact on Distribution - Consolidation has impacted several client served market segments, particularly trade related; an example being HVAC where contractors have been bought by consolidation groups, wholesalers have been grouped and manufacturers have been acquired. The implications to Grainger are explored through interviews with consolidators, manufacturers, suppliers and others.
  • Review of Preferred Local Supplier Market Evaluations - Marketplan reviewed several data driven projects and input concerning the PLS concept—the Preferred Local Supplier that is the first choice of the customer. PLS status is generally the result of relationship factors that go beyond apparent economics, such as product and application knowledge, special stocking and product support. The presence of PLS forces in any given area represent real limitations to certain national supply companies.
  • Secondary Integrated Supply Competition - Beyond the major companies detailed in Marketplan’s initial program in integrated supply, this subsequent effort examined certain “fringeâ€� of secondary competitors and their orientation to IS actions. Companies examined included IBM, FedEx, AMEX, EDS, Servicemaster, Thomas Register, Fluor/Daniel, Parker-Hannifin, Ryder, Fisher-Scientific, and Strategic Distribution, Inc.
  • Overview of the International Supply Consortium-Cambar, McJunkin, and Bearings, Inc. - These three active integrated supply competitors have joined forces in an opportunistic approach to expanding their product and service offerings to the industrial marketplace. This program examined their success to date and short-comings.
  • Analysis of Competitive Integrated Supply Strategies and Actions - As IS concepts and ideas were entering the market in the mid-90s, this program examined those companies viewed as leaders in the IS. Three objectives were addressed: the degree to which IS is a trend in MRO distribution, evaluate selected competitors, and conclude the implications to the client. Specifically, the IS competitors are: Cambar, Fairmont Supply, Ferguson, Graybar, Briggs-Weaver, IDOne, IDG, Brucker Supply, Motion Industries, Bearings, Inc., Kennametal, WESCO, GESCO plus several others.

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Miscellaneous Equipment

  • For the leading manufacturer of clothing hangers assessed the changing marketplace among clothing producers and top retailers. This program examined how manufacturers of hangers were developing value added products to address market needs related to: transportation of product from manufacturing plant to retail location, sometimes overseas; hanger styles for specific applications, such as children’s wear; products that incorporated security features.
  • Conducted a competitive analysis for a leading worldwide toy manufacturer, assessing the likely strategy of a “building blockâ€� company that had achieved substantial growth through different product/age segmentation tactics and various play figure themes. The analysis examined the alternatives to counter these tactics.
  • Examined the market for police/emergency vehicle lighting products and accessories, particularly the buying practices and policies of the very large buyer—buying cycles, evaluation criteria, reconditioning activities, technology trends, etc.
  • Evaluated the market for solar energy process equipment; meeting with makers of solar wafers, cells, and modules to assess equipment and process needs through each step of their manufacturing; then meeting with equipment manufacturers to determine how future automation and standardization is being addressed. This allowed client recommendations to target critical process steps and market niches where needs were under-addressed.
  • Detailed analysis of stainless steel wire and cloth applications markets. This was a screening study to examine multiple potential applications outside of the automotive market. The analysis examined fasteners, spring wire, weaving, welding, forming, braiding, nails, knitting, rope and lashing segments. The end result was a priority matrix of applications, competitors, and opportunity criteria which directed future market actions.
  • Analysis of the industrial silencer marketplace -- application segments, such as engines, chillers, generators; examining demand, competition, and expected growth.
  • Examined a possible new product opportunity in the bicycle lock and security business.
  • Evaluated the retail/DIY market for sledgehammers and related tools in light of increased growth in the consumer DIY market as well as import competition.
  • Evaluated the outlook for rail anchors and other maintenance of way consumables.
  • Conducted a series of diversification evaluations in an equipment markets; determining size and growth outlook; distribution; technology changes; competitive structure; potential opportunities in machine tools, mining equipment, and railroad maintenance of way equipment
  • Evaluated the market for electric heating products in each province of Canada; evaluating market size, growth potential, competitive positions and future tactics.
  • Examined the market for stainless steel sinks in India and China assessing local market demand and the availability of potential partners for a leading US manufacturer.
  • Assessed the position of cast iron kitchen sinks in the remodeling and replacement markets as served by independent remodelers and major DIY chains.
  • Evaluated the kitchen counter-top market, particularly the granite material segment and their usage of kitchen sink products. This emerging channel serves high end buyers and can be a new channel for suppliers.
  • For a major manufacturer of construction and agricultural equipment as part of extensive QFD (quality function deployment) efforts, customer and dealer interviews formed the basis of market input detailing the impression and desires of features and functions of skid steer loaders, crawler dozers, and trenchers.
  • For a manufacturer of forage harvesters developed a perspective of market demand for new product features and size/horsepower capabilities among these very large machines that are critical to efficient grain harvesting. The program resulted in a rating and ranking of competitive machines and action for the client on next generation product.
  • A manufacturer of agriculture equipment acquired the rights to a construction equipment mini-machine. This study examined the market penetration of mini-machines and how the client could increase sales results and penetration among various segments.
  • For the USPS, examined alternative delivery services and their impact on the delivery of advertising flyers, bulk mail products, and others.
  • For a startup venture commercializing a new technology for the sensing of volatile organic chemicals, investigated multiple market segments to assess current practices and technologies, analytical methods and equipment, reaction to the clients proposed new technology. Market segments included: refined agricultural products, beer, food ingredients, grains, seafood, wine, bad breath and personal hygiene, soft drinks, and intermediate chemicals. Each segment analysis contained market potential estimates and recommended actions.
  • For a startup venture addressing the application of a new chemical sensing technology to medical diagnostics, explored the market for H. Pylori testing. H. Pylori is a bacteria directly associated with peptic ulcers and closely linked to stomach cancer. This study outlined current diagnostic practices, testing procedures, reaction to the client’s proposed test; as well as developing market size and growth, competitive shares and outlook. The program concluded specific action recommendations for market entry and potential development partners.
  • For a startup venture addressing the application of a new chemical sensing technology to medical diagnostics, explored the market for VAP testing. VAP – ventilator-associated pneumonia is bacteria influenced outcome of patients on a mechanical ventilator which results in increased hospital stays and costs. This study outlined current diagnostic practices, testing procedures, reaction to the client’s proposed test; as well as developing market size and growth, competitive shares and outlook. The program concluded specific action recommendations for market entry and potential development partners.

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