(Past illustrations) Deriving determinants of bid prices

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

PROBLEM

For a particular product line, a company wanted to know which variables could be used to predict how a particular bid would be priced.

By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18185578

SOLUTION

Using data from FOIA requests, I identified and collected variables that were perceived to have an effect on bid price. In addition to the final price for each bid, I also collected relevant technical requirements from the bid, customer characteristics, bid evaluation scores where available, and other data.

After I collected the data, my colleague analyzed the data statistically, both to try to derive equations that fit the data, and also to illustrate the data in graphical form.

RESULTS

For this particular product line, the data did not closely correlate to any particular equation that could be used to predict bid price. (A separate analysis of a different product line yielded better correlation results.)

(Past illustrations) Targeting a new market at a different pricing tier

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

PROBLEM

A company wanted to enter a lower price tier with a product designed specifically for that price tier.

By علاء – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57003347

SOLUTION

For an early version of a product for this market, I created product requirements and demonstrated the product to prospective clients.

For a later version of a product for this market, I was in a different role, but I assisted by using county population as a proxy value to identify target customers for the new product. As the target requirements were modified, I adjusted the list of targeted counties accordingly.

RESULTS

The early product sold in limited quantities and was subsequently discontinued. (This pricing tier is in a challenging market.)

I do not know the status of the later product.

(Past illustrations) Improving, or not improving, a company’s Internet presence

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

PROBLEM

A company that had been around for years had obviously not adopted a comprehensive Internet/social media strategy. The company’s website had broken links and outdated information. The company had multiple social media accounts on multiple platforms. On one social media platform, the company’s old account had more followers than the new account, and the old account linked to the company website while the new one did not.

SOLUTION

I sent a cold email to the company, pointing out a few of these errors, and offering to provide them a quote to analyze 68 web and social media pages related to the company and its principals.

After one follow-up email, it was obvious that the company was not interested.

RESULTS

A month later, the company’s website had broken links and outdated information. The company had multiple social media accounts on multiple platforms. On one social media platform, the company’s old account had more followers than the new account, and the old account linked to the company website while the new one did not.

(Past illustrations) Improving a disjointed company Internet presence

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

By Takeaway – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33157634

PROBLEM

A single company offered multiple products in multiple markets. Each product had its own web page, and the company itself had a web page.

The company requested that I analyze the products and recommend any necessary revisions to the marketing of the products.

SOLUTION

I analyzed the products and divided them into two groups based upon customer characteristics.

For one group, I recommended that the products in the group be marketed at the company level, and provided specific recommendations regarding how the products in this group be marketed.

For the second group, I recommended that the products in this group continue to be marketed at the product level. Again, I provided specific marketing recommendations for the products in this group.

RESULTS

The company thanked me for my thorough analysis. Unfortunately, due to external events, the company was unable to act on my recommendations at the time that I provided them.

(Past illustrations) Standard text

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

PROBLEM

Companies need to respond to questions from their potential customers. Often the company crafts a specific response to each potential customer, even when multiple potential customers are asking the exact same questions.

SOLUTION

As many people already know, the solution is to create a database of standard text.

By John Willis Clark – http://www.ib.hu-berlin.de/~wumsta/Milkau/109-2.jpg: Fritz-Milkau-Dia-Sammlung, erstellt in der Photographischen Werkstatt der Preußischen Staatsbibliothek von 1926-1933originally from The Care of Books by John Willis Clark (Fig 94, p132), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=135286

In some cases, companies can create standard text by adapting previous text submitted to potential customers in the past. In other cases, new text must be written. Once developed, the standard text can be stored in a dedicated database designed for this purpose, or it can simply be stored in a Microsoft Word document of officially approved responses.

RESULTS

I have created (or tried to create) a lot of standard text over the years.

For two companies, I was one of the people responsible for gathering standard text from subject matter experts (SMEs), or for writing new standard text myself. This standard text had to be reviewed with SMEs at regular intervals, and any necessary updates had to be incorporated.

For a third company, I was the SME responsible for reviewing and updating the standard text.

For a fourth company, I suggested that the company create standard text, but the company chose not to act on my suggestion.

For a fifth company, I was asked to create a simple database of standard text, addressing multiple markets for a particular product line.

And, of course, I’ve created standard text for my own company, suitable for repurposing in multiple formats.

(Past illustrations) Improving a physical workflow

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

By Paweł Janczaruk – received by e-mail, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15446830

PROBLEM

In an unused conference room, a company had multiple stacks of pages that needed to be collated. Each person had to visit each stack, in order, to collate the documents. Because of the arrangement of the stacks, it was taking forever to collate the documents.

SOLUTION

I recommended that the stacks be arranged, in order, on a table. Each person would then walk around the table, deposit the collated document at the end, and simply walk around the table again and assemble a new document.

RESULTS

The documents were collated much more quickly.

When the entity was able to designate its own dedicated workspace, replacing the unused conference room, the workspace was designed with tables at the ideal height to assemble documents.

(Past illustrations) Creating actionable information to document and expand a merged company’s combined market

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

By Lacrossewi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81149806

PROBLEM

After a merger of two companies, the combined company needed to know which customers used solutions from the combined company, which customers used competitor solutions, and which used both.

For example, a customer may use the combined company’s solution for one product line, but a competitor solution for another product line.

As the combined company introduced new products and entered new markets, this information was also required for the new product lines and markets.

SOLUTION

While others worked on front-end presentations of public portions of the data, I gathered the underlying data.

  • For multiple product lines, I recorded (when known/applicable) the type of customer (for example, a statewide government agency), current vendor, previous vendor, initial and extended contract value, product version, relevant statistics about the customer, and a designated reviewer for future quarterly updates.
  • The data was both stored separately for each product line and was also summarized.
  • Information was color-coded to highlight the combined company’s market position.
  • Data could be filtered as necessary (for example, only showing statewide government agencies).
  • The complete collection of highly sensitive data was tightly held.
  • Portions of the data were passed to selected subject matter experts on a quarterly basis for updating, allowing front-end presentations to be updated quarterly.
  • Additional information was gathered as new markets were entered and new products were launched.

RESULTS

The combined company had a better view of its positions in its various markets.

The resulting actionable information could be used to target specific customers and replace competitor products with the combined company’s products.

(Past illustrations) Responding to macro market changes

(This past illustration describes something that I performed in my career, either for a Bredemarket client, for an employer, or as a volunteer. The entity for which I performed the work, or proposed to perform the work, is not listed for confidentiality reasons.)

PROBLEM

A large, worldwide event affected multiple markets in multiple countries. While this event had negative ramifications in some of the markets in which a particular company competed, it had positive ramifications for markets that the company could conceivably enter.

SOLUTION

As part of a team, I analyzed potential new markets that the company could enter. The analyses included addressable market size (with assumptions documented), existing and potential competitors, risks, and other factors. While the analysis must of necessity remain confidential, I can state that a number of new markets were analyzed: some within the company’s core capabilities, some within the company’s identified growth areas, and some in entirely new areas.

RESULTS

The analyses were forwarded to others within the company. The results must of necessity remain confidential.