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Example of competitors case study

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Info-Tech Research Group

Info Tech Research Group
Introduction
Technology has become an important key element in becoming a market leader in business. The current economy needs dynamic technology with the ever changing demand and needs which are expected be met with the least lead time.
In 1997, Info-Tech was established as a result of the void in the Information Technology in the society. Info-Tech is a company that offers all kinds of organizations a summarized review service that majors on giving the organization the specific and relevant information they need for a particular use, and also, in a simplified manner. It was a great relief to many organizations because much time spent on the internet in search of specific information was greatly minimized.
Most of the company’s products are relevant and are up to date with the dynamic economy. They have come up with products that majorly bridge the gap between technology and business, since the two operate hand in hand. Business strategic planning is a good example their products commonly known as the McLean Report, which helped its clients through the process of creating an Information strategic plan that met almost all the company’s needs. Info-Tech Research Company provides high-end technology advice and information to their clients, partners and employees to corporations.

In the economy, every business faces competition and what matters is what the company does to maintain and enhance its competitive advantage. Info-Tech, just like the other companies, has three main competitors who offer the same services to clients. The companies are Janco Associates Inc., Aberdeen Group and Forrester are firms that offer IT and management consulting services among other IT related services. The competition against Info-Tech was and is still immense because they all gather their data and reports from InfoEdge site that provided research resources for IT management and professionals. The site holds current, latest and the most accurate information of more than 35 companies that are thriving in the market.
Janco Associates Inc. appears to be a powerful competitor since it was founded fifteen years before Info-Tech; this demonstrates more experience and customers created over the years. The products include management methodology that enabled many companies to improve on their customer service thus gaining a competitive advantage. Aberdeen Group Inc. is a research and market intelligence service provider that deals with the whole business processes. The whole research coverage includes the purchasing and supply chain together with logistics, human resources, retail, and sales and so on. It stands out by offering forums for communication to and from management and clients which are a sign of good customer service. Forrester Research Groups which was founded in 1983 provides advice on existing and potential impact of technology. It has stood out over the years and has made tremendous profits.

Opportunities

Info-Tech came into the market and established itself successfully. This is because they did their research as required for any business and realized a need and want in the market. In this case, the need was to make the organizations’ work easier when researching for information. As much as there was information available on the internet, most firms found it tiring and time consuming to go through everything before settling on the precise and the best data.
The research company also noticed that other companies which had been in the market before them focused on providing other services. Hence, the development of service that provided the latest and relevant information to Information Technology professionals. Companies were relieved when the product was released and became highly dependent on them including Info-Tech’s competitors.

Customers

Info-Tech has about thirty thousand known clients world-wide. A few of them include Deloitte & Touché LLP, National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), State Farm Insurance Companies, Executive Office of the President of the United States, Blue Cross & Blue Shield England & Wales Cricket Board Ltd, Nestlé’s Chocolates & Confections, Aetna Healthcare, NBC News Channel, Inc., The Royal National Institute for Deaf People and so on. All the mentioned companies and others depend greatly on the services provided on a daily basis.

Challenges

The company’s main source of information was InfoEdge that was used by the other competitors. This reduced its competitive edge because there is all the information was accessible to the others, and they could produce a similar product.
Different companies desired products offered in different ways. This is a challenge because InfoTech has to package it products differently and in clearer step to step documents. In most cases, clients would want products offered in different ways even if it served the same purpose. Help offered would be rejected sometimes because particular companies wanted to handle their projects on their own. Customer satisfaction would not be assured if the projects backfired.
In addition, producing a common product that would be embraced by every organization, without alteration, was difficult because the firm offered different products. Hence, it was time consuming and required very skilled persons.
McLean, who was the top management of the company, faced challenges when setting the price for a methodology. They had to put the customer needs and satisfaction upfront before their profit maximization objective. Settling on a price that would benefit both the company and client took a while and a lot of calculation for starters to gain customer trust and loyalty. Later on, it was settled that the client would make payments before shipping of the products. Generally, most customers prefer completing their payments after the delivery. To make things better, the company was compelled to offer 10% discount to customers who purchased two or more methodologies.
Deciding on the procedure for promoting methodologies to new customers proved to be a challenge due to the size of Info-Tech’s customer base. A good amount of money was set apart for the three advertising options which were considered. Google Ad Words; which enables internet users to locate information in the World Wide Web by entering key words in the search box, after which, all the details provided by the company will be availed. Direct mailing; involved sending emails to potential customers an array of information expecting response from them. This method however, was unreliable because it involved very minimal direct interaction with clients and a level of uncertainty in terms of customer response. It involved magazine advertisements that are involved publishing the company’s important information on the three most popular magazines, within the information technology sector.

All the above mentioned promotional methodologies were not 100% reliable since not everybody is keen on using them for communication.

Alternative course of action
Regardless of the company being successful over the years, there are some decisions which would have been made differently to achieve maximum customer satisfaction and a competitive advantage.
In Information Technology, accurate data and information is mandatory. Info-Tech research group depended on Info-Edge so much for information and research results. Unfortunately, its competitors were fishing for the same data hence, a tougher competition among them. Looking for other reliable and credible alternatives to have vast information would have been advisable to. This ensures that the clients get the best.
During the production and operating process, the management should ensure costs are minimized heavily. Faster and less costly appliances should be considered. This affects the price directly through cost reduction. On the other hand, customer based decisions should be applied when coming up with the prices. Cost friendly yet profitable pricing decisions are commendable. When a new product is introduced to the market, the main goal is to attain customers who and not to necessarily make huge profits for starters. More appealing offers like free deliveries within a certain region should be considered to encourage customers to make purchases. Also, free training on how to handle the appliances involved should be offered by Info-Tech. This guarantees customer satisfaction and even loyalty.
Info-Tech used three channels of communication for advertisement which are considered to be the most used globally. Exploitation of other means of advertisement would have been considered once in a while to reach all consumers.
Merging and acquisitions should be considered to increase the productivity of the company. For instance, merging with Forrester Research Company would improve the customer delivery hence more sales and growth.
Conclusion

References

Hayless, R. (2009). IBM on Demand Business Strategy. IBM Redbooks, 23-67.
Thakar, G. (2009). Info Tech Research Group. Richard Ivey School of Business Journal, 1-8.

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