How Competitive Intelligence Increased the Understanding of Competitor Production Levels

This article is called how Competitive Intelligence increased the understanding of competitor production levels. It’s a Competitive Intelligence case study. We show how our offering provided our client with greater certainty and stopped them from increasing their production based on false information.

You know how

You know how sometimes your competitor is in the trade press telling the world how well they are doing. Your customers tell you that their sales teams are offering great deals. And there is talk of new products on the way. You are worried about how the situation is going to affect your sales. 

But you feel something does not ring true with the situation. But either way, you need to know what’s going on. What your competitor is planning to do and what you can do about it.

What was happening

Our client is a well-known materials manufacturer. They were concerned about a competitors new capacity claims within their UK factory. There had been some building work completed. In the media, their competitor stated that their capacity had increased significantly. With the addition of a new production line. 

Our mission was to identify, isolate and analyse their competitor production capability. And then understand their future plans. 

This is what we did

We conducted some desk research and contacted former employees of the business. We spoke to them, and we gleaned snippets of information from each one of them. Then we analysed the new build planning application and associated documentation. We spoke with local environmental campaigners. They had voiced concerns over more noise pollution levels. Like in most cases, after building a picture, it was clear that things did not add up. So we visited the plant and sat outside for a couple of hours 3 or 4 times. We counted the trailers arriving and leaving. We broke them down into raw materials and end product. There was a definite pattern. 

We then took a ramble around the public footpaths and roads in the area to see what could be seen. Then we noted lots of activity and the amount of end product placed into the back of trailers. We walked past the new building site. It was clear that the site was a new concrete apron with an associated vehicle and product storage. There was also a new conveyor belt coming into it. The belt was extending from an existing production line. Not a new one. It was obvious that the building site was nowhere near complete.

No sign of smoke

This situation on the ground was contrary to what the competitor was saying in the trade press. Also, there was no sign of the additional proclaimed third production line. Nevermind three lines we noted that there was only one production line operating on the days we visited. We noticed there were two chimneys, but there was only smoke coming out of one of them. We asked the environmental people why there was only one chimney smoking. They were told by the management that only one line was operational. 

Lorry spotting

We compared our findings with various Google Map type photos, which were taken over time. The most recent photos showed a single smoking chimney. Compared to two smoking a couple of years ago. We counted vehicles coming out of the plant during different times of the day. We could confirm that this activity level was in line with old production levels. The new production levels were not true.  If required, we could have followed a couple of the vehicles going out of the plant to see where they ended up. 

We also found out their current capacity for producing the two product they made. These products could be made on the same line, but not at the same time. One of the product was newer and more technologically advanced than the other. The older one was made 80% of the time, suggesting there was still no significant market for the new stuff. 

And this is what they got

  • The amount of end product going into a trailer. 
  • The new building site was not specific to increase capacity. The building work was more to do with safer access to the plant. A key reason what the local council wanted to reduce congestion at their entrance. So splitting site access for the raw material deliveries immediately halved the problem.
  •  Rather than increasing their production, they had reduced their output. One production line rather than three production lines in operation
  • A rough understanding of how much product left the site to be exported. Less than claimed. 
  • Confirmed daily and annual production rates 
  • Confirmation that their production involved no new technology. It was just a marketing tactic. 
  • The confidence that their own production and sales revenue were still on track. They were not missing out on sales. 
  • An accurate understanding of their competitor’s production capacities for each of their product. 
  • They now knew where their competitor’s raw materials originated. So they could better understand their production methods. 
  • Our client understood their competitor’s future plans and real numbers. Enabling them to come up with actions to counter them. 

And we can do the same for you.

How Competitive Intelligence increased the understanding of competitor production levels

This article was called how Competitive Intelligence increased the understanding of competitor production levels. It was Competitive Intelligence case study. We showed how our offering provided our client with greater certainty and stopped them from increasing their production based on false information.

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