Total Quality Management
One investor and one member of the Board of Directors asked us to consult with a small company in the security monitoring space. It had been modestly successful, but sales had stalled, and the future of the company, once bright, was now clouded.
We interviewed senior management, had a market analysis conducted, and summarized interviews with prominent experts in the company’s domain. These were then consolidated, two scenarios developed, and fed back at an offsite for senior management.
When interviewing know figures and experts in the company’s domain, the following was found:
In regards to [company name]’s strengths, most experts felt that the company had a good name and solid reputation for quality. Many felt that the company did an excellent job of focusing on its core competencies and carving out a niche for its high-quality products and services. [Company name] has a known history for innovation and quality in its product.
Experts also stated that [company name] has had challenges recently staying competitive with certain technologies, most notably  capability. Many believed this signaled a point when [company name] lost its innovative edge and fell behind. Some see the narrow niche focus as an inhibitor to serving a broad audience, enabling big name competitors (Sony and Panasonic for example) to gain a competitive advantage and capture market share.  features and innovation were mentioned as both a strength and weakness for [company name], indicating that a narrow focus can be viewed as doing a few things very well, yet it may be too narrow to compete within the industry .
The industry was still much dominated by analog devices with a huge installed base. New installations of digital devices were projected to increase, both in small installations (less than 16 devices), and larger installations(greater than 16 devices) as is shown below:
In response to the above, we developed two scenarios: One, where the adoption of analog to digital was a slow one, and the second, where A to D adoption was much quicker, as illustrated below:
Senior management broke into two teams, one for each scenario. Each team developed a strategy canvas, outlining the current comparison between customer requirements, competitor strengths, and the strengths of our client. A similar canvas was created for future clients, competitors and strengths of our client. Please see below.
After much discussion, the company mission was modified and clarified to the text below:
[Company name] will provide the most reliable, cost effective video surveillance systems in the ,  and and markets. We aim to be number one or number two in these market segments, and will do so by providing flexible, configurable systems that allow systems integrators a profitable choice in the market, and provide the technologies that meet the end-customer needs. We will be known for ease of installation, service and upgradability.
To the surprise of many in the room, the unexploited opportunity that emerged was replacing existing larger-installation analog devices. This is something of a messier process, and devices in the field are not the cleanest in the world. This also happened to be why this was an unexploited market.
It was also clear that the client didn’t have the capital or marketing base the pursue these opportunities. The company made some adjustments based on the above, and eventually merged with another firm in the same domain.