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Preparation of a Product Specification Based Upon Market Knowledge

Client X, a medium sized general engineering company decided that the UK combination boiler market looked attractive and approached Enertek for assistance in designing a suitable product.

At the initial meeting with Enertek, Client X decided Enertek was the right company to design their new product but Enertek could not start without a product specification. The client, new to the boiler industry did not know enough about the market to compile a detailed specification so commissioned Enertek to do this prior to commencing any design work.

Phase 1 - was a ‘Market Appraisal’ whereby Enertek conducted some basic research to update their existing records and prepared a report for Client X stating:

  • The approximate overall market size in term of volume.
  • The identifiable market sectors.
  • The main competitors (company names and resumes) plus approximate market shares.
  • The market trends.
  • Any legislative changes likely to affect the market (e.g. ErP Directive)

Phase 2 - having confirmed the client’s interest in continuing beyond phase 1 was to build upon the output of Phase 1 more in depth, this time looking at specific competitors and their products.
Enertek’s report in Phase 2 declared:

  • The current market leaders and their strategies, strengths & weaknesses.
  • Leading brands and associated products.
  • Routes to market (e.g. direct via merchants or specifiers).
  • Enertek’s assessment as to whether there was a market opportunity for client A and if so, where and how?

Prior to proceeding further, a review meeting was held to discuss the client’s aspirations and ongoing objectives in view of the information presented so far. In this case, Client X decided that they wanted a share of the niche high end sector because they could not compete on volume with the key players and asked Enertek to undertake the next phase with this objective in mind.

Phase 3 was therefore specifically targeted at products in the ‘high end’ sector. This produced the following output:

  • A summary of product specifications in this sector.
  • An overview of marketing and distribution techniques used in this sector.
  • A statement regarding design trends – the way the sector is heading, the impending innovations or legislation likely to affect the sector.

Finally, Phase 4 was to propose a detailed product specification for discussion with Client X from which Enertek prepared a quotation for the design, development and certification of the product. The client in turn had a specification which they could test against their own sources and business plans.

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