01-03-2013 11:53 AM
Hopefully this is the right place to post this. I am trying to expand my company’s sales opportunities and potential industries for our solutions. However, having an operations, warehousing, sales, installation, and software/hardware background in the telecommunications industry, my mind is very much focused in mainly the telecom/IT arena currently.
Thankfully this has led our company to create some very unique solutions that provide some ground breaking and MANY patent pending solutions that has validated what we are doing is extremely unique. However being telecom focused, it also hinders me from fully understanding where other opportunities may exist.
A product in one market may be a terrific solution, but its acceptance and integration may be tougher and longer than within others where adoption could be quick and easy. There have been countless examples of "re-branding" in another industry or forays into other industries over the years that takes a company from small business to astronomical heights. We have made great gains within our initial targeted industry, however I know that our solutions can solve the same issues for other industries as well. I do not want to limit our growth to a specific corner when a world of opportunity to help others with these same issues could be around a corner we never considered going around.
What industries or types of companies do similar things?
1. Telecom companies either do it themselves or hire GC's to build telecommunication locations. This requires them to create a list of materials necessary once the site is engineered, order those materials, ensure all materials are ready to issue to the contractor to install, etc. This would require the need to know when all items are scheduled to be available and tracking of those materials against that project and to know when they are ready as a whole (Basic ERP on steriods).
1. The targeted audience here is Telecom Providers and/or the General Contractors that build out their networks.
2. A department has multiple locations where stock is located within a multi-location business across the country/world. They face an expansion or need to upgrade, again they have a list of materials they need to fill that project, once filled they can begin that work and they want to know what they can use that they already own and what needs to be ordered externally. (Order fufillment and allocation of held materials while identifying what needs to be obtained externally)
1. Targeted audience here would be large/multi-facility IT departments
3. An IT department has a need to upgrade something; they need to find the parts within their company to fill that need. They may have some slated to be decommissioned at one location where they could use it at another and need visibility across all locations/projects into held assets and automatically be able to match supply with demand. (automated re-allocation of already held assets)
1. Targeted audience here would be large/multi-facility IT departments
4. A company has spares in multiple locations and needs to track those spares in the event they are needed in other locations for whatever reason, be it expansion, disaster recovery, or order fulfillment
5. A company needs to track spares, where all of them are, if any are out for repair and their slated ETA to be back in stock, etc
6. A company needs to track warranty on items once put into service and when that warranty begins
As you can tell from my examples above, I am very telecom/IT focused. This is the reason for me reaching out to see what industries we could be missing that require the same basic functional needs. This could be at a micro or macro level. This could range from components inside a specific piece of hardware or even PCB components to full blown construction projects, production levels and spares, etc.
Your industry and company type input is appreciated; I am really interested in hearing from others in diverse areas and industries I may have never considered that fits this type of need. I appreciate any assistance in helping me think outside my telecom/IT box. Thank you for any suggestions you may be able to provide.
01-04-2013 12:07 AM
it sounds as if your solutions apply to companies that have a lot of relatively expensive equipment/ parts that they need to keep track of. Biomedical equipment maybe? Hospitals or research institutions? NASA? Aerospace?
01-04-2013 07:02 AM
Great suggestions, thank you for taking the time to throw out a few.
The visibility piece to track expensive material is nothing new and most inventory systems do this. Where we are unique is because we have the visibility into all those assets being held (be it in our system directly, or imported from existing inventory systems), items on order, inter-org transfers, etc and as needs change, as projects gets put on hold and others become the "hot project" - we provide a way to still accurately track all those materials for all the projects/jobs/builds/assemblies and reallocate the items that can be moved to the new hot projects automatically, while still being able to report on what needs to be ordered externally, used internally, etc and know when to order the backfill so it arrives when those project you just stole from become ready again to be done.
NASA & Aerospace would be right in the sense of they do “build” things I supose such as an airplane or a space shuttle or some form of satellite. Now within the need to build that item, someone generates a list of materials needed to make that specific “thing” happen, however within a single project there isn’t much benefit in our solutions – but compound that by hundreds of projects and thousands of items per project that you have to manage/track. Then have some of those projects always ending up being pushed back and newer or higher priority projects moved forward and they need to used what they have now to move those projects along – this is our area of expertise.
I keep heading back towards the “building” side of things with all the companies I consider, at the core something is being built or created in some way that requires material managers, project managers, and engineers/architects involved, or some form of designer that can generate a list of materials needed per project, someone needs to order the materials and track them, someone needs to know when all these items will be available to schedule the resources to use them and they deal with projects being reprioritized or moved forward/back on them – then these are the kinds of companies and industries I am trying to find out that may exist outside the telecom world
Because our solutions are targeted, you can see how “thinking outside the box” can be a brain twister to find the other company types or industries that would have the same scenarios. I have considered electric companies and their needs to build hundreds of sub-stations for expanding demands for electricity, Oil & Gas companies that build hundreds/thousands of pumping stations, Wind turbine installation companies that need to manage thousands of builds across the country, and so on. These are the things I have considered, but am always interested in other avenues.
I am trying to step out of our comfort zone and find other company types or industries that do the same or similar and that have the pain points that we solve, the ability to track thousands of projects, the materials within those projects, and reallocate all those materials when projects get put on hold and others take precedence.
Does that help clarify?
I will Check the Biomedical and Hospital/research side of things – surely there must be some form of material list for an project or installation. Probably more on the contractor side that is building out a Lab or something and they are doing hundreds of that something that takes hundreds of part within those “something’s” that they need to manage, track, report, forecast, reallocate, etc.
01-07-2013 03:27 PM
Pharmaceutical companies? Drugs get approved, discontinued, ramped, etc. And not just pills, but stuff like IV fluids and injections.
Electronics recycling? Hot trend for companies trying to profit from old electronics. Maybe a play to help catalog, classify, and ship all the reusable components?
Furniture? Designer furniture, ergonomic furniture and other stuff that that might change based on contracts and custom orders.