STATUS + ENVIRONMENT

This section gives a database analysis of the various aspects of Company status, standing and relative performance in the industry and Market-Place. The data is given as a matrix by Subsidiary, Division, Unit or Market sector.

COMPANY PHYSICAL PROCESS CONSIDERATIONS: physical process difficulties; physical process capacity; physical capacity; flexibility of plant & equipment; ability to vary the product range; age of plant & equipment.

COMPANY SUPPLIES CONSIDERATIONS: materials & supplies purchasing & sourcing stock levels & inventories of materials & supplies; dependence on sub-contractors & outside workers; buying influence & purchasing power.

COMPANY MANPOWER CONSIDERATIONS: manpower & labour availability; labour & union relations; wage rises & wage demands; payroll levels in relation to competitors; salaried staff remunerations relative to competitors; technical capabilities of staff.

COMPANY COSTS & MARGIN CONSIDERATIONS: process stock & inventory levels; flexibility of variable costs; adaptability of fixed costs; variability of manpower costs; direct costs relative to major competitors; research & development & product development costs.

COMPANY PRODUCT CONSIDERATIONS: product quality; product specifications; product design & utility; product operating criteria & operating benefits; product efficiency & performance; product reliability & integrity; product longevity & shelf life; product life cycle & obsolescence; degree of customization & flexibility; product technology & technological advantage; product interchangeability & usage.

COMPANY MANAGEMENT STRENGTHS: management strengths of senior corporate officers; effectiveness of process managers; performance of sales & marketing managers; efficiency of administration managers; aptitude of technical & research & development staff; reliability of personnel managers.

COMPANY CORPORATE CONSIDERATIONS: upstream integration & economies of scale; downstream integration & benefits; captive distribution channels; dependence on other companies for supplies; dependence on other distribution channels to the market; dependence on other marketing activity for sales support; dependence on customers.

COMPANY DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL CONSIDERATIONS: warehousing & handling; packing & packaging; distribution network activities; stock availability; backlogs.

COMPANY CUSTOMER CONSIDERATIONS: geographic location of the customer base; dependence on discrete customer bases; captive & assured customer base; concentration of customers; frequency of product usage; size & volume of average turnover; customer servicing relative to competitors; seasonality of demand & customer purchases.

COMPANY MARKETING CONSIDERATIONS: advertising & sales promotion posture & activity; total marketing costs; sales promotion costs; salesforce & selling costs & expenses; advertising costs.

COMPANY COMPETITIVE CONSIDERATIONS: competitors' pricing policies & posture; sensitivity to economic conditions; marketing spend relative to competitors; aggressiveness of competitors' policies & postures; entry of new competitors into the market; prices at company sales price; recent price increases at company level; prices at retail or end users sales price; market share.

RELATIVE REPUTATION: general customer awareness of the company & its products; overall reputation; status of products; ranking of product quality; standing of service provided; position of customer handling & interface.

RELATIVE PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITY: rating of overall sales promotion activity; comprehension of advertising posture & the advertising message; effectiveness of sales personnel, salesforce & ancillary staff; lucidity of sales literature & print.

RELATIVE PRODUCT AVAILABILITY: rating of product general availability; acceptability of product specifications; satisfaction with delivery; assurance of order delivery performance; competence of order handling & order taking; ability to supply products as contracted.

RELATIVE TECHNICAL COMPETENCE: rating of general technical competence; technical expertise; application of product technology; product documentation & instructions; level of product reject or return rates; status of general after-sales service performance.

RELATIVE MARKETING FACTORS: perception of product pricing; ranking of technical superiority; fulfillment of service undertakings & the quality of service provided; assurance of promptness; record of service promptness & delivery; satisfaction with service levels; general ease of service use & procedures used; contentment with service convenience, scheduling & off-take; perception of distribution network system & efficiency; customer handling, flexibility & willingness to co-operate; equity of terms of trading & contractual considerations.

RELATIVE STAFF PERFORMANCE: initial contact & responsiveness; contact with order handling staff; negotiations with sales personnel; contact with administration & account staff; interface with technical & specialist managers & staff; performance of service personnel.

RELATIVE CORPORATE CONSIDERATIONS: upstream integration; perceptions of downstream integration; performance of captive distribution channels; Utilization of other distribution; benefits of other marketing activity; capture & dominance of specific customer bases.

RELATIVE DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL CONSIDERATIONS: efficiency of warehousing & handling; quality & attractiveness of packing & packaging; performance of overall distribution activities; general stock availability; overall backlogs.

RELATIVE CUSTOMER CONSIDERATIONS: geographic location & spread of the customer base; captiveness of existing customer bases; loyalty of the existing customer base; relative concentration of customers; frequency of average customer purchases; average size & turnover of customer service requirements; general level of customer servicing; seasonality of customer demand for products.

RELATIVE PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS: general advertising & sales promotion message; marketing spend, Utilization & sales decay; specific sales promotions & activity; salesforce effectiveness & performance; advertising efficiency.

RELATIVE COMPETITIVE CONSIDERATIONS: Overall pricing policy & its effectiveness; sensitivity to the economic climate & conditions; competitive marketing effort; reaction to competitors' policies & activities; reaction to the market entry of competitors; attractiveness of pricing; ability to cope with & react to pricing increases; overall competitiveness of end users sales pricing; general relative market share.

PRODUCT FACTORS: Product Quality & Quality Approvals; Product Design, Designers Factors & Specifications; Product Criteria & Parameters; Research & Development, Product Development & Customization Costs; Technology, Technological Factors & Developments; Product Longevity + Performance, Efficiency & Integrity; Product Reliability, Failure Rates & Defects; Product Criteria, Operation & Usage; Technical Aspects, Technical Developments & Development Success; Product Life Cycles & Product Obsolescence.

MARKETING FACTORS: Warehousing, Handling & Distribution Channel Costs; Pricing at Company's level; Pricing at End User or Consumer levels; Stock Availability, Lead Times & Delivery; Sales Promotion & Selling Costs; Advertising Posture & Advertising Costs; Competition & Competitors' Aggressiveness & Posture; Market Share & Relative Market Shares; Seasonality, Cyclical Demand & Demand Fluctuations; Sensitivity to Economic Conditions & Effect of Recession; After-Sales Servicing, Requirements & Costs.

SUPPLIER FACTORS: Physical Process + Handling Facilities & Capacity; Capacity & Flexibility of Plant; Dependence on Sub-contractors, Input Materials & General Suppliers; Technical Capabilities & New Product Developments; Technological Aptitude & Technological Innovations; General Physical Plant & Equipment Capacity; Economies of Scale & Own Buying Influence; Alternative Suppliers Base; Commitment of Suppliers; Price & Pricing Advantages amongst Suppliers; Conditions of Sale & Terms of Trading.

DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL & NETWORKS / CUSTOMER INTERFACE FACTORS: Technical & Marketing Capabilities; Distribution Facilities & Manpower Availability; Commitment to other Companies; Sales Volumes & Turnover requirements; Margins & Added Value; Captive Customer Base & Customers Handled; Geographic Coverage; Sales Promotion, Advertising & Salesforce; Synergy with Existing Products & Customer Bases; Cash-Flow Requirements of the Distribution Channel; Capital - Distribution Channel.

CUSTOMER FACTORS: Consumption & Demand Factors; Purchase Background & Past Product Purchases; Purchasing Criteria - Economic Factors; Purchasing Criteria - Motivational Factors; Acquisition Costs, Service Pricing; Product Costs; Customer Awareness.