Portfolio / Business Recession Analysis – during periods of economic decline, different businesses are impacted in different ways, visibility is less clear, and the most elusive analysis includes “is my business permanently changed.” The answer to that essential question requires information and data that management does not have, and it is critical in determining whether to stay the course or if fundamental shifts to business strategy are necessary. IGS has successfully helped investors, boards and senior management address those questions by collecting and analyzing direct, unbiased and unfiltered feedback through primary research – speaking with customers, competitors, consumers, suppliers and other industry constituents to objectively evaluate and quantify the state of the industry, competitive landscape and the condition of the business, and what activities should be undertaken to better position the business for growth moving forward. The results of our reports and actionable recommendations are used by our clients to adjust their business plans, make resource allocation decisions, and refine go-to-market strategies.
Distressed Investing (Equity & Debt) – there will be some number of companies and industries that are so severely impacted that their survival as a going-concern is in question. Determining which of those businesses are a bargain, versus those that are likely to fail, comes with its own set of unique diligence questions and timing. IGS works with many distressed investors to help them evaluate business diligence issues prior to their decision to increase or decrease a private or public equity investment, or take, increase or decrease a debt position. Often this diligence centers on whether the company has enough brand equity that its customers will remain, or return, if a stronger capital position relieves operating difficulties. This is accomplished through quick and comprehensive voice of the customer / channel feedback. The collection, analysis and quantification of voice of the customer feedback helps our clients identify those businesses that will recover and thrive, versus those that will fail.
Proactive Sector Investing – economic downcycles also present unique buying opportunities even for assets that are not distressed. Different industries and segments within those industries are impacted in different and specific ways, and their recoveries take different trajectories. IGS has evaluated thousands of private companies on behalf of financial and strategic investors, across many industries, segments and sub-segments. We help investors model the performance of different industries and quantify attractive industry segments to be prioritized for proactive efforts. IGS identifies the existence of target-rich M&A opportunities based on investor protocols (such as size, growth, margin profile, customer concentration, unique sustainable advantages) and can help identify unique and specific target opportunities.
Pricing Analysis – in periods where demand declines, companies are often forced to choose among bad outcomes such as declining revenue and market share versus declining margins. Optimizing pricing becomes more about survival than business growth, and it often requires information that the company does not have – such as how will its customers respond and how will its competitors react. IGS can help address these blind spots, analyzing not only company and available industry data, but collecting direct feedback from customers about their price elasticity, as well as intelligence from competitors about their pricing strategies. Getting reliable pricing intelligence is difficult – one cannot simply ask a decision-maker if they are willing to pay more for a good or service and expect to get a reliable answer. However, one can evaluate and quantify feedback about how important price is relative to other considerations such as lead times, customer service, product and service reliability – how those considerations change when a customer or competitor’s business itself is slowing down, how critical those products or services are to the business, and what alternatives they have. The results of IGS’ pricing analyses help our clients to address these and other questions and provide actionable feedback about how to price – which may be different by type of customer (size, leverage, location) – and to get it right.
Business Development – business development is always important, but often sacrificed or underweighted when times are good and the “phones are ringing” without much effort. However, as demand tightens and existing customers are spending less, finding new customers becomes all the more important. That is not in debate. The issue is how to do it in a structured and orderly manner – that allows for efficient allocation of resources – and get results. To this end, IGS helps senior management and their sales professionals quantify potential market opportunities in existing and new markets (geography, channel, products / services) – and to identify customer populations and potential customers within those populations, the competitors serving those customers, and what it takes to successfully target and convert sales opportunities. IGS can generate warm leads with specific targets and decision-makers, identify their business needs and willingness to take a sales call. Armed with this information, sales professionals are more successful, and management is better able to marshal its resources and model business growth.
Please contact a member of the IGS Management Team for details.