Desk research can help you start a new project or just keep you up to date on your current business. Organizations need to help insure that they are not missing out on trends, changing dynamics, and changes with competitors. The management often spends a lot of time in the trenches, putting out fires, moving sales and other processes forward. While staying focused and driving towards the organizations goals is a good thing, it is also equally important to take a step back and see the big picture. Taking some time to look at the overview provides the much needed context to what is going on in the industry.
For example, a parts supplier to the crane industry was doing very well in 2007 and 2008. It had a strong order activity and a backlog extending into late 2009. All the conversations it had with its customers indicated the crane industry was in the midst of a long upcycle driven by growth global infrastructure needs. However, the crane market is highly cyclical and in June 2008, before the wider downturn, the crane market started to turn in Europe and soften in the US. Companies watching the data and with a global view would have seen this. In September 2008, when the economy started to turn, some manufactures stated their backlogs were still secure, orders were still coming and the downturn would not be severe. This was not the case and a severe downturn followed. Suppliers that listened to their customers alone did not cut fast enough and suffered unnecessary losses. Those who looked elsewhere for information, like a desk research report, were better prepared and their losses were less severe.
This is just one example of how following what customers are saying and staying internally focused can hurt an organization. Another prime example was all the firms caught unprepared for increasing competition from new Chinese firms over the past decade. This hurt pricing power, margins, and their volumes.
Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees
This phrase serves as a good reminder from time-to-time for managers at an organization. It is easy to get bogged down in the details. Time will pass and important changes to the big picture get missed. Instead of strategically positioning the company for the next 3-5 years, managers are too often left reacting and playing catch up. It is hard to get ahead this way.
A periodic desk research report on the sector can help. It looks at impactful things like the economy, industry cycles, and the competitive landscape to help mangers understand how these things can impact the business. In addition, the reports can identify faster growing and slower growing parts of the market to help better allocate resources. While you may know what is growing fast now, that may not be the same next year. Plan for the change.
Creating a desk research report for this purposed takes time, experience, and access to information. Even if an organization feels its personal can put together a report, time is typically a bigger issue. In order to generate a good report, all the outstanding data, research, and information need reviewed. After this, the editor should create and outline and pull the research together into one document.
This report can get steered in various directions or encompass a wide range of topics depending need. Competitive analysis, industry trends, current sales figures, recent pricing trends, leading economic indicators, and history industry cycles can all potentially be included in the report based on needs.
One of the biggest challenges of creating a report that captures the best of the existing primary research is knowing where to look and getting access to all the primary research. Just by knowing where to look can save countless hours for data. In addition, access to reports from industry analysts, equity analysts, and other pay for use data bases can get expensive. Using an organization like Research Optimus can make the process faster and build a higher quality report. Their experience and access to information gives them a clear edge compared to internally generate reports.
A desk-based research report is merely a collection of the best primary research available on a topic. Properly utilizing these to stay current on possibility changes can provide your organization an edge planning for the future.
– Research Optimus