Case Histories

Exterior Sheathing Application Power Tool

A Division of an internationally known fastener manufacturer saw an opportunity to combine their fastening technology with a versatile tool to allow commercial exterior sheathing contractors to quickly install sheathing on commercial building exteriors. The power tool was designed to shoot the fastener into the sheathing material and twist it home for a tight fit. Although the company had the basic concept, they wanted to know how it was accepted by commercial contractors. They also wanted to know what type of configurations would be most desirable such as corded vs cordless and the shape of the power tool. Other parameters to be tested were pricing, performance, and maintenance. 

Ciprus conducted a series of focus groups in one of the company’s key sales areas bringing in foremen and project managers from large commercial exterior contractors to evaluate the concept and prototype models. As a result, the client knew the level of acceptance, the price points, the configuration and other important considerations to move forward with the development and production of this unique tool.

Power Painting Equipment Company Acquisition Evaluation

The client was a well known industry leader in the hand and power tool market with an interest in acquiring an established power painting tool company. As part of their evaluation they were interested in evaluating the target company’s perception among its distribution. 

Ciprus designed a comprehensive study plan along with a well structured telephone questionnaire and interviewed the target companies distributors and dealers evaluating the company on a series of performance criteria. During the research it was apparent the target company had some severe issues with their products and their service to the industry. As a result, the client decided to abandon the acquisition thus saving valuable resources for other uses and avoiding a costly mistake. 

The target company, based upon the evaluation, later hired Ciprus for a series of assignments because they were impressed with the candid assessment of their company.

Tool Accessory Manufacturer Home Center Channel Market Entry Evaluation

A leading saw blade manufacturer and industry leader with a high loyalty among professional contractors sold primarily through contractor supply houses and STAFDA outlets had been courted by Home Depot to sell into the channel. Up to that point, the company had no knowledge of what was required to sell into the homecenter channel. The client was also concerned about backlash from their traditional industrial distributors. 

Ciprus was called into provide a comprehensive evaluation of what other industry leaders had gone through in selling to the home center channel. Ciprus met on a face-to-face basis with company executives at several home center vendors in the hand, power tool and accessories industry

In the process of interviewing the companies, Ciprus was able to develop a typical entry path to the home center channel as well as the range of requirements and pitfalls of selling into that channel including the use of planograms and outside detailing companies. 

As a result, the client decided they were not ready to make the move and to sacrifice their profit margins at that time. The research was repeated 4 years later with the client continuing to decline the home center chain's advances.

Low Voltage Fluorescent Lighting - New Product Development

The client was a global manufacturer of interior building products and had been working with lighting industry giants GE and Phillips to develop a low voltage fluorescent lighting product for use in commercial office interviewers. The advantage with the low voltage product versus high voltage was that union electricians would not be necessary if end user wished to change the configuration of an office. They could simply use their maintenance personnel. The end user could easily change the furniture and lighting to suit the any new seating configuration. Up to that point all of the development and evaluation was done with the GE, Phillips and client name attached and all was a go!

Ciprus was brought in to conduct a blind evaluation without the benefit of the research sponsor and client names attached. Focus groups were conducted in 3 geographic areas with electrical engineers, facility managers and architects. As a result, the product failed since end-users had no desire to move their lighting. The client abandoned the project saving itself a costly product entry to a market that didn’t exist.