LogoTechnology Management Associates, Inc., Serving Business Needs in the Global Marketplace

Technology Services

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Lighting the darkness

Lighthouse
We try to illuminate your way through the rocks of cost, obsolescence, and job loss to the shores of tremendous value that can be derived from application of appropriate technology.
Useful tools that make things easier, more efficient: already-proven innovations resemble cats (they typically have 9 or more lives). For example, NASA's water purification technology developed for the space program is now being used to clean swimming pools, eliminating the need for chlorine and reducing maintenance costs.

Far-out concepts that push the envelope: cutting edge and future technologies resemble economic forecasting and investment advice (experts don't always agree). That's why we always check multiple sources. Even if those multiple sources come up with widely divergent opinions, you'll be able to make better decisions because you'll understand the underlying assumptions through which those opinions were derived.

Here is a sampling of the kinds of requests we've received and how we've approached their solution.

Technology Application

The markets for an ISO 9001 contract manufacturing company's products were slowly but surely fading, as new products using entirely different technologies replaced the existing ones. In a few years, the value of their hard-won efforts in designing and perfecting their precision manufacturing process would all but disappear. Company management believed their processes would find applications in other markets that demanded their abilities to hold to very tight tolerances and to formulate compounds to exact physical property specifications.

An overview survey of products in newer, fast-growing markets revealed a number of components which could be fabricated, and functionally improved, by the company's process know-how. An added benefit to potential customers is that the company had long experience in working with technologically-sophisticated customers from prototype through production.

We selected two key markets to investigate in greater detail; in conducting personal interviews, we uncovered technology gaps which the manufacturer had the ability to address; we were able to make direct introductions of several prospective customers to the manufacturer (and the rest, as they say, is history).

Technology Trends

Several years ago, California passed new legislation imposing stringent environmental requirements to be met a number of years in the future. Soon after this legislation passed and other states began drafting similar proposals, we received a request to review these requirements from a market perspective. We were also to evaluate how the focus of R&D activities at large American companies and at large private and federal laboratories might change (there had been several alternative technologies under development, but the legislation appeared to eliminate all but a single technology).

Formulation of major policies and programs in the United States is done through government agencies and laboratories, large trade organizations, and companies. We identified the major organizations, discussing their background, relationships, and their involvement in setting relevant policies and regulations.

To assess the research situation, we reviewed the status of all published R&D programs and sub-programs underway in each of the alternative technologies, surveyed major players at trade shows and by telephone, and compiled a set of perceived advantages and disadvantages of each technology and its specific applications. Lastly, we researched and surveyed consumer and special interest groups. Our conclusion then: because of serious inconsistencies in estimating the legislation's benefits to the environment, the legislation would likely be modified before the due date. As it happens, that is exactly what occurred in mid-January, 1996.

We've also recently had the opportunity to survey American cyberbusiness activities across a whole lot of industries. Very enlightening. Please contact us if you'd like a copy of our observations on the "7 Deadly Sins" and "7 Virtues" of cybersite marketing.

Licensing Strategy

A technology company with patent protection throughout the world, along with considerable design and manufacturing know-how, was well-established in certain industries in the United States but had little presence outside of North America. Management recognized the scope of these untapped markets but wanted to maintain the company's strengths by directing its profits into developing new products, rather than diverting them into global expansion efforts. Licensing was acknowledged to be their best option for realizing substantial revenues from new markets in a fairly short timeframe.

We reviewed their product's physical properties and current industries served as the first step in identifying new industries and in making rough estimates of market size for the most promising product applications (high volume/high margin). The estimate of market size is particularly important in attracting potential licensees. We then related the various countries' patent expiration dates with our estimates of market size. From the perspective of time, only large companies with already-established distribution channels into the appropriate markets were viable licensing candidates for soon-to-expire patents.

To identify companies to target as potential licensees, we designed a table listing industry segments coupled with product applications across three market characteristics. We then identified the major companies serving these markets, highlighting those with the greatest market scope, in North America, Asia, and Europe. The company was then well-equipped to focus their marketing and sales efforts on the most likely licensee candidates.

Technology Management Associates, Inc.
(312) 984-5050jogucwa@techmanage.com

Copyright 1996-2000, Technology Management Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.