Dr. Bogdan Comanita, Lee Enterprises Consulting, Inc.
BusinessCompass™ is an international trade tracking service offered by Lee Enterprise Consulting to SMEs in the bioeconomy space.
As a former Executive in the world of fine and specialty biobased chemicals I know firsthand how hard is to make business decisions without having the right competitive intelligence at the right time and in the right format. You are sitting day-in and day-out in the hot seat making decisions based on educated guesses, whisper numbers and unchecked sales force information.
Occasionally one uses off-the-shelf yearly market reports to get the big picture of a global market however market reports rarely deliver the actionable information when you need it and how you need it. These off-the-shelf market reports offer only a distant rear view image of the rapidly changing market landscape at an affordable price (Figure 1).
By contrast, import/export databases report transactions in near real time. Oftentimes, the lag between custom data collection and data retrieval for your business decision can be as short as several days to several weeks. For example the news of a shipment to US markets recorded by Chinese or Indian customs could reach the executive desk even before the product itself is actually delivered to its US destination! This gives SMEs enough time to react and hopefully preempt the loss of customer share due to competitive moves.
Large companies, governmental organizations and consulting powerhouses generally use however highly trained specialists to mine and analyze various commercial databases. In particular, commodities covered by specific HSC work well for these in-house services. Extracting commodity data involve repetitive tasks that can be automated while high sales volumes warrant adequate in-house expert resources to collect, clean and interpret the data on a monthly or weekly basis.
By contrast, finding information on specialty and fine chemicals used in the bioeconomy space is fraught with technical difficulties. The smaller markets and the diversity of products makes the overhead associated with in-house expertise unaffordable. In short, there is no easy way to gather current, actionable and complete information at an affordable price for specialties such as biobutanol, 2-methyltetrahydrofuran etc.
Business Compass™ is a new competitive intelligence service that addresses precisely this gap. It puts current, actionable and affordable competitive intelligence for the high value added bioeconomy products at the SMEs fingertips.
One must realize that not one single import/export database is 100% complete. Using India as an example, we estimate that most of the data providers cover between 25% up to 75 % of the Indian ports. In addition, biobased chemicals might appear under different chemical names and are classified under different HS codes from one country to another.
Companies dealing day in and day out with a few commodities shipped from India’s main ports can track these routine transactions successfully. Given the high value of and the high number of these shipments, several missing shipments do not influence the overall conclusions. In-house monitoring is cost effective for these high volumes.
Figure 2: LEC BusinessCompass™ aggregates SMEs demand for data and makes affordable accesses to multiple databases
By contrast, the challenge to extract complete information at the right price becomes significant for SMEs tracking many small volume biochemical, with just a few high-value shipments, from multiple ports, under different chemical/trade names. A missing shipment can generate a distorted image of the total import/export market.
By way of example, searching for 2-methyltetrahydrofuran, a biobased raw material will require multiple keyword, multiple HS code searches in multiple databases to determine the correct total market footprint of the Indian export/import market (Figure 2). This comment applies of course to any other national market, not only to the Indian market.
Acquiring the in-house expertise and access to multiple databases in order to ensure completeness of information for small volume transactions makes the process unaffordable for SMEs.
LEC works as an aggregator of demand for international trade information from many SMEs companies in the biobased industry. By sharing the cost of access to expertise and multiple import/export databases, LEC makes the international trade monitoring services affordable.
In short, unlike pure-play import/export database providers who simply offer SME customers a password to access their database, LEC provides a turn-key quality service at an affordable price point.
So what will you typically learn from LEC BusinessCompass™ service?
Our product provides competitive intelligence that is invaluable across many functions of the chemical enterprise. It will immediately have an impact both on revenue maximization and cost reduction targets. It will also vastly improve your New Product Development (NPD) stage gate process (Figure 3).
Figure 3: BusinessCompass™ : a competitive intelligence service for the biobased industry
Sales & marketing, purchasing and R&D are the primary users however many other users such as business development, strategy development, mergers & acquisitions should extract benefits from MCh BusinessCompass™.
Sales, for example could learn their competition’s international customer list. They might also learn account specific volumes and even their sale price around the globe in preparation of contract negotiations.
BusinessCompass™ is an invaluable tool for the purchasing function as well. Buyers will know supplier-specific volumes and transaction prices. Companies will also be able to monitor in stealth mode exclusive supply agreements.
Finally, it is a well known fact that most New Product launches fail due to lack of proper market information and not for technical reasons. BusinessCompass™ is instrumental for acquiring the global market picture for new product development decisions. It will help the efficient use of scarce R&D resources by admitting in the development pipeline only the products with good upfront market potential.
Computers from around the world can track and share enormous volumes of information. International shipments of chemical goods used in the bioeconomy space are no exception. Legislation frameworks opened national commercial databases to public access in order to foster global trade and market competition. These factors revolutionized quietly the competitive intelligence space but remain an in-house prerogative of multinational, marketing savvy companies. BusinessCompass™ is an international trade tracking solution offered by Lee Enterprise Consulting as source of market intelligence for the bioeconomy space. Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) have now access to competitive information from around the world at affordable prices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Bogdan Comanita is an independent consultant and member of Lee Enterprises Consulting Group. He is the President of MarketChemica Inc. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Lee Enterprises Consulting, the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. We can assist show clients in obtaining maximum advantages performance-wise and economically from biojet fuels that appear to cost more at first glance. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. In smaller projects, we have just the right expert. In larger projects, we have the advantage of assembling full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.