Life is full of fine lines. Genius and madness are two sides of the same coin it is often said and the balance between science and art is one full of intricate nuance. Similarly the relationship between increasing service revenue and healthy profit margin relies a a special type of alchemy, as Michael Blumberg explains...
Companies who are extremely effective at growing their service revenue while maintaining healthy profit margins typically have a very good understanding of the size and forecast of the markets they serve.
Their perspective is not defined solely terms of an order of magnitude, for example stating “their market is approximately $500M -$750M, but articulating the size of their market down to the exact monetary value (e.g., £, €, $, etc.) of revenue and decimal point of the growth.
Knowing the exact size and forecast of service markets is critical for making optimal decisions with respect to investment and resource allocation. For example, it might be important to have this information on hand prior to building a marketing strategy, establishing a division, or developing a service offering for it. If the data validates that a market segment is large and growing rapidly then a more aggressive investment maybe warranted. Rely solely on an order of magnitude or general assumptions can lead to miscalculated decision that results in a significant loss or failure for the company.
"While obtaining a granular level of data on the size and growth rate of a market segment can help service executives make better decisions and ensure better results, it is surprising the many do not attempt to obtain this level of insight..."
While obtaining a granular level of data on the size and growth rate of a market segment can help service executives make better decisions and ensure better results, it is surprising the many do not attempt to obtain this level of insight.
Instead, service executives often rely on gut instinct or settle on an order of magnitude, given some related indicator. For example, we often hear service executives claim that it is enough for them to simply know that service market for a product is large because sales of the product have been high .
The problem with this type of market analysis is that it assumes that 100% of people who have bought a product will also purchase the service.
The truth is that very few, if any, companies have a captive market or experience 100% attachment and renewal rates. Even Best in Class companies experience averages attachment rates of 76% and 90% renewal rates.
Unfortunately, relying on KPIs does not take into account broader, strategic and objective factors such as the installed base size, competitive threats, economic factors technology trends, or other market trends, More importantly, it does not provide any hard data related to revenue which also necessary for developing objective ROI and/or make versus buy analysis.
While surveys and secondary research also have merit when it comes to market sizing and forecast, they too have their shortcomings. Surveys and secondary research can of course provide insight into size and growth of a market as well as answer questions with respect to who buys, what do they buy, and factors influencing supply and demand.
However, they do not measure the actual size and growth of the Total Available Market (TAM) for the service under consideration at any level of precision. A shortcoming of secondary research is that it may not specific enough or tailored in its the perspective. The research methodology behind the forecast may also not be very sound or defensible.
"We have found econometric market models to be very effective method for conducting this type of service market analysis..."
Ultimately, a good TAM analysis is one that takes into account the size and growth rate of the customer base or installed base as well as the serviceable value of that base along with its anticipated growth rate. We have found econometric market models to be very effective method for conducting this type of service market analysis.
A good econometric model considers several data points related to the number buying organisations, types of buying organizations, purchase trigger events, equipment penetration rates (i.e., shipments), population density, replacement rates, and revenue allocation by service category and/or equipment category. These factors help determine the size and value of the serviceable customer or installed base while surveys and secondary research provides data points (e.g., price points, average spend, etc.) necessary for determining current and forecasted revenues and/or expenditures for a given service.
Building an econometric model to determine the size and forecast of the TAM may seem like a lot of work. However, the efforts are worth it and can prevent a company from making serious mistakes and/or miscalculations about their market opportunity. Several years ago, a client of mine gave a presentation at an industry conference where his competitors were present.
The presentation showed that his service business was growing twice as fast as the market. Although he had commissioned us to build a TAM model, he chose to compare his company’s revenue growth to market size data from an industry analyst’s report (i.e., secondary research). After the presentation, I asked him why he didn’t present our data. “We based our investment and resource allocation decisions on your model not the secondary research. We want to keep this fact a secret from our competitors as long as we can” was his reply. Had his company relied only on secondary data they would have had different results. His answer provided that his investment in building the market model was worth it.
To learn more about using econometric modelling to determine the Total Available Market for your company’s services check out Blumberg Advisory Group’s Revenue Maximization practice at https:// blumberg-advisor.com/revenue-maximization/
In fact, it is those smaller organisations that may likely see the biggest benefits.
Michael Blumberg is President of the Blumberg Advisory Group and founder of Field Service Insights
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