Market research – basis for strategy in international mechanical engineering

The position

The customer, an international listed mechanical engineering group, has been developing and producing innovative and high-performance systems for decades, which are used in the high-tech sector. It has an extensive range of specific solutions for a variety of customer markets, including the semiconductor industry, consumer electronics, solar industry, metallurgy, laboratory analytics and research. As part of a comprehensive project in the area of strategy, the company wanted to strengthen its competitiveness and better differentiate and realign its business model with regard to its market/customer and product portfolio, in addition to the usual goals of increasing sales and earnings.

These goals required a comprehensive portfolio analysis, which was to form the basis for the subsequent gap analysis. Thus, the market volume, competitive positioning and future market growth had to be determined for the numerous and partly newly defined product and business segments.

The challenge

But how to achieve this?

In addition to human resources, the company also lacked market data. For example, figures from the relevant associations were not detailed enough or only represented part of the market. Other sources, such as studies by third-party providers, were not given sufficient credence. In addition, which study provider should be able to know the market better than the market leader itself, with its many niche applications and over 150 competitors worldwide?

To support the company’s own market research department and to manage the data collection project, an external market researcher with the necessary B2B experience was sought to act as an interim expert to collect and process the desired information. HANSE Consulting was able to provide the experienced in-house research manager of the HANSE Group, who has been responsible for the company and industry analyses of the HANSE Group for 10 years.

The result

The action plan now provided for a well-founded competitive analysis in cooperation with the customer and the employees on site and remotely. In addition to researching information from publicly available sources (sales figures from databases, segment information from the press and annual reports), this also included interviewing employees worldwide (key account managers, product managers, regional sales managers).

Of particular interest was the approach of collecting concrete figures in a structured manner using the know-how of the company’s own employees (e.g. estimated sales share of competitor A with product group A or B). Of course, the figures obtained were ultimately also estimates, but in total and in combination with all other findings, the result was now considered to be significantly more valid and rounded.

HANSE Consulting’s Head of Research Raphael Michel was able to solve the task described above with flying colors. The result was appreciated by the management of the engineering company and provided the basis for far-reaching decisions in the area of strategy.

Additionally, the tasks were extended after a very good performance. They included researching growth forecasts in defined segments, providing support for strategy analysis and, on another large scale, preparing a potential study for an extremely specialized niche application.

The latter was the result of comprehensive desk research work, which not only led to surprising insights for the client, but also to a review of the business and sales model in the relevant business area.

The tasks show once again that the “desk researcher” no longer only takes on classic jobs such as database extracts and media observations, but that the job description has changed more and more into an “intelligence professional”. Today, this person must not only prove his or her competencies as a research specialist, but also be an analyst, industry and competition expert. Knowledge about markets, competitors and trends as a basis for strategic decisions must be valid in companies of all sizes and must be “underpinned” by qualified research activities.


Due to the expertise and the high detailed knowledge of the head of research of HANSE Consulting, the strategy development of the company could be advanced and answers for the future of the company and the further strategy, which are especially important in economically turbulent times, were found!

If your company is also lacking qualified market data, then contact HANSE Consulting – our in-house research will also work out the necessary basic data for your company to underpin your strategy.

Market analysis, competitive environment and much more – HANSE Consulting provides you with a valid database for your strategic decisions.