Therma Tru was successfully leading the US entry door market, but large market share, increasing price sensitivity, and rising competition led them to look for new ways to increase revenues per doorway. They asked Sagentia to help them find new product opportunities and understand their strategic product options, with the aim of driving new sales and higher margins even in a downturn market.
Our brief was to find ways to increase ‘value capture’ per doorway, essentially by tailoring products and services to the needs of the key players throughout the downstream value chain, and by understanding how to raise sales of ancillary components.
We undertook an Opportunity Discovery programme. Initial analysis revealed that there were two key focus areas that should be explored; Therma Tru’s value chain, and the voice of the customer at different points along the chain. The team held face to face interviews with downstream business managers across the US to gain a clearer understanding of stakeholder challenges, preferences and business priorities, while also making competitive product comparisons. We then carried out a series of in situ observational interviews, which revealed real world product opportunities and the complex inter-business relationships and decision making processes underpinning this traditional industry.
The insights gained during our research led us to identify more than 60 ways in which Therma Tru could increase demand for product along the value chain. Some of these were ‘quick wins’ – product innovations for immediate implementation. Some were articulated in a set of strategic product development recommendations which Therma Tru has since implemented with great effect. Perhaps our influence is best seen in the new product lines which Therma Tru has developed since our involvement, which clearly reflect the opportunities we identified for them. The highly successful Tru Defense product line, launched in 2007, was the company’s largest new launch ever and has proved to be a great success – driving levels of demand that can only be generated by meeting a real market need, increasing value per doorway and bolstering the company’s competitive performance in a downturn market.
Following delivery of the initial project we have stayed closely involved with Therma Tru and its plans for the future. We have undertaken development work for new product lines, including IP and competitor assessment, technology scouting, materials and new product specification, and prototyping. A Sagentia consultant also sits on the company’s ‘Innovation Council’, a regular meeting of top management convened to discuss innovation issues, at which we advise Therma Tru on how to continue to drive innovation into its business.