Over the years, budgets have grown tighter in the aerospace and defense industry, especially in Western European and North American markets. In 2011, one of the world's leading manufacturers of state-of-the-art solutions for armed forces and civil security sectors decided to take action. With a vast portfolio of products – including advanced aircraft and unmanned aerial systems, intelligence and surveillance, cyber security and more – the company's Board of Directors wanted to explore growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. But they needed a better way to survey the competitive landscape, identify opportunities and plan their path forward.
The Vice President of Market Research and Business Development was dissatisfied with their legacy provider of market intelligence and forecasting. Her team had acquired any number of dense hard-copy reports on various topics, but the data was aggregated at a very high level. They could see, for example, that the total market for radar in Europe might be $10 billion between now and 2020, but they could not find out exactly what types of radar are in demand or the defense budgets in one country versus another - now or 10 years hence. As a result, the Market Research team spent too much time validating data, digging for more details and slicing data up to make it useful to decision makers. Often those decision makers were left guessing because the company did not have a source of reliable, actionable intelligence.
After reviewing the premier providers on the market, the company selected IHS Markit. Specifically, its evaluators chose Jane's DS Forecast™ - an IHS Markit Aerospace & Defense Solution™.
Accessing Quality Data, Setting Initial Scope
With Jane's DS Forecast, the manufacturer's researchers could now pick the categories of data that they wanted from a list of 23 platform and system markets in more than 70 countries. They had instant access to online information they could trust, built on a strong foundation of data that has been collected and verified from the bottom up by dedicated IHS Markit experts with deep experience in the military and the A&D industry.
Since the company had very few "boots on the ground" in Asia, executive leadership knew that their plans to break into these highly competitive markets depended upon them working smart. The Market Research and Business Development team needed to uncover solid, winnable opportunities for Sales representatives before they were even deployed. This was an opportunity to not only find short-term deals but also reinvent their process for breaking into new markets.
The team began its research into APAC by focusing on 6 specific markets for defense electronics used in aircraft and unmanned aerial systems. They accessed a wealth of existing regional and country-specific data from IHS Markit about spend rates, gross domestic product, research and development, procurements and more.
Researchers used the IHS Markit solution almost like one of the company's own sophisticated reconnaissance systems – to see more clearly inside its target markets and farther beyond the current business horizons.
Using Analytic Tools, Sharpening the Focus
The defense system manufacturer's researchers used the IHS Markit solution almost like one of the company's own sophisticated reconnaissance systems – to see more clearly inside its target markets and farther beyond the current business horizons.
Company analysts used Jane's DS Forecast's easy, intuitive online charting tool to include or exclude data in order to show the exact perspectives that they wanted. They leveraged the IHS Markit system's search, filter and display capabilities to facilitate each step of their analyses – including overall market assessment, subsystem or supply chain breakdowns, interpretation of competitive intelligence, and tracking of market drivers and trends. They also used the new system to develop country-by-country assessments of A&D markets across Asia Pacific in order to determine which ones appeared most promising for their company's products.
With these tools, the business development team proactively drilled into the rich, granular data from IHS Markit to pinpoint sales opportunities that aligned with their company's offerings and goals – now and in the future.
Company analysts developed multiple 10-year market forecasts based on detailed knowledge of the lifecycles for different defense systems. For example, with market data and analytic tools from IHS Markit, analysts could now readily anticipate if/when a given APAC country's fighter jets would need to replace its radar system. By knowing the likely timetable as well as that jet model's specifications, the defense system provider could accurately foresee future sales opportunities and position its solutions to be selected.
Teaming with Industry/Technology Experts
The company's researchers quickly recognized that having access to world-class information and tools was not always enough. To find the precise answers that they needed about APAC markets for A&D systems, they needed to know how to ask the right questions, as quickly and efficiently as possible, so they turned to the industry and technology experts at IHS Markit.
The company's in-house analysts built views of their addressable custom markets with help from IHS Markit experts, who offered advice on best practices in setting up queries for custom-defined regions and audience segmentations. In the process, the researchers were able to use the IHS Markit solution to pull forward the information that would be most relevant and useful as their company set out to penetrate the APAC market.
Delivering Actionable Intelligence
Since the executive leadership team's goal for this project was to validate and guide their strategy for immediately entering Asia Pacific markets, they were delighted when their researchers produced a list of more than 200 potential sales opportunities for defense electronics systems used in aircraft and unmanned aerial systems.
Next, the Market Research and Business Development group used IHS Markit analytic tools to pare down that list. They identified and set aside those opportunities that appeared better suited for competitors, or likely to be delayed too long, or posed an unacceptable risk due to economic or political factors. As a result, company leaders soon zeroed in on approximately 50 top-priority, addressable opportunities for defense electronics.
By 2013, this major defense system manufacturer had begun competing successfully in selected Asia Pacific markets. Its Market Research and Business Development team had enabled and accelerated that initiative by giving decision makers greater confidence with reliable, actionable intelligence. The company had also nearly doubled the number of A&D markets – from 6 to 11 – that it is now covering with its IHS Markit solution.