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  • RESEARCH REPORTS | Competitive Advantage | Page 2
    August 6 2013 updated on January 18 2016 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment For three years Competitive Advantage have been measuring the communication channels used by Architects Engineers and Contractors in the Construction Media Index During that time we have seen the use of social media grow and now become an established part of the information network Online communications seems to have come of age And in my recent Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding your customer Communicating with Construction Industry Decision Makers An Integrated Strategy Posted on June 11 2013 updated on January 18 2016 by Helen Leave a comment Our recent research Construction Media Index identifies communication channels used by the key decision makers in the UK construction industry It looks at the readership of hardcopy and online trade journals industry blogs and websites and the use of product directories as well as attendance of technical seminars It also provides an insight into Twitter Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding the construction industry Understanding your customer Measuring your Brand Strength in Specification Posted on June 3 2013 updated on January 4 2016 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment The Net Promoter Score the most important metric for business The Net Promoter Score NPS is a loyalty metric developed by Fred Reichheld In his book The Ultimate Question NPS is presented as the most important metric for business Developed for consumer marketing the Net Promoter Score tracks how customers represent a company to Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding your customer Communicating with Construction Industry Decision Makers making the right media choices Posted on May 21 2013 updated on January 18 2016 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment The construction market is complex with many influences and drivers As a result it is often hard to know where to start when selecting communication channels Last week I presented at the CIMCIG seminar Communicating with Construction Industry Decision Makers In this blog I give an overview of the event with a summary of the Communicating with the industry Construction industry knowledge hub Marketing in construction Understanding your customer Sample Size Calculators a review Posted on February 28 2013 updated on April 9 2014 by Helen Leave a comment In market research the purpose of selecting a sample rather than the whole of your target audience or target population is to reduce cost and simplify the process When selecting a sample size it is important it represents the whole of your target population Careful consideration should be given to the selection criteria so that Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding your customer Communicating with Specialist Contractors an Interview with Stefan Hay Posted on August 14 2012 updated on January 4 2016 by cadvantage Leave a comment When specification selling there is the tendency to focus on just the Architect or Engineer forgetting about the Contractor The Contractor or Specialist Contractor are often overlooked and can present a missed opportunity in influencing the specification

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/tag/research-reports/page/2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Understanding the different players in the industry – Structural Engineers | Competitive Advantage
    design of structures that support or resist loads Structural Engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil Engineering but it can also be studied in its own right The role of the Structural Engineer became more defined in the 1800 s as new materials such as cement reinforced concrete and steel became commonly used in construction This combined with the industrial revolution and a greater requirement for larger structures leading to the need for greater understanding of the design of structures Today structural design requires an understanding of how to use concrete steel masonry wood and glass to build larger and taller structures These structures must physically be able to withstand specific pressures and forces Structural Engineers must ensure their designs satisfy given criteria that they are safe serviceable and perform well They must ensure they do not bend twist collapse or vibrate and remain strong and secure throughout their life They design houses theatres sports venues hospitals office blocks bridges etc and often work closely with Architects Structural Engineers design the skeleton or structure of the building enabling Architects to focus their talents on creating a design that satisfies their client s demands Structural Engineers will monitor the progress of an Architectural project They create initial design models using in depth mathematical and scientific knowledge When work has begun they inspect the work and advise contractors Many engineers work in dedicated practices but they will also be based in the larger Architect s practices to provide a comprehensive range of services Structural Engineers can also examine existing buildings and other structures to test if they are structurally sound and still fit for purpose The Institute of Structural Engineers IStructE currently has a membership of over 27 000 from 105 different countries Communicating with Structural Engineers When we talk of specification selling there is a tendency to think of just the architect but the engineer is an equally important specifier whose role is increasing in importance This is because of the growing complexity of the legislation which is pushing almost every aspect of a building s design causing the architects to rely even more on the engineer Like architects what engineers want is good quality technical advice It is also important to remember that specifiers in general are short on time and will not respond well to spin What specifiers want is technical information and advice they will be happy to deal with a manufacturer or supplier who can provide good quality comprehensive information on demand In many cases an engineer or engineers will be involved at the concept stage of a building s design At this early stage they tend to focus on concept and do not specify However when thinking through that concept they inevitably have products in mind Once the engineer has defined the performance specifications for the building it is then the architect s job to develop the design until the engineer becomes involved with the detailed performance of components This is generally in a support

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/understanding-the-different-players-in-the-industry-structural-engineers/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Understanding the different players in the industry – Main Contractor | Competitive Advantage
    even provide the Architect with a list of approved materials to select from In this case it will be the Design Manager who will understand the Client s needs and then brief the Architects There is a common misconception that all the Main Contractor is only interested in is price But this is because most manufacturer and supplier sales people only deal with the Buyer The Buyer will have a bill of materials and it is his job to drive down the cost of purchase as much as possible It is thus not surprising that this is his focus Although every commercial organisation has an eye to profit within the Main Contractor organisation there are other influencers who have other priorities The Estimating Department want to know about the compatibility and availability of products the Contract Manager will be interested in sub contractor familiarity and minimising disruption to the build programme And the Design Manager will be interested in the most efficient solution to provide a first class outcome By understanding these needs and offering solutions which represent value it is possible to reduce the influence of price Communicating with Building Contractors When specification selling there is the tendency to focus on just the Architect or Engineer forgetting about the Contractor Perhaps this is because when we think Contractor it is often the Buyer Estimator or Project Manager of a Sub contractor But an often forgotten specifier works for the Main Contractor and will be responsible for many product decisions And with the implementation of Building Information Modelling the Contractor s influence will grow As with all specifiers Contractors do not want to be sold to They want to deal with technically competent people They are looking for design advice that is accurate and reliable The Contractor is looking for quality price availability and then technical support Our research into Contractor communication channels provides this insight Online readership of most of the leading journals is higher than hard copy readership of adverts is low The Construction News website is the most popular for industry news and opinion the IHS website for product ideas Newsletter readership has increased Social networks are increasingly seen as a work tool by companies that allow their use at work More than half of respondents use video Usage of product directories is at a low level as was the case in 2012 Sample specifications and CAD images are important items for manufacturers to provide as technical support to Main Contractors Downloadable PDFs are slightly more important than hardcopy brochures At the ECA we have experienced a number of interesting discussions between Contractors and Specifiers on forum based social media sites such as LinkedIn Social media enables more interactions between Specifiers and Contractors so it is worth being present on these social media platforms so you can get involved Stefan Hay of the ECA More and more people are going to Google and search engines to gain product information If they are not using the traditional product

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/understanding-the-different-players-in-the-industry-main-contractor/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The Ultimate Question – The Net Promoter Score | Competitive Advantage
    Question is Would you recommend our company to your friends Depending on how you answer you will be categorised as a Promoter Passive or Detractor The theory is that Promoters represent good profits and will spread the word about your company Detractors represent bad profits and will cost your company money to service them and spread negative attitudes about your company Companies should thus focus on ensuring they have as many Promoters as possible by ensuring customers are happy with their experience To provide a means of linking customer satisfaction to the bottom line the Net Promoter score is calculated This is then tracked against the performance of individual units It provides a simple metric which has been adopted by many of the world s most successful companies An update of his original book this new edition updates the theory based on the experience of operating Net Promoter for five years The theory is supported with plenty of practical examples The book is easy to read and if you are interested in customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction well worth a read Competitive Advantage considers the principal of Net Promoter Score an important aspect of research and is incorporating it into customer satisfaction surveys We have also developed a means of monitoring specification strength using the concept Construction industry knowledge hub Understanding your customer Post navigation Previous Next Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked Name Email Website You may use these HTML tags and attributes a href title abbr title acronym title b blockquote cite cite code del datetime em i q cite s strike strong Learn more about Building Information Modelling Communicating with the industry Construction market activity Effective specification strategies Marketing in construction Sustainability Understanding the construction industry Understanding

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/the-ultimate-question-the-net-promoter-score/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Cost or investment – does market research pay? | Competitive Advantage
    identified by the research Research can help avoid unnecessary risk mitigating costly mistakes Research can also identify business efficiencies What savings where made as a result of the research Seeking a satisfaction score from your team on the research project is a simple way to gain feedback And reviewing the projects objectives and if they have been met is of course another Relevant and well structured market research that informs or supports decision making is an essential tool Market research helps us understand a market either in total or some aspect of it NB Have a good look around the Competitive Advantage blog site There are a lot of excellent articles that set out how to go about different types of research how to plan and brief a research exercise Is Market Research worthwhile Back to the point about cost versus investment One of the most difficult things that I have found about market research is that of showing its value Increasingly we are looking for the return on investment or ROI Technically an ROI is from Wikipedia this time to measure per period rates of return on money invested in an economic entity in order to decide whether or not to undertake an investment It is also used as indicator to compare different project investments within a project portfolio The project with best ROI is prioritized So when we ask what is the ROI of the research arguably we are asking for the wrong thing I often think that in marketing in our desire to be friends with the accountants we use their terminology incorrectly ROI being one of them Either way we should always be looking to generate some measure of the effectiveness of the spend to ensure that the market research has given us what we wanted it to Take a look at the excellent blog from Lucia Di Stazio of MRA Lucia quotes a case study where research made a profound change to the way that builders merchant EH Smith goes about its business Ultimately the ROI if measured will be fantastic but the outcome could not have been anticipated at the outset and so many other things need to happen to ensure that the ROI actually happens So how do you attribute and specific return to the research or any other launch activity Does market research pay Generally yes But the ROI isn t always measurable and often can t be measured in financial terms But a conscious review of the outcome of the research should be carried out This way you will be able to demonstrate the benefits to the business So there are other ways of measuring than just ROI you can demonstrate potential profit identified and cost savings identified through risk mitigation and business efficiencies You can also gain feedback from your team and review objectives meet Conclusion Market research tells us something we didn t know It turns perceived wisdom or gut feeling into fact Often Market Research is about managing

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/cost-or-investment-does-market-research-pay/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Visualising research findings – my heroes | Competitive Advantage
    an overall score of detractors and promoters as well as calculating the value to the business Although not very visual it is very simple That is why Fred Reichheld is one of my research heroes Tell the story Infographics tell a story and can present the key points from research in one big picture using graphics and icons to present the message presenting as much or as little information as you want An early infographic can be found for World War 2 demonstrating how working women are supporting the war effort The origins of modern day infographics are found in maps For example the development of the modern London Underground map created by Harry Beck In 1933 The design is based on electrical circuit drawings to represent the complicated tube system This simplified the way the data was presented because it removed the concept of distance from the map making it easy to read The modern day road sign was created out of the need for information to be presented in a clear format that anybody could understand quickly regardless of language spoken This was created by Margaret Calvert using pictograms to get information across in a way everybody could understand by representing instructions and information using everyday images Margaret Calvert and Harry Beck contributed significantly to how we visualise information for this reason they are two of my research heroes Keep it simple One simple way to visualise analysis is to create a S W O T matrix this represents strengths weakness opportunities and threats This is a good starting point for perhaps a new product launch S W O T analysis visualises the information across a grid system and can offer some useful interpretation of data but it is only as good as the data used and the context considered This form of matrix began in the 1960s and is attributed to the Stanford Research Institute If William Playfair gave us the fundamentals then Hans Rosling is bringing data visualisation into the modern day Hans Rosling is a statistician from Sweden from complex information he creates simple presentations that are extremely visual making statistics easy to understand and relatable Someone else who uses visuals well is Steven D Levitt Steven is an economist who questions theories through case studies in real world situations Together with Stephen J Dubner a journalist he wrote the book Freakonomics and subsequently SuperFreakonomics which came with illustrations They re love of visualising research is clear on their website and they have achieved the ultimate visualisation a movie Hans Rosling and Steve D Levitt are both number guys that are able to visualise their findings in an exciting and interesting way because of that they are included in my list of research heroes Competitive Advantage strives to learn from and include these techniques in our research reports Our aim is to make it quick and easy for you to understand the findings Who are your research heroes Further reading Market research who needs it

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/visualising-research-findings-my-heroes/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Market research, who needs it? | Competitive Advantage
    We know our markets and how they ll react to new initiatives and new competition Don t we So why spend all that money slowing things down doing research to see what the market thinks and how people will react when we already know Skip the research and let s get on with the campaign But such confidence is easily tested Get the management team to complete a questionnaire when the research is conducted Ask them to say how they think the market will answer Then compare what they say with the market Some companies are poor at reading the market on any dimension Most are good at judging it on one or two product and price for example But it s rare for companies to know how their customers or prospects think on all dimensions so it s sobering when comparisons are revealed The thing is we see what we want to see and disregard the rest as a song writer put it The larger the company the more likely it is to justify action and budgets with research because management is often obliged to justify its plans with research But since few of us are gifted with second sight it s good practice to base our plans on research whatever bean counters demand We recently worked on a campaign with leading independent builders merchant EH Smith The company had lost collect share at its flagship Shirley branch as new competitors set up on its door step It wanted to recapture lost share and grow in Shirley then roll out the new format to other branches We measured their market share price tracked and benchmarked the competition We researched what customers came in to buy and what they managed to buy what customers wanted and how they rated the branch how customers and the market saw EH Smith and competitors The findings overturned perceptions and we developed a strategy and revamped the collect business model and format We changed the pricing and priced so builders know they are getting the best deal expanded the product range and gave builders a choice of good better best We used the pulling power of brands to attract and used space to sell not stock We changed signage shelving and layouts to make it easy and convenient to buy Then we communicated the changes with an integrated marketing campaign using old school posters and bus adverts alongside Facebook Twitter short format videos and a microsite We involved staff and customers to attract potential customers The campaign and revamp boosted collect sales by 34 on a sustainable basis and gave EH Smith a growth map for the next 10 years The investment paid for itself within one year not three as planned and it s being rolled out to the rest of EH Smith s network The argument against research is famously put by Steve Jobs the co founder of Apple You can t just ask customers what they want and then give it

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/market-research-who-needs-it/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Building Product Manufacturers | Competitive Advantage | Page 2
    0 4 in December 2014 when compared with November 2014 Output in December 2014 increased by 5 5 when compared with December 2013 making it the 19th monthly period of year on year Construction market activity BIM update February Posted on February 17 2015 updated on January 18 2016 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment New research BIM Adoption by Product Manufacturers The headline story this month is the release of the BIM4M2 research BIM Adoption by Product Manufacturers Report 2014 This research conducted by Competitive Advantage on behalf of the BIM4M2 working group sets out to inform the process of helping manufacturers implement BIM In an article for Adjacent Building Information Modelling Construction industry knowledge hub Information resources for the manufacturer starting their BIM Journey Posted on February 10 2015 updated on January 18 2016 by Michael Prince Leave a comment Following the publication of new research by BIM4M2 and the recent Barbour ABI Twitter chat with Steve Thompson Chair of BIM4M2 many interesting points have been raised around the challenges of BIM adoption faced by construction product manufacturers The government s 2016 deadline is just around the corner The BIM4M2 research states just under 50 of respondents Building Information Modelling Construction industry knowledge hub How do you make your investment in BIM worthwhile Posted on February 8 2015 updated on January 18 2016 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment Recent research by BIM4M2 with 188 product manufacturers states that over half who have BIM consider their investment to have been worthwhile So what can be learnt from product manufacturers that have already adopted BIM How can you make your investment worthwhile In this blog I take a look at the findings from the research Building Information Modelling Construction industry knowledge hub New Research into BIM Adoption by Product Manufacturers Posted on February 4 2015 updated on February 18 2015 by Helen Leave a comment BIM Adoption by Product Manufacturers is a 53 page report that takes an in depth look at manufacturers decisions around BIM including their reasons to invest timescales for those investments processes for developing BIM content and routes to market The survey of 188 UK organisations was conducted by Competitive Advantage between July and October 2014 on behalf of BIM4M2 Building Information Modelling BIM update January Posted on January 13 2015 updated on January 14 2015 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment The BIM4M2 Working Group is soon to release the results of their manufacturer survey Adoption of BIM A project that Competitive Advantage is proud to have delivered If you would like a copy sent to you following release please email learn cadvantage co uk and Competitive Advantage will arrange this NBS has launched its fifth NBS National BIM Survey click Building Information Modelling Construction industry knowledge hub 5 reasons your specification strategy is failing Posted on November 27 2014 updated on November 11 2014 by Chris Ashworth Leave a comment As the saying goes failing to plan is planning to fail In this

    Original URL path: http://www.cadvantage.co.uk/tag/building-product-manufacturers/page/2/ (2016-02-12)
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