Achieving growth through product development A Portakabin case study
Page 3: Generating ideas through research
In order to develop new ideas for products and services Portakabin undertook some primary market research. This consisted of direct feedback from its customers. However, at the same time many changes were taking place in building legislation. For example, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 required new buildings to provide improved access for people with disabilities. These changes and the primary market research helped Portakabin to create Essential Business Solutions (EBS). EBS was developed to meet customer needs for additional services which Portakabin had established there was a gap in the market for through its market research.
Identifying what customers want
Portakabin commercial staff were constantly asked for extra services such as air conditioning. This is a good example of Ansoff’s new product development which extended provision within its existing market. As a building supplier it soon realised that customers expected their wider customer needs to be met. Customers required more than just a building shell, they also wanted a range of services that complemented the building and produced ‘ready to go’ working environments.
The creation of EBS helped Portakabin to identify everything that its customers required in order to have a complete quality working environment. It recognised that a modern building is more than simply a structure. An environment needs to be comfortable and productive. There needs to be furniture, climate control, heating, security, access ramps as well as all of the electrics and cabling.
Developing a total solution
Portakabin therefore realised there was a gap in the market as there was no one single supplier that could offer a complete working environment. To meet this EBS helped to create the following range of provisions:
Total solutions that included product management that helped customers with planning permission, ground works and service connections for a new modular building.
Aircare to provide environmentally friendly internal climate control with low running costs.
Access for those organisations requiring ramps and steps.
Datakom such as cabling and networks that can be plugged into.
Protecta such as fire and security systems.
Interiors with furniture and space planning services.
Optional extras to provide the finishing touches including floors and blinds.
Portakabin | Achieving growth through product development