How market research helps Portakabin to remain at the cutting edge
A Portakabin case study

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Page 3: Primary and secondary market research

Customers' needs for accommodation change because of many factors. The main factors are changes in new technology, demands of health and safety, stricter legislation and the need to respond to different working patterns. Businesses have to find solutions quickly to keep up to date. They also need to allow for further changes in the future. Portakabin has to be able to understand and respond to these changing needs to remain competitive.

In order to do this, Portakabin is committed to ongoing and in-depth market research. This provides two main benefits:

  • Portakabin understands what existing and future customers want
  • Portakabin can put in place new product development and added-value services to meet customers' needs.

Primary and secondary research

There are two main types of market research. Both involve the collection of data that is used to find out about customers' needs and buying habits. Primary research is data collected in the field, directly from the customer. Secondary research is data that already exists or may have been collected for another purpose. This can be used to back up primary research.

Qualitative and quantitative data

The data collected may be qualitative. This means that facts, feelings and opinions are collected. This type of information helps to develop new products that customers want. It also ensures that customers are satisfied with the service they have received.

Other data may be quantitative. This focuses on statistics and figures. These provide a business with information that can be represented in a table, graph or a chart.

Primary research at Portakabin

Research into aspects of the work environment is important for Portakabin. It needs to ensure that its products and services meet the diverse and changing needs of customers. Portakabin is aware that the customers who buy or hire its buildings have employees and customers of their own. It must ensure that the people who use or work in the buildings have a high level of satisfaction. Recent research has shown that if the work environment is good, employees are more likely to be productive. This is very important for the companies who buy Portakabin products.

To be successful in its research Portakabin has to find effective ways of extracting accurate information. This particularly applies to the sales process. There are several ways for Portakabin to obtain primary research from its customers or their staff. The sales team regularly collects information through discussions with existing and potential customers. Portakabin uses focus groups to find out how the working environment affects workers' performance and productivity. These results have been used to assess user views and develop new products and services. Portakabin regularly use surveys to extract quantitative data. This has helped to discover why customers chose Portakabin over its competitors. The results of these surveys showed that the majority of customers welcomed the unique Portakabin offers of both high-quality buildings and extensive service support to provide them with peace of mind when ordering a building.

Portakabin | How market research helps Portakabin to remain at the cutting edge