The client’s perspective
Based in Maryland with offices around the nation, KCI is an employee-owned engineering, consulting, and construction firm, ranked in the top 100 of Engineering News-Record’s top 500. KCI offers environmental, transportation, telecommunications, construction, facilities, and land development services.
KCI had been selected to provide data communications network design and installation services for the Inter-County Broadband Network, part of the One Maryland Broadband Network high-speed fiber optic network slated to eventually span the state.
The fiber optic network design and installation market in the United States was booming at over $4 billion annually. What’s more, projections called for continued growth fueled by strong consumer and commercial demand and $7.2 billion in federal stimulus money for funding broadband grants and loans.
There was clear potential for KCI in this burgeoning market—and fundamental questions to ask before fully digging in. Did it make business sense for KCI to grow its broadband network design and installation footprint? If so, what was the best approach for success? And what would it mean for the future of the business?
KCI turned to Eagle Hill to help the company tackle some of these key strategic questions.
A new view
We took a targeted approach to help KCI meet its business need, completing a comprehensive market entry plan in just eight weeks.
We began by rolling up our sleeves and taking a close look at—and listen to—KCI. Our team conducted a series of interviews with key personnel to get their valuable subject matter expertise. This allowed us to take an inside-out approach to analyzing overall market potential, grounding our focus in what was most relevant to KCI, and creating checkpoints along the way as needed.
We also set to work on an objective, comprehensive view of the fiber network design and build market, focusing on several guiding objectives.
- Market research: Analysis of KCI’s position in relation to market demand, trends, opportunities, and risks.
- Market entry: Definition of actionable market expansion entry and exit criteria and key metrics to measure success.
- Market opportunity: Identification of geographic opportunity areas and potential partners and customers.
- Competitive assessment: Analysis of competitors in relevant markets to understand what makes them successful.
The initiative was a classic market research and data analytics project, which required an ability to collect and assess large amounts of publicly available data to develop data-driven insights. Our analysis included:
- Market entry/exit criteria
- Overall market size, characteristics, and constraints
- Recommendations on geographic areas or states and related opportunities
- Preliminary, cross-regional partner recommendations
- Implementation considerations
Unconventional consulting—and breakthrough results
This client-centered approach is a hallmark of our strategic work. We never want to provide an “ivory tower” strategy that only applies in a perfect world that does not exist. Instead, our teams work collaboratively to create a living plan that is actionable, measurable, and rooted in a deep understanding of the organization.
The plan became an important guidepost for KCI. The company ultimately did expand into several new markets using the research and recommendations from our work. KCI continues to view this market as a strategic component of its future growth plans, and is actively working to continue to grow its business.