ABA Story - Over Thirty Years

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Published: 4 Nov 2019

Adams Business Associates: Past, Present & Future

Over thirty years ago, in 1987, Adams Business Associates (ABA) was established with a Complete Marketing Strategy in which all operations within a company need to have a market focus. This concept was particulary relevant to high technology businesses where R& D might not be aware of! In addition, a close market awareness can prevent wasted highly innovative research that provides an answer to a need already met by another technology, often established and at low cost. The key questions for new product development are:

  • What problem or need does it solve?
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  • How is the problem addressed now: What are competing technologies & companies?
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  • Can the product be made at a cost that provides profit to the company at a price the purchaser is prepared to pay?
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  • Can the market be affected by uncontrolled external forces?
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  • Is the market a fad or is it real with growth potential?
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  • Who will be the real user and what are the skills required?
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  • Is the market fully understood and by all departments?

The chart below summarises the basis for the Complete Marketing Strategy

Complete Marketing Strategy

This market based philosophy was fundamental in one of the earliest projects undetaken by Adams Business Associates in 1988 which was for Frost & Sullivan to produce the first market analysis of the emerging European Research Biochemicals market. This was for the then Western Europe countries and was so successful that two further editions were produced for Frost & Sullivan over the next four years. The wide acceptance of these reports helped develop the business in several different directions.

  • Frost & Sullivan contracted Adams Business Associates for a number of further reports covering Diagnostic, Pharmaceutical, Food and Sensor product areas out to 1997 when ABA started to produce its own analytical market focussed reports.
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  • These reports opened the door to individual projects for clients in these and related areas.
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  • Companies asked for additional analysis of the Life Science and Biotechnology research markets with special emphasis on the sources and quantity of funding.
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  • One request in the UK was for more precise figures by Product Group for the Life Science research reagents. This led to the leading companies providing in confidence their individual sales figures by product group for accumulation into a total real market with growth and actual positions in the market.
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  • The revelations on the actual UK market from the real figures provided by the companies led to requests for similar studies in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This was the basis of the ABA Audit 2000 programme covering more European countries and North America. To protect the confidential information from other ABA work the audit business was separated into a standalone business in 2009 and the ABA Audits business now covers all continents and 59 different countries under totally separate independent management.
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  • Research Funding analysis also started with a client request. Initially this was for Europe but grew to cover the global markets and was the foundation of the ABA Global Library of Life Science Research Products that includes a full business analysis and market details. This Library now covers over 140 countries and is in its 3rd Edition updated to mid-2019.
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  • The wide business experience in these technology sectors resulted in assignments for the UK government (DTI & UKTI), Welsh and Scottish Development Agencies and several industry trade bodies in the UK and in mainland Europe.
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  • Conference Chairman for SMi meetings on In Vitro Diagnostics, Point-of-Care (5) Testing.

Adams Business Associates is now recognised as a leading independent company for business analysis and strategic marketing in the whole range of Life Science research, Health Care and Medical Devices with their resulting application markets. The international standing of the company is shown by the client base that has been spread around the world, as in the chart below.


ABA: International Standing

International_Standing

The Complete Marketing Strategy philosophy is applied to all the projects undertaken, where in addition to the final market figures the importance of the underlying structure is essential. In all areas these include:

  • National demographics and priority application areas.
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  • Business structure through quantitation of the market segments of Universities, Research Institutes/Government Research & Industry and the distribution of markets among the segments.
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  • The same principle applies for individual products where the potential market has to be segmented, quantified and the market distribution and its potential determined.
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  • Competing technologies and companies have to be analysed and the relative competitive position assessed by a Basis of Competition analysis, which is likely to be different in each market segment. A further element is the development state of the market and these competing technologies analysed by the S-Curve Developmentscheme.
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  • Modern business, particularly in Healthcare, is rightly focussed on cost effectiveness and product approval or ability to purchase has to be analysed by valid economic assessment: Health Technology Assessment, HTA.
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    The regional coverage of the 146 countries in the ABA Global Library is shown in the map below:

    Regional_Coverage

    ABA recognised at an early stage that Health Technology Assessment, HTA, would be a necessary hurdle to be overcome for Healthcare products, not only in the UK (NICE) but also in other countries, e.g. Germany (IQWIG), France (HAS), Italy and the EU Network (EunetHTA), as well as Australia, China and USA. With this foresight ABA was an active participant in the UK MATCH programme on HTA for Medical Devices. Since then ABA has carried out over forty (40+) HTA and product analyses for clients with several successfully moving through the NICE recommendation schemes. All of these aspects are brought together in the chart below.

    Country_Region_Analysis

    Future activities of Adams Business Associates are now fixed on three main applications although covering many areas within the Life Sciences sectors. These are:

    • Individual strategic market analyses for clients at their request.
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    • A 4th Edition will be the final edition of the ABA Global Library of Life Sciences & Biotechnology Markets and will be produced in 2020 with interim 3rd Edition Regional Updates available as requested: the 4 EMEA region updates are available now to mid-2019.
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    • Business to Business (B2B) introductions and development from the range of contacts made by ABA.
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    • Complete Marketing Strategy Briefings and Workshops for individual companies.
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    • Mentoring of emerging companies and SMEs on strategic marketing.
    • The Briefings and Workshops are for all technical and commercial staff in high technology Life Science and Healthcare businesses but are also relevant to other modern businesses. Mentoring is particularly useful for SMEs when there is not a fully integrated business structure. The general elements for each of the formats are similar with the detail for Workshops designed around the specific products of the company concerned and with practical applications.

       

      There are key elements from the Complete Marketing Strategy such as:

      Key_Elements_Complete_Marketing_Strategy

      In many of these approaches there is a common element, although there are of course differences in the actual contents, which is the need to develop a Value Dossier that can then be used as the guide for all groups within the company. A Value Dossier should be developed at the start of a product development programme not least to demonstrate that the product can be made at a cost that will provide an acceptable profit at a price the end user or customer is repared and able to pay. A typical overview for Healthcare products and businesses is below.

      Value_Contents

      The Adams Business Associates Complete Marketing Strategy ensures the focus is on the customer with the effective application for the client company in any of its activities. Our focus is on the customer too!