Growth ground to a halt. They were "dead in the water."
MASD's motion analysis products, and in particular their high resolution digital cameras, have broad applicability across a wide variety of industrial and medical markets. For example, they listed nearly one hundred possible new applications for their products for me. While all this potential may seem like a good thing, it was overwhelming their marketing resources; their ability to do enough diligence and get sufficient customer information to choose among the multitude of opportunities.
"There are many more opportunities than there are engineering resources," admitted their Vice President of Marketing. "It is more than we can handle. How do we pick the high potential opportunities? How do we look deeper [for the facts upon which] to develop a strategy and direct our business?"
The Division General Manager and his Vice President of Marketing had worked comfortably together for twenty-five years, and held each other in high regard. Nevertheless, the difficulty of "opportunity selection" was straining their relationship, and was beginning to impinge on the rest of the management team.
The two of them, in concert, retained me to develop a new opportunity selection process: