What a Competitive Strategy Analyst Thinks About the Fire Apparatus Industry

Posted by Christopher Dent on Jun 9, 2015 3:30:00 PM

In addition to my duties as a senior analyst for Fuld + Company, I work as an on-call firefighter in my hometown, about 10 miles north of Boston. Perhaps the most visible symbols of the fire service are the trucks we use, known as “apparatus.” Like a true analyst, I couldn't help but notice some interesting competitive and industry dynamics present in the fire apparatus industry. In particular, behind the lights, sirens and bright red paint, the fire apparatus industry is as fragmented as it is old, with some marques pre-dating the internal combustion engine by several decades; and fire apparatus manufacturers and suppliers would have it no other way.

At present, there are approximately two-dozen companies producing motorized fire apparatus in the United States. This includes nine full-line manufacturers producing their own chassis for pumpers and ladder trucks. These core manufacturers are complimented by fifteen limited-line manufacturers producing only pumpers based on purchased chassis. All of these twenty four manufacturers are either independent or owned by a separate parent company, which represents a significant amount of fragmentation. This raises the question of how the fire apparatus industry has remained so fragmented compared to other industries.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Manufacturing/Industrial, Market Analysis, Industry Convergence

Industry 4.0: Embrace it, or risk being left behind

Posted by Nick Sumner on Apr 13, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Industry 4.0 is changing the manufacturing sector, and will have a significant impact on the global economy in the next 5 years.

Built on the foundation of the "Internet of Things" (IoT), an interconnected web of smart machines and devices that talk to and interact with each other autonomously, Industry 4.0 is altering the landscape by creating intelligent networks of machines and systems that will increase horizontal and vertical integration.

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Topics: Innovation, Technology/Telecomm, Industry Convergence

Kraft/Heinz merger changes the food value chain competitive landscape

Posted by Fuld + Company on Mar 26, 2015 3:21:00 PM

Commentary from Fuld + Company analysts.

Packaged food industry giants Kraft and Heinz recently announced that they were merging to form Kraft Heinz Co, with global revenue of about $28 billion dollars, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. This will have a major impact on the industry. We pulled together a group of Fuld + Company analysts to get their take on some of the competitive implications.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Industry Convergence

Building Better Barriers

Posted by Ken Sawka on Feb 2, 2015 9:30:00 AM

I hopped into a Boston cab a couple of months ago and was greeted with a sticker facing me from the Plexiglas panel that separates passenger from driver. The sticker called on regulators to clamp down on the now ubiquitous Uber and Lyft drivers that ply the streets of our fair city and implored customers to eschew such services in favor of medallioned, and regulated, taxis.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Industry Convergence

The Next Generation of Retail Healthcare

Posted by Martha Culver on Dec 17, 2014 10:00:00 AM

The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly more retail-oriented, and healthcare providers and payers must anticipate and respond to these market changes to remain successful. The trend goes beyond on-site clinics to include a number of actual and potential healthcare options in diverse retail locations.

It's easy to envision an extreme scenario in the next 5-10 years, in which discount healthcare providers have set up shop in a variety of retail centers: not just in CVS and Walgreens, but in Kohl's, Home Depot, Lowe's, Costco, BJ's, and major suburban malls. Marriott has added healthcare centers to its Marriott, Courtyard and Residence Inn properties in major cities. The scope of these healthcare centers extends far beyond the basic services of Minute Clinic and includes full check-ups, screening tests, long-term management of chronic diseases, and even minor surgery. A large portion of middle- and working-class individuals and families use these centers for most of their healthcare needs, given their convenient hours and locations, and competitive, transparent pricing.

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Topics: Innovation, Scenario Analysis, Healthcare, Industry Convergence

What Do Mount St. Helens and Industry Disruptions Have in Common?

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Oct 8, 2013 12:00:00 PM

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Photograph by Gary Braasch/Corbis

I recently watched a couple of YouTube time-lapse videos about the eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano. From space or from ground level, you see a verdant landscape that suddenly fills with ash. When the smoke clears, whoosh, you see devastation. The time-lapse film renders this change in a mere couple of minutes, but in reality this change occurred over 24 years, from the initial 1980 eruption to the renewed activity in 2004. On the surface, environmental conditions eroded over a few days or weeks—a geologic blink of an eye. Under the surface, shifts in dirt and magma had been going on for two decades; we simply did not see it take place.

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Topics: Consumer Goods, Early Warning Monitoring, Innovation, Market Analysis, Industry Convergence

Will higher ed look more like Netflix in a few years?

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jun 13, 2013 1:34:00 PM

The half-trillion dollar higher-ed market is about to experience massive upheaval, dragging along with it an entire supply chain - textbook publishers, real estate, credit and banking, food service, and technology...and the survivors may surprise you!

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Topics: Innovation, Market Analysis, Scenario Analysis, Industry Convergence

Embrace the Business Model That Threatens You | HBR

Posted by Leonard Fuld on May 22, 2013 3:48:00 PM

Source: Harvard Business Review

If your company is already well established and has smart management, it is likely that it will become a hybrid in the next ten years, blending its legacy business with a new business model that is rising to threaten it. Take Walmart, for example. After suffering several years of Amazon's online hegemony, Walmart responded with a hybrid approach. Merchandise ordered online can now be drop-shipped for same-day pickup at local stores. This and other creative solutions have driven over $9 billion of online sales to Walmart. (It's no surprise that Amazon — which has no physical stores — has mirrored the move from the other direction, installing lockers in neighborhood stores to allow for direct pickup.)

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Topics: Product Roadmap, Value Chain Analysis, Brand Insights, Early Warning Monitoring, Innovation, Scenario Analysis, Industry Convergence

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