Key Questions

  • Do you have a system for prioritizing new growth concepts?

  • Are you able to quickly and cheaply test these new growth concepts?

  • How to decide whether kill or scale an opportunity?

Context

Facing increasing product commoditization from stiff foreign competition, a leading agricultural equipment manufacturer needed an innovation strategy in order to deliver differentiated value to customers and maintain their margins. The firm recognized that they could harness the wealth of data generated by their equipment to create new solutions for farmers, but lacked the approach to quickly and cheaply build and test these solutions. They defaulted to their standard stage-gate new product development (NPD) process, which was not designed for rapid testing of new concepts with customers.

Treacy & Company provided the process and tools to launch a rapid-cycle pilot program to systematically test, optimize, and scale new technology-based productivity solutions for large-scale farming operations.


Key Learnings

The quickest way to drive results is to test your new business ideas

The opportunity for technology-enabled productivity solutions was overwhelming; the client had identified a total market potential of $500M+ across potential solution offerings. To understand whether they could successfully deliver solutions to large-scale growers, Treacy & Company helped the client design a pilot to test several critical assumptions:

  • Sufficient data could be collected from equipment to create insights on farm operations
  • Insights were actionable for customers and could yield measurable savings ($1/acre over the planting season)
  • Dealers were the most effective channel to market and sell solutions to customers

Over the course of 3 months a small team of partially dedicated resources was able to prove that farmers were more than willing to pay a premium for services in order to cut down their overall costs. The pilot proved both market demand through service sales and provided clear feedback that the service value proposition resonated strongly with customers.

More broadly, Treacy & Company helped the client institutionalize a system for innovation and pilot testing. The client would go on to reorganize its corporate structure and empower a 2,000 person organization to focus exclusively on delivering agricultural solutions. 

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Rapid-Cycle Piloting

  1. Start by prioritizing new growth concepts to test by weighing market attractiveness and potential impact against risk

  2. Design a pilot that tests the critical assumptions that make or break your new business concept

  3. Quickly execute the pilot in market to determine whether to kill the idea and move on, or rapidly scale your new concept to accelerate time to peak sales

Do you need to pilot?

Treacy & Company can help you identify and de-risk new growth concepts through our rapid-cycle approach to piloting

Our 3-month pilot program will provided you with:

  • A clear roadmap to test and de-risk critical components of your new business concepts

  • The quick results needed to validate and scale new growth opportunities

  • Evidence for killing costly, low impact concepts early 

     

Learn More from our Experts:

Rob Bell, Partner

Rob Bell, Partner

Email: rbell@treacy.co

James Potter, Managing Principal

James Potter, Managing Principal

Email: jpotter@treacy.co