Case Studies

The following case studies are examples of the types of assignments that TEG Consulting Associates can undertake. Contact us for information on how we may be able to assist your organization in addressing its business needs.

 

 

Case 1     New Product Opportunity Visioning

 

Industry: Manufacturing                   

 

Situation:

A client came to us seeking help in determining whether a number of technologies developed in their corporate Research and Divisional Development efforts might find use in security applications involving documents, high value goods, and packaging. We conducted a review of the technologies and their level of sophistication, conducted preliminary market research to gauge the receptiveness of the appropriate industries for each of them, and presented them to carefully targeted audiences for level of interest.

 

Recommendation:

Based on the evaluation and our knowledge and experience working with these industries, a subset of the technologies were recommended as those most likely to find application in various products. We also documented some of the obstacles that they might face in certain product applications that emerged as a result of our market research. The client then chose to pursue additional development work on a small subset of their technologies.

 

Result:

The client expanded a division focused on production of security related products that has been operating for nearly 10 years and has also won major contracts to produce secure documents for a quasi-government agency as well as other related products.

 

Case 2     Patent Infringement

 

Industry: Manufacturing                   

 

Situation:

The attorney for a plaintiff approached us for technical assistance in seeking relief from a competitor who the plaintiff felt was violating its patent for producing a specific type of removable label. While the competitor claimed that they developed their own trade secrets for their product, they agreed to a confidential third party review of their trade secret information vs. the plaintiff's patent.

 

Recommendation:

We conducted a through review of the patent and the competitor's documentation, along with a basic performance analysis and visual performance assessment of the products in question. Our conclusion was that it could be possible to alter the order of application of certain coatings to the product substrates in the manufacturing process, thereby resulting in similar performance of the two products.

 

Result:

We provided a technical opinion letter on our findings to the plaintiff's attorneys who after review, presented our findings to the defendant. Within one month, the defended agreed to sign a licensing agreement on the patented technology.

 

Case 3     Internal Support Operations Improvement

 

Industry: Government Agency                   

 

Situation:

We were tasked with assisting a major government organization, whose charter included the development and publication of financial market information, in assessing whether advancing electronic information dissemination and new printing technologies would dictate operational streamlining of their use of internal print shops in ten of eleven operational locations. We investigated the issues of document creation, proofing, prepress and production in light of advancing technology that would increase utilization a reduced number of facilities serving the United States, and took into account cost structures and the semi-autonomous mode of operation of each location.

 

Recommendation:

We developed a number of scenarios whereby the utilization of equipment in as few as 2 or 3 locations could be increased and result in substantial reduction in the cost of producing hard copy versions of their products. We also recommended that increased electronic dissemination of information over time as their customers become more amenable to not having the hard copy might force the adoption of a different model due to increasing printing costs.

 

Result:

The nature of the change that would be undertaken was a very substantial one for an organization to undertake given the long-standing model for this activity. Our follow-up with this client indicated that effecting some of the recommended changes was problematic on a local level. However, several locations have made significant changes to their own mode of operation, including a significant or complete shifts to digital printing.  

 

Case 4     New Product Opportunity Visioning/Due Diligence

 

Industry: Manufacturing                 

 

Situation:

A leader in the printing industry asked us to investigate whether they should enter the secure document printing industry given that they already had related equipment and capabilities to participate in that business area. We conducted a thorough investigation of the secure document industry, including non-paper documents in order to establish market size, the players in this competitive arena, industry technical issues, and possible entry strategies.

 

Recommendation:

We recommended that the client not enter this business area even though printing of documents had elements of commonality with the client's existing operations. We considered that acquisition would be the fastest way to enter the market, and that the business could be profitable on its own. However, the relatively low level of revenue and profits would not have a significant impact on the company's overall bottom line to justify the investment to enter the market.

 

Result:

The client did not enter the secure document printing arena and increased its effort to embrace the increasing use of electronic information dissemination as an opportunity to move into new business areas. They have continued to grow and maintain profitability.

 

Case 5     New Business Development/Strategy

 

Industry: Manufacturing                  

 

Situation:

A major electronic printer manufacturer sought assistance in determining which direction to proceed in with respect to expanding their product lines into other areas than the small office/home office space where margins were better and where high quality printing was necessary. In our investigation, we looked at a number of market segments including the graphics/pre-press and the large and grand format printing arenas.

 

Recommendation:

As a result of our assessment, we concluded that the graphics and pre-press areas were the best match for the client's technology capabilities and that there was untapped opportunity for a range of devices for pre-press proofing and the lower end of large format printing. We found that the high-resolution capabilities of their technology would not be appropriately utilized in the very large and grand format space.

 

Result:

The client since came to market with a number of digital proofing devices that were well received in the industry and made high level print quality available at effective price points to users previously unable to justify the use of digital proofing. A larger format printer nearing market introduction at the time of the study was also successful and additional versions of the device have since been introduced.

 

 

Case 6     Packaging Solutions

 

Industry: Small Business

 

Situation:

The owner of a sandwich shop developed a line of chip products that she was selling in her restaurant and wanted to sell in other locations at a future date. The client sought help in addressing a closure issue with the product container. Because the polystyrene hinged-lid container was being slightly overfilled, it would not stay properly closed. Temporary solution was achieved through the use of two pieces of tape or wafer seals to secure the package. Other information such restaurant name, product flavor, and ingredients was added to the container via three separate labels.

 

Recommendation:

A review of the current packaging materials and labels and the packaging process was undertaken. Other commercial products in similar packaging were also assessed. The proposed solution was to adopt a "band" label that would serve both as a closure and provide space for all information currently on three labels. Spaces was also available for nutritional information and a UPC bar code that would be required to market the products in major retail locations.

 

Result:

The product container closure issue was solved while simultaneously reducing the labeling and closure process from five steps to one. The latter resulted in greatly improved productivity as well as giving the packaging a more sophisticated shelf presence while maintaining the local, healthy and home made appearance.

 

 

Case 7     Expert Witness Support

 

Industry: Manufacturing - Printing

 

Situation:

The client was in need of expert witness support for numerous technical areas in order to defend itself in a lawsuit filed by a competitor alleging patent infringement regarding the printing of certain features on a class of secure documents.

 

Recommendation:

We provided expert witness input and a report on a clearly defined and specialized aspect involving the security of documents printed by the method in the patent relative to other methods. The report was based on the review of the statements of claim, counterclaims, the patent, related patents, prior art, examination of samples and the plaintiff’s expert witness statements and rebuttals. We met with the client and their attorney on several occasions to prepare materials and discuss the opinions of the plaintiff’s experts as well as to integrate the positions of all of the client’s expert witnesses. Based on our work and that of other experts, the defendant was able to take a position questioning the validity of the patent. This was done on the grounds that it lacked sufficient inventiveness, neglected to cite relevant prior art, and that it did not provide unequivocal improvements to document security as alleged in the patent.

 

Result:

Just prior to the scheduled trial, a settlement was reached where the plaintiff accepted minimal monetary compensation and granted the defendant a worldwide license to manufacture under the patent.

 

 

 

TEG Consulting Associates

Chelmsford, MA 01824-3719     Tel/Fax: (978) 250-0012     tom@tegca.com

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