AGC Glass Europe, the European glass branch of AGC (Japan), produces, processes and distributes flat glass for the building, automotive and various other industries such as transport, solar power and high-tech applications.
Being market leader in flat glass, AGC Glass Europe challenges itself to continuously reinvent glass, to explore potential applications and new technologies and to improve the current product portfolio. Thus putting glazing at the center stage of technological revolutions.
get a complete view of the complex business ecosystem and uncover new partners and business opportunities
One of the glass production facilities is based in Mol, Belgium. The furnace was rebuilt in 2019-2020 which increased the output capacity and allowed producing higher quality thin glass. The combined strength and transparency of the ultra-thin glass and extreme precise laser cutting, grinding and coating capabilities opened completely new perspectives for industrial applications.
To reach the business targets in line with the capacity of the new furnace, it was imperative to build a bold, data driven business plan for thin glass applications in a highly competitive market that is rapidly evolving due to continuous new emerging application domains.
The challenge for the group’s sales and marketing department was to assess the market potential of key markets, identify new market opportunities and understand the dynamics of its value chains
The ambition was to get a complete view of the complex business ecosystem and uncover new partners and business opportunities. The plan to drive business development had to align with different axes:
- development of existing customers,
- activating opportunities in known markets across European and Turkey
- uncovering new opportunities in adjacent and new markets
Typical questions that AGC Glass Europe wanted answered
- What are the business segments that we should address first?
- What are the specific needs of the different business segments?
- Who are the key players and how is the value chain organized for the key segments?
- Who are the innovators in the market? What are the substitutes for thin glass?
- Bring the true purpose and value proposition to the surface
- Gather market, competitive and ecosystem intelligence
- Analyze the sweet spot, predict & develop market potential
- Createa strategy activating the market and driving customer life time value
THE ECOSYSTEM MAPPING METHODOLOGY
We targeted the core of the issues by conducting a rigorous market scan to identify the potential applications of ultra-thin glass. During the intake meeting together with AGC Glass Europe, we clarified the specific information needs for 16 potential application domains. Based upon a literature study, the market opportunity for the different applications was defined based upon market size, knowledge of the market and market growth parameters.
Based upon the initial market scan, the AGC Europe team decided to drill down on the four most prominent application domains. We described the end-to-end value chain for each segment, the key players, the market and industry trends. The underlying articles, academic publications & patents linked to thin glass and its appliances were retrieved by the DataScouts exploration platform from over 70.000 data and information sources.
As part of the research workflow, we started populating the DataScouts monitoring platform with competitors, potential customers and valuable partners along the value chain. The automatically generated actor profiles contained information about the companies, their technologies and roles in the value chain. The platform helped to visualise in an interactive way an accurate and detailed mapping of the value chain for the 4 key application domains of ultra-thin glass and the connections between different technology and service providers along the value chain.
Understanding the connections and the dynamics between players was crucial to develop an efficient business development strategy. For example, AGC Group has developed a solution for building glazing together with Panasonic. In addition, Panasonic is very active as a supplier for automotive and aviation so Panasonic can open doors for AGC Glass Europe to manufacturers in these two sectors.
The Outcome - Strategic Agility
The report provided AGC Glass Europe with
- a detailed and granular insight in the market opportunity for ultra-thin glass
- a detailed analysis of the Customer Life Time Value
- an accurate representation of all relevant parties in the ecosystem for ultra-thin glass applications
- validated assumptions and approaches to activate business development
The Collective Intelligence about their current customer base, the business ecosystem and the sweet spot to go after provided the AGC Europe Team with practical next steps on how to assess and develop new markets, increase customer revenue in the short, middle long and long term