The MediPort all-in-one computer is one of Maxant’s most successful products, used primarily inside hospital operating rooms. Before launching a third-generation MediPort, the company decided to take a closer look at the marketplace. Wanting an unbiased third party to collect information about the product’s reputation and potential purchasers, Maxant’s leaders reached out to IMEC for advice.
IMEC recommended and then helped facilitate a relationship with Thrive Market Intelligence. Thrive researched Maxant’s sales to determine which market segments found value in the MediPort, explored users’ needs and challenges with the existing product, and analyzed pricing, purchasing decisions, sales channels and buyers. Armed with insights culled from this data, Maxant modified its go-to-market plan for the MediPort – making aesthetic, service and pricing changes to make the new product more attractive to wider group of potential purchasers.
- Design changes based on how and where the product is used in operating rooms
- Addition of “hot swap” program (same-day shipment of new parts) to address reliability concerns
- Addition of monthly usage agreement to address hospitals’ capital budget challenges
- Positive customer feedback during pre-release phase
Medical imaging company gets an inside look at the competitive marketplace
When it came time to launch the next generation of one of its signature products, Maxant Technologies didn’t jump straight from design into production. Instead, the company decided to take a closer look at the marketplace – and what it discovered through the competitive intelligence process changed the final product for the better.
The world’s leading manufacturer of medical imaging displays, Maxant got its start in the 1970s as a producer of X-ray illuminators. As the market shifted over time from film to digital, Maxant transitioned along with it. Today, the Niles-based company offers a full line of medical-grade computers, diagnostic and surgical displays, radiation protection equipment and more.
Maxant’s MediPort all-in-one computer is one of the company’s most successful products, used primarily inside hospital operating rooms. In 2013, company leaders decided it was time to launch the third generation of the product.
“Before we began manufacturing, we wanted a better understanding of the product’s reputation and our targets,” said John Ambrose, business unit manager at Maxant. “We’re a small company with limited resources. Rather than throwing a new product against the wall and hoping it sticks, we decided to gather some data.”
Knowing they wanted to use an unbiased third party to collect that data, Ambrose and his team reached out to IMEC for advice. IMEC recommended, and then helped facilitate a relationship with Thrive Market Intelligence, based in nearby Rochelle.
With direction from Maxant, the research team at Thrive analyzed the company’s sales to determine which market segments found value in previous versions of the MediPort, then explored users’ needs and challenges related to the existing product. They also looked into market pricing, critical purchasing decisions, sales channels, buyers and more.
The information Thrive gathered through primary and secondary research resulted in some significant modifications to Maxant’s go-to-market plan. The company changed some aspects of the MediPort’s aesthetics based on insights into where it was located and how it was used inside operating rooms. Maxant also added a few features related to service and pricing not available with previous generations.
“If something goes wrong with the MediPort, it basically shuts down the operating room,” Ambrose said. “Based on Thrive’s conversations with our customers, we decided to offer the new MediPort with a ‘hot swap’ program, or same-day shipment of replacement parts.”
The decision to offer a lease arrangement also came out of the market research. “A big problem for many hospitals is capital budgets, which means it can be difficult for them to find the money to update products like ours,” Ambrose said. “With the new MediPort, we’re offering a monthly usage agreement that makes it easier for hospitals to stay current with our technology.”
These changes should make the third-generation MediPort more attractive to a wider group of potential purchasers, Ambrose believes, and he credits the market research process with much of the positive feedback he’s already received during the new product’s pre-release phase.
“Gathering competitive intelligence was a great way to pull some unbiased information from our customers, who were much more willing to open up to a third party,” he said. “Their input gave us some different angles to look at and helped us make some decisions we probably wouldn’t have otherwise.”
“Gathering competitive intelligence was a great way to pull some unbiased information from our customers, who were much more willing to open up to a third party. Their input gave us some different angles to look at and helped us make some decisions we probably wouldn’t have otherwise.”
– John Ambrose, Business Unit Manager