Growth Based Strategies
Eureka! Winning Ways Helps Questech Find New Revenue
Questech, in Rutland, Vermont, is a leading manufacturer of decorative stone and metal tile. The company focuses on superior design, innovation, and craftsmanship. Building on founder Roger Questel's invention of a process to cast metal objects at a fraction of the weight and cost of solid metals, the company launched the industry's first mass-produced decorative metal tiles and remains the industry leader in that category in the tile and home improvement markets. In addition to metal tiles, the company also manufactures cast stone and natural stone tiles.
With 100 employees and the founder still in place as creative director and chairman of the board, Questech has enjoyed 25% growth annually in the last five years. Yet the opportunity to undertake a program that could lead the company in new directions and might result in exponential growth was welcomed enthusiastically.
Questech believes its Eureka! Winning Ways idea will not only triple the size of their business, but change their industry as well. All it took was the Eureka! Winning WaysÒ-inspired confidence to think big and commit to trying it out. The results speak for themselves.
MEP's Initial Growth Services Offering: Eureka! Winning Ways
Building upon the organization's success in helping manufacturers reduce their bottom-line costs through process improvements, MEP is now focusing on growth in top-line sales for manufacturers. Eureka! Winning Ways is the first of the MEP Growth Services to be introduced. Developed in partnership with Doug Hall of Eureka! Ranch in Cincinnati, Ohio, the program is the first scientifically based process to guide companies to systematically and significantly grow their businesses. Specifically, the program provides a disciplined methodology and analytical tools to create new ideas, discovery market opportunities for these ideas, and efficiently drive the best ideas into development.
Questech was aware that the number one issue customers have with natural stone tile is maintenance. In response, Questech developed a unique technology that addresses that concern in an industry-changing way, much in the way that Stainmaster revolutionized the carpet industry.
Within six weeks of their Eureka! Session, Questech launched a test of their new product in a large tile showroom in Albany, New York (two hours from Rutland). In the months since then, the company has encountered problems and challenges that have lead to solutions as well as new hurdles, which have in turn lead to more knowledge and a more sophisticated deployment strategy. Barriers to distribution and freight costs, portability of technology and equipment, training of showroom sales personnel, and merchandising and marketing challenges have all been encountered and overcome.
Questech is on track to establish Q-Seal regionally in New England in 2008. From this experience and through their current contacts with the key industry distributors throughout the country, Questech plans to take Q-Seal national after that.
Early results from Questech's single-store test are promising, and could amount to $30,000 in revenue from that location for the year. The company has subsequently added a second store location, and is completing its merchandising and equipment needs to ramp up the service. If their early success continues, long-term revenue potential is enormous.
"Not only could this triple the size of our business," says Gary Marmer, Vice President of Marketing for Questech and Product Manager for Q-Seal, "but it will fundamentally change our industry."
Reaction to Eureka! Winning Ways and MEP Growth Services
"Eureka! Winning Ways gave us a clear path of what to expect from our testing. 'Fail fast, fail cheap' has been a liberating motto to live by. There's comfort in knowing that success can come from failure -- try, discover, correct, execute. This has made our current retail test lab successful for this rollout, and will certainly be invaluable when we're ready to move on to the next great idea."
"This process gives a disciplined, empirical approach to idea generation. There's a method. We've never had that before. We've now learned how to create practical ideas that have great potential for exponential growth and to put resources toward them to turn them into reality."
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Vice President Marketing