You will frequently need to research a company, whether it is a potential partner, customer, supplier or competitor. Following this methodology will ensure you cover all angles.
I Executive Summary
[Summarise the facts that are most relevant to the purpose of this analysis]
II What do they do?
- Where do they compete?
- What are their key numbers?
- What is their organisation?
- What is their management structure? [Tool: Organisation chart]
- What is their leadership background? [Tool: Bio on the CEO]
- What is their culture?
- Location of assets/offices?
III What is their strategy?
- Does this company have enduring purpose/values?
- What is their competitive advantage? [Tool: RPV Framework]
- What are their core competences?
- What advantaged assets do they control?
- What is special about their organisation?
- How strong is their strategic position?
- Value Proposition compared to competitors
- Products/Markets/Segments strategic position, growth, share etc [Tool: BCG/GE Matrix]
- Trends in market share, top line growth
- What is their strategic history?
- What have been their major business development moves over the last 5 years? Were they successful? [Tool: M&A/JV/Alliance history]
- How has their strategy changed over time? [Tool: Strategic Era Analysis]
- What are their current Strategic Initiatives?
III What are the financials of this company?
- Where do they make money? Portfolio by business, product, customer, channel
- What is their historic financial performance? [Tool: 5 year margin/cash/P&L trends]
- What factors have driven their performance? [Tool: 5 year Profit Tree]
- How are they generating and using their cash? [Tool: 5 year Cashflow Source and Uses]
- Have they successfully created value? [Tool: Economic Value Added/Total Shareholder Return analysis]
- What major events have driven their shareprice? (Annotated shareprice history)
- How does their performance compare with their industry? [Tool: Benchmarking financial ratio analysis]
- What is their expected future financial performance? [Tool: Analyst Reports]
IV What is their current top management agenda?
- What has been the most recent news over the last 12 months?
- What are their top 5 current issues?