An old established U.K. product leader and major manufacturer of florescent pigments became alarmed at his market being eroded away as a result of competition from a South Korean competitor.
The U.K. company approached John to establish how the South Koreans could sell an all most identical product at a price less than the U.K. manufacturer was able to produce the product.
A partner from Ingram Associates together with an industrial chemist, travelled to South Korea and approached the company under pretext. After three visits to the factory, Ingram Associates had established the answer to their client’s problem.
The first answer was that the major ingredient for the product, regardless of colour, originates from Russia and there is only one worldwide supplier. The client was paying in hard cash and the Korean competition was trading with product. The second answer was purely that of the economies of scale. The client could only produce one colour at a time and had to close down production for cleaning, while the Koreans produced all the colours simultaneously.
Hard to face, but Ingram Associates’ U.K. client now had the answers to his problem.