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Drilling Deep to Find the Right Expertise

Market Due Diligence

Drilling Deep to Find the Right Expertise


 A private equity group was evaluating the purchase of an industrial-cleaning company with Fortune 100 customers in the oil, paper, utility, and steel industries. To get comfortable with their investment, our client needed to connect with people who understood:

  • The demand and frequency of cleaning and coating maintenance services
  • How the cleaning firms are selected and by whom
  • Outsourcing trends within the sector
  • The overall competitive landscape

We quickly learned that this information resided far below the executive suites of the target company’s customers, deep within their organization charts. Current and former executives of competitive firms would also be useful.

Target Profile

  • Former C-level executives of competing outsourced service providers
  • Current and former maintenance executives and supervisors at refineries, power generation facilities, and steel mills
  • Personnel from key industry trade organizations

The Search

We went to work locating the real decision makers key to this industry, starting high up and working our way down the chain of command—SVP of operations, senior reliability officer, plant manager, and so on. Apex Leaders was able to put our client in contact with 11 experienced contacts who fit our profiles.

The Results

Through our contacts, our client learned that although cleaning vendors are put on an approved provider list at the corporate level, individual plant and maintenance managers made the ultimate decisions. Personal relationships and safety records were paramount. Price was secondary.

They also learned that their potential customers could not postpone the cleaning services and, as their facilities move towards 100% utilization, might increase their service needs.

Last Word

Given these favorable trends, our client moved forward.

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