Consulting Services for the Asia-Pacific Market

At TBUDX Consulting we provide consulting services to organizations that are looking for growth in international markets and through technology advances. Our services include market research, competitive analysis, product planning and the integration of business operations with the most advanced internet technology. We also provide implementation services in areas including business plan development, product ID design, marketing programs, public relations, supply chain development and management, language translation, Internet and World Wide Web site design.

Our value as a consultant comes from an in-depth understanding of contemporary market and technology trends with the ability to comprehend the many factors that must be addressed in order to find the solutions a company needs. This value is the result of extensive operational and entrepreneurial experience.

This includes hands-on experience in product development, sales, marketing, manufacturing, customer service, strategic planning, executive management, and software development in interactive training, online translation and cataloging.

We have offices in Austin, Texas, Reston, Virginia, Beijing, The People’s Republic of China and affiliate offices in Tokyo, Japan.

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Asia – Pacific Market

We have over 30 years experience working with companies and government agencies from The People's Republic of China, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. This experience includes joint product development, joint manufacturing, sales and marketing operations. We have excellent business contacts in Japan, Singapore, and China. Our understanding of the diverse cultural and business issues in these countries is a result of our experience completing numerous projects there. We also have excellent ongoing relationships with Chinese government officials and agencies.

We are able to provide a working bridge between Asia-Pacific based and U.S. based companies.

Some Examples of TBUDX Capabilities

  • Business strategy/plan development
  • Product strategy, competitive analysis, development and evaluation
  • Supply chain development
  • Market development, analysis, strategy, implementation
  • Operational systems implementation
  • Development of interactive training system, online translation & cataloging
  • Relationship development

FAQ's

Here are some our our most frequently asked questions. If there is a question unanswered please contact us for clarification.

Q1: In general, what type of consulting services does TBUDX offer?

It seems the thing we do most is answer the question, "What do I do now?” We see a lot of people who are faced with either an opportunity or a set of problems and don't have the staff, time, or perhaps experience to correctly resolve all of the issues. We fill the gap with experienced guidance – both strategic and tactical and the implementation of specific tasks that answer the questions, and develop and execute the appropriate plans.

Q2: In answering this question, what types of projects result?

We offer custom consulting services, so there is really no "standard" project for us. However, we can generally break our services into the following three broad categories.

a. The first is operationally focused strategic analysis, planning, and execution. We concentrate on balancing vision and the quest for a defined strategic direction with operational reality. You can't run a company with your head in the "operational" sand all of the time. This is especially true in companies involved (either as a seller or user) with new technologies. A continual focus on the details can result in you being passed by very quickly by your competitors. On the other hand, you can't spend all of your time searching for the vision of what you could or should be. Reality demands a balance. We perform surveys, market analysis, strategic planning, business plan generation, product strategy and planning, and market strategy and planning tasks for our clients with this balance in mind.

b. Our second broad category is helping establish new companies or helping troubled companies "restart". We "know the ropes" when it comes to highly entrepreneurial ventures and can let the management of a new (or newly directed) company feed off of our experience (including successes and mistakes). We understand venture capital funding as well as other sources of capital. We help develop business plans, analyze existing plans, provide fund raising guidance and introductions, and even help with operational detail when it is appropriate.

c. The third broad category of services involves bridging the gap between the U.S. and AsiaPacific markets. U.S. companies find it difficult to do business in AsiaPacific countries. Likewise, companies from the AsiaPacific region find mystery in the U.S. market. Our experience and contacts within the markets coupled with our operation/vision balance often results in unique solutions. We help companies find joint venture candidates and design and negotiate the joint venture. We perform market and competitive product analysis focused in the specific geographical markets of interest. We analyze products to determine overall quality and fit in the target region. Our experience and working connections within industry and government in both Japan and China can be very useful to U.S. companies as we introduce U.S. technology into the Asiapacific markets or find AsiaPacific developed technologies or products for the U.S. Company.(See questions 8 and 9 for more about this.)

Q3: What are the most common problems you see in companies?

The problems probably fall into categories that are similar to those in the previous question.

a. Operational/Vision balance - Managers and employees seem to fall into one of two traps. They either spend a lot of time worrying with mundane operational detail or they spend time being intimidated by the rapid changes and unclear future in their business. In the first case, you have to recognize that a lot of what goes on in a company is rote detail. You must have processes in place that make the work that should be rote actually rote. One of the mistakes high achievers make is that they attend to all of the detail themselves instead of developing systems which simply handle the detail and let the appropriate people know when an exception is likely to occur. As far as vision is concerned, people are either afraid of the future, or they talk about it most of the time, but take no action. You have to have a roadmap into the future, it has to be based on the best data and thought process you can get, and it has to be living so that it can change with the environment.

We can help develop the processes or the vision necessary to address the particular needs of the client.

b. Startups and restarts - The main issue we see here is a lack of balance. Someone has the greatest widget in the world and they focus on how great it is, not how the channels work, whether anyone else cares, intellectual property issues, manufacturing ability, cash flow, etc. It is interesting that we still see people who believe that the technology will sell itself and others who believe they can sell anything so the product does not matter. Startups today demand more. They demand more balance between vision, strategy, and tactics. They demand more balance between product and marketing. They also often demand more capital and more focus on intellectual property issues than many entrepreneurs want to admit. You have to touch every piece of the jig saw puzzle and have solutions for most of the pieces in hand (or at least in the plan) if you really want to succeed. The second most common mistake in this category is a misunderstanding of the capital requirements. Management does not really understand how much money it takes, or does not know where to get it. A subset here is the fear of venture capital money. For some reason founders often do not like the idea of having a venture capital partner. While there are all sorts of horror stories about VC and their methods of operation (and we have been the victim of some of them), the reality is that they can be an excellent source of funds and help and it is inappropriate to ignore them.

c. Asia-Pacific - The most common Asia-Pacific problem is that people assume they cannot do business there, so they do not try. It is amazing how many people have products that would do well in the region, but are not trying to sell there because of the fear that some local company will ripoff the design. The truth anywhere is that products get copied more readily when there is a reasonable market and no one is fulfilling the market demand. The best way to protect you in foreign countries is to be involved there. The second problem is a lack of understanding of the nuances in the area. You have to listen very carefully and interpret what you are hearing in Asia-Pacific very carefully. You have to be able to find and understand the hidden agendas that may be part of the situation there. A third problem with regard to the Asia-Pacific region is that people assume that they simply need a local or regional distributor to take their product into these countries and that the distributor will handle everything. Unfortunately, it seems there are many unscrupulous distributors working this area as well as many who are honest, but do not really have the experience or contacts. Carefully choosing a distributor and then working very closely with the distributor to monitor and track the business is essential. Finally, the same holds true with picking a consultant to help in Asia-Pacific. Make sure they have real experience and real contacts that are applicable to what you are trying to do.

Q4: There are obviously a lot of consultants. What sets TBUDX apart?

There are three factors that differentiate us

a. Operational experience - We have over 30 years of handson operational experience. While this includes some experience in a Fortune 500 environment, the majority of my experience has been in highly entrepreneurial, high tech companies where growth and survival were both significant issues. I have been involved in some of the toughest turnaround projects imaginable. It is interesting how much you learn as a Senior VP or CEO of a venture capitalist backed turnaround effort. Low resource and high expectations are your everyday companions, and the learning curve doesn’t get much steeper. This experience allows you to recognize and respond faster to both problems and opportunities.

b. Asia-Pacific experience and connections - Lei Chen, our operations manager for our Chinese consulting and marketing effort, and I both have experience in designing and negotiating deals within the Asia-Pacific region. We have significant industry and government connections within Japan and PR China as well as in Taiwan and Singapore. We also have associate offices in both Tokyo and Beijing. Because we have truly "been there and done that" we understand the complex business and political circumstances and know how to work toward a successful conclusion. We don't just make introductions. We provide experienced guidance and creative ideas throughout the project.

c. A balanced approach - We are not consulting "gurus" pitching a theory about organizational changes in the 21st century. We are not simply technologists. We are not simply marketing people. We are not simply "deal makers". To some extent we are all of the above. We have the experience to balance our approach to any problem. We comprehend and can respond to technology, legal, financial, market, operations, and other factors that interrelate to form the challenges that a company faces. And, we do this within the context of the U.S. market or Asia-Pacific markets.

These factors combine to give us an advantage.

Q5: Is there a standard methodology you use on projects?

All of the projects are custom designed to fit specific client needs. However, there is an overall four step methodology used in many of the larger and more strategic E 2 projects. The figure on the following page illustrates the methodology by showing the components of a typical strategic analysis project.As the figure shows, there is a project definition phase followed by three operational phases.

Project Definition - In this phase we meet with client management and gather the appropriate information to make an informed decision regarding project goals, schedules, and costs. The result of this phase is a proposal that includes the information management needs to make a decision regarding the start of the project.

Phase 1 : Definition of current position, trends, and opportunities In a typical first phase we define the environment. We use the client's internal sources combined with sources outside the client company to develop a realistic view of the company’s current position, technology and market trends, and the resulting opportunities.

Phase 2 : Development of a strategy During the second phase we assimilate and evaluate the collected information to develop a strategy that addresses the trends and opportunities.

Phase 3 : Development of an implementation plan In the third phase we work with the client to develop a detailed implementation plan that optimizes the company’s strengths and corrects or minimizes weaknesses.

Q6: Do you only work for high tech companies?

No. While a lot of our experience and recent work is in high tech, we have found there is a demand for our services in a number of other market segments. Today all markets seem to be changing rapidly. The vision, planning, process, and reaction skills that you develop in high tech companies can be very beneficial to companies that are not providing high tech products directly. For example, we have recently been involved in a market and distribution channel study for a furniture manufacturer. We have also been involved in helping a professional services firm (accounting) develop new, more efficient internal processes, determine how to use current and coming technology in the best way, and define the “firm of the future” as the market changes.

Q7: What are some of the recent projects with which you have been involved?
  • Analysis of marketing plans, development of new sales and marketing plans, development of advertisements and collateral material, assistance with proposal writing, and analysis of ongoing technical projects for a software services company with international customers in both the public and private sector
  • Customer satisfaction survey for a company providing contract development services and contract employees to large and medium size U.S. companies
  • Business plan development and fund raising consultation with a retail sales startup
  • Analysis of market opportunity and strategy for a U.S. software and services company considering a new venture with potential operations in Japan and China
  • Product evaluation, market evaluation, and market rollout plan for a computer telephony product developed by a joint venture between a U.S. Fortune 100 company and the government of Singapore
  • Analysis of internal process flow, definition of the “firm of the future,” strategic planning, and technology tools consulting for a professional services organization facing market changes
  • Analysis of U.S. distribution channels for a Chinese manufacturer of high quality, metal and plastic outdoor furniture
  • Workshop for Chinese managers regarding U.S. turnaround strategies and techniques
  • Telephone survey to determine market impressions of new Internet product Negotiations and public relations campaign in The People’s Republic of China to combat U.S. company’s problems with a product being copied
  • Strategic plan, implementation plan, image and graphics design, and fund raising for a startup trading company selling U.S. agricultural products in PR China Strategic plan, implementation plan, business plan, fund raising, and initial marketing in PR China and Japan for an innovative high technology wireless telecommunications product
  • Design and implementation of an inhouse computer network for a professional services company
  • Market evaluation and product features evaluation for a manufacturer of rugged PCs used in remote, mobile computing and telecommunications applications
  • Design and negotiation for a Beijing located manufacturing joint venture between a U.S. company, a Chinese distributor, and a Chinese government owned company
Q8: You mentioned your connections in China. Can you describe them?

We have an associate office in Beijing that markets our services and provides local support for our projects. We have been fortunate to have been involved in some very interesting projects with decision makers in a number of government and commercial organizations. The following figure shows an overview of the government in PR China. The pentagon shapes indicate entities where we have established connections within the organization. The stars indicate entities with which we have been involved in joint venture or other projects. We also have excellent contacts within the commercial sector in China. The following is a partial list of companies with which we have recent connections with the decision makers, joint venture experience, or consulting experience. (The list includes both mainland PR China and Taiwan.)

China Aerospace Corporation
Beijing Astronautic CAD
Technology United Company
Hang Xing Machinery
Manufacturing Corporation


Atoztronic
Atoztec Computers
ColorLand
Shantou Hongye Development
Huatong Auto City
Qingdao Fairmen Ostrich
Development Co.


Hua Bo Ostrich Breeding Co.
Sichuan Wanlan Research Co.
Jinan Chemical Works
Weihai Beiyang Electronics Group
Qingdao Institute of Chemical
Technology


Shandong TechComputer
Engineering Corp.
Shandong University Software
Engineering Corp.
Zhejiang Xinghe (Group) Corp.
Beijing Stone New Technology
Industry Co.


Venture Manufacturing
Video Tech
LiteOn
Peripherals Inc.
Silitek Corp.
Microtek International


Q9: How about connections in Japan?

We have over fifteen years experience with Japanese companies and two associates in Japan who support our efforts there. Again, the easiest thing to do is list some of the organizations where we have working contacts.

ALPs Electric Co.
Canon Inc.
Copyer Co. (Selex)
Fujitsu Ltd.
Itochu Corp.
JRC
Kyocera
Marubeni Electronics
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.
Mitsubishi Electric Corp.
Mitsumi Electric Co.
Mutoh Industries
NEC Corporation
Nihon Binary Co.
Nissho Iwai Corp.
Nippon Steel Corp.
Nova Graphics Japan
Sharp Corp.
Seiko Instruments
Toshiba
YE
Data (Yokogawa Electric)

Q10: You have a service called the Executive One-on-One Program? What is this?

Some of the most difficult misunderstood and lonely jobs are at the very top of companies. The Chairman of the Board, CEO, President and VicePresidents often find themselves in a position where there is no one they can talk to inside (or even outside) the company. This is especially true in startup companies, companies experiencing rapid growth, or companies that are in trouble. The founders and leaders are often expected to have all of the answers. Our experience provides us with a handson understanding of this issue. The Executive One-on-One Program provides someone to talk to on a regular basis to discuss anything ranging from corporate strategy to the frustrations of the office. It is regularly scheduled conversation with someone who has “been there and done that”. Like all E 2 programs, this program is custom designed to provide the most benefit to the client.

Q11: How do you charge for your services?

For small, short term projects we charge on an hourly basis.

Many of our projects are based on a turnkey project fee. We meet with a potential client to determine the client's needs and the overall nature of the project. We then provide a proposal that defines the deliverables, the team, the schedule, a fixed fee, and a payment schedule.

For other projects, we work on a retainer basis. Retainer projects include those where we act as a parttime staff member to address specific operational issues.

On all projects various expenses (such as travel) are in addition to our fee.

Q12: If you wanted to leave the reader with a single idea about TBUDX, what would it be?

Our experience makes the difference!

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