Problem Solving with Clients


by Anthony Kiefer


Savvy businesses make sure to ask, “How are others doing what we do?” and “Are there things that could be learned from how our competitors are organized?”.  And when they ask these questions, they come to us.  As a Research Manager with Corporate Navigators, I can tell you that we have the tools to help.

On a recent engagement, a Telecommunications company asked for our help to make sense of a function that exists at all of their competitors: Technical Operations.  By way of definition, the Technical Operations team assesses, identifies and resolves issues that arrive from the field. Our client asked that we outline and provide details and insights of how their competitor’s Technical Operations team was structured and as how it interacted with the rest of the enterprise.

When we started our research, we quickly determined that not all Technical Operations teams were “created equal”.  We had thought there would be singular executive in charge of Technical Operations, but instead we confirmed that their leadership of the function was distributed across many regions rather than more centralized under a particular leader. We were able to directly collaborate with our client to discuss our findings at that point, discussing benchmark profiles to ensure we had a thorough understanding of how that competitor organized this function.  That helped us “compare apples to apples” and  allowed us produce results that meet our client’s needs and completed the engagement successfully.

At Corporate Navigators, clients become our partners. When you choose to engage with us, we become one team working toward a common goal. In the example above, we determined early in the process that our hypothesis of how things at that competitor  “should be organized” did not match the reality. We were quick to reach out to the client and provide them with these findings.  This allowed us to educate them and facilitate dialogue to home in on the exact scope of results they were seeking.


Anthony Kiefer is the Senior Research Manager at Corporate Navigators, acting as account manager for many of our Fortune 500 clients as well as team leader for our research and recruiting associates.

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