Name Rachel Miller
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Group Number: 371
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Ocean waves, the summer breeze or your child’s laughter, all of these sounds would be
impossible to enjoy if it were not for the ability to hear. However, it is an unfortuante reality
for approximately 700 000 New Zealanders who suffer from hearing loss (National
Foundation for the Deaf, 2014). According to a report by Thorne et al. (2008), “it is
estimated that in New Zealand between 30% and 50% of the prevalence of hearing loss in
adults can be attributed to noise exposure during a lifetime”. This can be changed; careful
monitoring can control noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), and this product, a wearable
decibel monitor, will provide adaquate warning in order to prevent NIHL. The technology
will aim remove the unessary social and personal burden that is preventable hearing loss.
3.1 Vision
To provide the most user friendly warning system to prevent occupational hearing loss to
improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people.
3.2 Industry Analysis: Hearing Aid Industry
Hearing Aid Industry. The global market for hearing aids and related auditory equipment,
this is the closest approximation of the product’s industry.
Force: High/Low: Justification:
Buyer power: High Acoording to the New Zealand Audiological
Society (2014) there are over 300 types of hearing
aids to choose from. Buyers have a lot of choice
in the brand, type and cost of their hearing aids.


Supplier power: High “The “big six” hearing aid manufacturers
…accounted for 98% of the world market last
year” (Kirkwood, 2013). Suppliers have firm
control over the industry. Also, due to the
complex nature of the product, these suppliers
are absolutely nessesary.
Threat of new entrants: Low Hearing aids and related technololgy are costly to
develop and require rigorous testing to ensure
their upmost quality. (Hearing Matters, 2012).
Threat of substitutes: Low
There are no products on the market that can
serve as a replacement to hearing aids, cochlear
implants, or products which measure sound in
the surrounding enviroment. There is no
substitute available for medical grade hearing
equipment (University of Maryland Medical
Centre, 2014).
Rivalry among existing
High The top six manufactures have a market share
range of 9% to 24%. Each firm’s share in the total
sales is constanly changing, which indicates
competition between existing firms (Kirkwood,
Overall attractiveness of the industry: The medical auditority equipment industry requires a
great deal of capital to enter and there is well established competeition. However, once in
the industry, there are no working substitutes on the market and very few new entrants. An
expected stable 4-5% growth over 2013 in the multibillion dollar industry means that there
is opportunity to be successful (Kirkwood, 2013). For these positive aspects, the hearing aid
industry is considerably attractive and lucrative.


3.3 Customers and Thei r Needs
In New Zealand over 50% of all new ACC hearing related claims are classified as NIHL,
according to a report by Thorne P. (2006). The product’s target group of customers are
those whose occupations can be hazardous to auditory health, and may eventually lead to
hearing loss. A presentation for the World Health Organisation stated that “estimates of the
number of people affected worldwide by hearing loss increased from 120 million in 1995
(WHO, 1999; WHO, 2001) to 250 million worldwide in 2004” (Smith, 2004). There is a need
for a solution to lessen the impact and burden of preventable hearing loss. The product
satisfies the need by approaching the core of the issue: exposure to loud noise.
3.4 The Product and Service
The product is useful in preventing NIHL. Long term exposure to noise above 85 decibels can
cause permanent hearing damage (National Foundation for the Deaf, 2014). Since the
device is similar to a watch in design, users will not be hassled with large equipment. When
the user is alerted by the device when potentially damaging levels are present, he can take
cautionary action. This can include proper ear protection or inspection of the source of the
noise. The device will bring awareness to a person’s surroundings so that symptoms of NIHL
and the damaging noise can be treated immediately.
3.5 Suppliers and Partners
The product’s first supplier would be Bernafon, a hearing aid manufacturer. Bermafon is a
leader in the development of medical auditory equipment . Their vision, as stated on the
company website is essentially to improve the quality of life for those who have hearing
loss, and with their advanced technology, they are a perfect fit for the product (Bernafon,
A second supplier would be Wellington based graphics and website design agency Inject.
Contacting out the brand design and website creation to a third party will allow the
company to focus on the product itself. Since Inject “works with a variety of clients both
locally and internationally” (Inject, 2014), the product’s website will have the capacity
expand globally.


A beneficial first partner would be the Hearing Association (Auckland) Inc and their Hearing
Auckland Official website. As idenified on their website, The Hearing Associtaion (Auckland)
values both raising awarness in young people about hearing loss caused by exposure as well
as protecting hearing loss in the home and the workplace (Hearing Auckland, 2014). They
could bring the product directly to the target market, because the Hearing Association
(Auckland) Inc has direct channels for online pruchases of hearing aids and related goods.
A second partner would be National Foundation for the Deaf. This not for profit New
Zealand organisation states, “we encourage all New Zealanders to protect and preserve
their hearing,” (National Foundation for the Deaf, 2014). They align with the product’s vision
and would serve to promote the product as a preventative solution to widespread NIHL.
3.6 Strategy: Broad Market Differntiation
The hearing loss prevention and treatment market is a multibillion dollar industry
(Kirkwood, 2013). According to the National Foundation for the Deaf (2014), 1 in 6 New
Zealanders suffers from hearing loss. The product is also expensive to develop and test, as it
needs to meet specific requirements as set out by various health and safety regulations
(Hearing Matters, 2012). Due to a broad market scope and high cost, the best of Porter’s
Generic Straties is broad market differentiation.
The overall strategy is therefore Broad Market Differntiation.
3.7 Value Chain Activity:
The most important value chain activity for this business is Service after Sale. The vision of
the product is to improve the quality of life for those that suffer from hearing loss and help
to prevent others from becoming disabled. Without easy to use, reliable technology and
consumer support from the compay, the vison would be impossible to achive. Also, in order
to improve the device, substancial money is spent in ensuring the product meets consumer
requirements as set out in surveys. This supports the strategy the product will ulitize; broad
market differentiation. Customer research is crutial to the product’s success and would not
be possible with out Service after Sale.


3.8 Information Delivery Process
3.8.1. INFORMATI ON DELI VERY PROCESS– In order to ensure that users of this product are up
to date with relevent information regarding their product and its functions, a process is
required to deliver this information in an effective manner. This system must also address
customers individually. This supports the vision by having an impact on the users day to day
life and ensuring the product is easy to use.


3.8.2. CUSTOMER SUPPORT PROCESS –The product relies on being user friendly, and the
vision is to improve the lives of those potentially affected by NIHL. Without close customer
support, the product would lose a personal connection that is ever important in the medical


3.9 Functionalities
 Deliver relevant information
 Distinguish between different customers
 Rate customer satisfaction
 Refer customer concerns
3.10 Systems

3.10. 1. CUSTOMER ORGANISATI ON SYSTEM – Will accept customer orders and relay that
information so that a personal account can be crafted. It supports the functionalities for the
information delivery process which supports the vision that the a customer’s relationship
with the product should be user friendly in all aspects. This system also keeps detailed
records to aids in transaction processing systems.
3.10. 2. CUSTOMER SUPPORT SYSTEM - Will be available to support clients who have
questions or concerns regarding the product. This relates to the customer support process
functionalites and serve to promote the vision by being the most user friendly device on the
maket and improving a customer’s experience. In addition to guiding the firm’s decision
making processes by anyalsing customer feedback.
3.10. 3. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK SYSTEM – Involves checking with customers and surveying
them to improve the product. This system supports the functionalities for the customer
support process system and builds a personal account of their relationship with the
company. This advocates for the vision by providing a user friendly experience with an aim
to continually improve its product and the lives of its customers. Customer feedback can
also guide descision making in both products and customer service. tp---------------------------


3.11. Summary Table: Value Chain to Systems

Value Chain
Processes Functionalities Specific Information
Broad Information

After Sale
1. Information
1. Deliver relevant information

2. Distinguish between different customers

Customer Organisation

Customer Organisation

Customer Relationship
Management (CRM)

2. Customer
1. Recive customer satisfaction feedback

2. Solve customer concerns
Customer Feedback system

Customer Support system



The world is an exciting place, full of wonderful sounds. The aim of this product is to ensure
everybody can enjoy their favorite noise for as long as possible. Using IT to develop and
help support a user friendly product is key in today’s incredibly competitive market.

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Retrieved May 20, 2014, from http://www.nfd.org.nz/site_resources/library