Feedback in Epidemiology for Market Sizing

In early 1995 data showed that the HIV/AIDS population was growing at a terrifying rate in the United States. Moreover, although the so-called AIDS cocktail was in clinical trials, very few people were aware of what its performance would turn out to be. Ventana was engaged by a pharmaceutical company to develop a decision-support tool for

Making the Case for Privatizing a Government Function

In the late 1990’s the US Air Force had a strategic initiative called “Flexible Sustainment,” and the pilot aircraft program for introducing this initiative was its C-17 airlifter program. The central idea behind the initiative was that a better partnership between the Air Force and private industry (especially the suppliers of the major airframes) to

Calculating Liability Reserves for Loyalty Programs

The finance department of a large hotel chain was concerned that it was understating the size of the financial liability incurred when it awarded “frequent guest” points that guests could redeem in the future for free room nights. The sales department found its loyalty program very effective in improving business hotel occupancy and revenue, and

Strategic Direction for a Building Industry Consortium

A consortium of building industry professionals formed a corporation to develop innovative housing using seed money from the U.S. Department of Energy, and included Ventana in their strategic planning. At the group’s early strategic planning sessions, consortium members expressed strong convictions about the attributes they wanted their products to have. Their values included a strong sense

Predicting Assembly Learning Rates

After years of difficulty developing its product, a defense contractor finally had the high quality product it had promised the U.S. Government years earlier. Unfortunately, even after the production of several units, its manufacturing cost was far too high. The unit cost was finally starting to come down smartly, but the contractor didn’t know for

Competitive Insurance Pricing

A nonprofit insurer of municipalities and townships was under heavy attack by a commercial insurer offering very low prices for insurance. In five years the competitor had gone from about 10% market share in property & casualty insurance to almost 70% in the nonprofit insurer’s region. Over this period, all other competitors in the region

New Product Decision Process

For a research pharmaceutical company, Ventana designed and built a decision-support model to help manage the development of a new drug. When the modeling was started, over $120 million was committed to the development of a new drug to better treat a fatal infectious disease. The drug had been under development for two years, and

Forecasting the Rate of Technical Breakthroughs

For a major energy company, Ventana consultants built a dynamic simulation model to forecast the rate of technical progress for a $100+ million/year development program and support proactive program management. The model supplemented traditional program management tools and forecasting methods, which were funded at much higher levels. The goal of the development program was to

Software Licensing Policy

For a major computer company, Ventana developed a model to evaluate software licensing policies. The specific project objectives were to predict the financial results and side effects of alternative licensing policies, provide policy insights, optimize strategies, quantify risk and identify the best ways to reduce it. Through the use of policy simulation, Ventana discovered a

True Costs of Outsourcing

When the new CFO of a manufacturing company took his position in early 1996, fellow executives bombarded him with complaints about the cost estimating and accounting departments. Among them was confusion over how much the company saved by outsourcing parts and services. The CFO asked Ventana to join an ad hoc advisory team he was