Ambulance Manufacturing in North America: Market Status & Overview

Regional Ambulance Business Appraisal


The objective of this project was to provide our client with a report on the market standing of their ambulance business in an under-performing sales region, and to use the research to generate a key strategic overview.

The under-performance of their ambulance brand was based in a specific target region. In addition to the ambulance brand selling direct to end-users, except for one other appointed dealer, the ambulance company also acted as exclusive dealer for several of the client’s other product lines in the western United States.

The client sought to develop a better understanding of their business in the underperforming region by commissioning an in-depth appraisal of this region’s market and the standing of their ambulance brand in this area. (SRN) made inquiries at customer, competitor and channel levels to identify issues and address the effectiveness of the ambulance company as a brand supplier, as well as a dealer.

SRN’s plan of inquiry was as follows:

Project Preparation, Internet Research

Essential pre-preparation for the interview task and appraisal included:

  • Identification of competitors’ distributors
  • Identification of competitors’ sales/area/territory managers or reps for interviews
  • Connection with trade associations
  • Checking social media comments, and
  • Generally carrying out deep internet mining to glean news, activity, comments or opinions impacting the use and market for ambulances in the target region.
Customer Level Appraisal [“Voice of Customer”]

At the end-user customer level, the client wanted input from a mix of municipal and private operators in the target region:

  • Brand standing with customers in the target market
  • Customers’ perceptions of the client’s ambulance company and the client’s other brands from standpoint of satisfaction of product and service. Comparison with competition
  • Key complaints/concerns
  • Reason(s) for selecting competing brands
  • The ambulance company’s effectiveness as the dealer for the client’s other brands
  • Competitors’ distribution channels: direct or through dealerships? Customers’ perception of manufacturers who are direct suppliers versus those that supply through dealerships, including perceptions on levels of dealer support from the two methods
  • Reasons for not choosing the client’s ambulances or other of their products
  • Forthcoming orders or intentions, including brand(s) short-listed or chosen for upcoming purchases. Reasons underlying purchase decision.

Competitor Level Appraisal

At the competitor level, SRN compiled the following competitor intelligence:

  • Main competitors in the target region, including estimated sales and market share in the target region
  • Methods to market of all ambulance suppliers to the target market, i.e., selling direct to end-users or through dealers
  • Competitors’ appointed dealers—complete list and including map
  • Geographic coverage in the target region for competitors versus the client’s company. Number of dealers by competitor, number of salespersons if direct, or number of independent reps if used for sales coverage
  • Correlation between wider coverage (e.g., more dealers or more direct salespersons) and better sales/brand recognition, if any.

Competitors’ Channels

  • Perceived status of the market in the target region according to cross-section of all competitors’ distributors. Differences by metro areas, North, Central, South
  • Main brand competition in the area of coverage of select distributors—who they lost bids to, who the strongest buyers were, who were the weakest. Differences between municipal versus private
  • Perception/opinions of client’s ambulance brand and other product lines versus other competing brands. How often client’s brands were encountered competitively in bids
  • Perceptions/opinions of their OE ambulance principal; level of support
  • Outlook/forecast; reasons underlying strengths or weaknesses of target region’s market.