Consulting and Advisory Firms, Primary Market Research, Research and Information Services

Analyzing the TCO of marine engines through primary research

Analyzing the TCO of marine engines through primary research


A US-based global management consulting firm, involved in evaluating management decisions across public and private sectors, wanted to perform a TCO analysis of marine engines across the US, Europe, and Southeast Asia. This required gathering first-hand information from an extremely hard-to-reach target group of boat operators and engine OEM dealers and distributors.


The client engaged Netscribes to overcome the challenge given its extensive panel network, domain expertise, and ability to reach hard-to-reach geographies and language groups. We implemented the following research methodology:

1. Background research:

    We leveraged various paid and non-paid databases, web articles, and other secondary sources of information to get a deep understanding of marine engine usage and maintenance, including the local policies, industry standards, resource requirements, etc.

2. Identification of respondents:

    We then identified target respondents involved in the purchasing decisions for ship or boat engines, including marine diesel engineers, operators, and service/maintenance managers. Netscribes analysts would call up the respondents and ask them some screener questions before scheduling appointments for the survey.

3. Primary research:

    We conducted a web-based survey using CATI to understand the usage habits and find out relevant cost areas of owning marine engines. The project had an incidence rate of 20% as, out of a pool of every 100 respondents, around 40 successfully completed the screeners and only 20 completed the survey.

4. Quality check:

    All completed surveys went through a stringent quality check process. First, the transcript submitted by the analyst is reviewed. On clearing that, the call recordings are sent through the QA team which then calls the respondents to verify their responses.

Netscribes completed the project in a turnaround time of four weeks.


With accurate, first-hand information on the usage and maintenance of marine engines, the client was able to get a precise estimate of the overall cost of owning marine engines across target markets.

Uncovering the obvious and hidden costs is a crucial factor in the TCO analysis of any product. However, doing so for marine engines required a thorough understanding of the product usage, including the maintenance and service issues, local policies, industry standards, and the average time between engine overhauls and the mid-life overhaul of the marine engines, among others. Download this case study to find out how Netscribes’ primary research services helped the client to get a precise estimate of the overall cost of owning marine engines across target markets.
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