Millsaps College
Conducting an Industry Analysis


  1. Inception
    • To find library materials on the history of a given industry, search the Millsaps Library Catalog by using subject keywords like (history and the “industry name”)
    • To find online information go to Business Source Premier, cilck Business Searching Interface and use keywords like (history and the "automobile manufacturing industry"). For overviews on given industries go to Business Source Premier, click Business Searching Interface and click Industry Profiles. Here you can search by industry name.
  2. Competitive Evolution Over Time
    Use Business Source Premier, click Business Searching Interface and search by industry name. Some keywords to use are “industry evolution” and “competition” (competition and "automobile manufacturing industry).

Current Environmental Forces

  1. Political Environment
    • Does the industry have an economic or political impact on an area? Could it?
    • What ingredients and supplies, are needed to manufacture or provide service?
    • Where do they come from? How are the products produced?
    • Is there an environmental impact on the area? How are the products packaged? Glass, aluminum, plastic, paper?
    • Use Business Source Premier, using keywords like "impact," "packaging"
    • Use Business Source Premier, (Country Reports) and Mergent (Country Profiles) for present political environment as well as regulations.
    • Country Commercial Guides (U.S. State Department)
  2. Social/Cultural/Demographic Environment
    • Does the consumption of the industry product have any effect on members of the social, cultural, or political community? For example: Mormons do not drink caffeinated drinks. Salt Lake City might not provide a good target for increasing market share of Coca Cola.
    • Use World Bank – Country and Regions and CIA World Factbook to search for cultural effect and barriers.
    • For country reports and an overview of society and culture of the area, use Mergent - click the Country Profiles drop-down menu on the right side of the screen and Business Source Premier - click Business Searching Internace and then Country Reports.
    • World Consumer Lifestyles Databook: Key Trends – (Call number HF5415.3 .W67) is available in the Library - Reference Section.
  3. Technological Environment
    Does the use of technology have an impact? How? Cost? Efficiency? Use Business Source Premier and Mergent for information about technology trends and forecasts in various industries.

Market Analysis

  1. Market Size
    • Use Business Source Premier (Market Research Reports) for information on market size and market share.
    • Use Mergent for a known company and then look at and download the company/industry comparison report to calculate market share.
  2. Current rate of Growth
    Use Mergent and Value Line (in print at library reference desk) to find growth information on both companies and industries.
  3. Growth Projections
    • Use Value Line (in print at library reference desk) and for investment reports, earnings estimates.
  4. Buying Processes and Considerations
    Use Business Source Premier and search using keywords like "buying process" and "industry."

Structure of the Industry

  1. Exit/Entry Barriers
    Use Business Source Premier and search using keywords like "entry and barriers"
  2. Value-added chain
    • Use Mergent for Annual Reports and information on what the company is doing to "add value" and streamline business operations.
    • Use Business Source Premier - search using keywords like "value added" to the company or industry search.
  3. Major buyers and suppliers and power of each
  4. Range of Substitutes
  5. Level of Rivalry
    • Business Wire News covers industries. Search "Industry" publications for rivalry. Example: "Cola Wars"
    • Business Source Premier has trade journal articles, rankings, competitors (Datamonitor company & industry reports), etc.
  6.   Major Competitors
    1. Mergent "company search" provides competitors.
    2. Business Source Premier (Datamonitor company & industry reports) both provide competitor information.
    3. Mergent allows searching on SIC and NAICS codes as well as the ability to design peer group analysis reports.
  7. Possible New Entrants
  1. Global vs. Multidomestic Operations
    Business Source Premier and Mergent each can provide information on global and multidomestic operations.
  2. Level of Concentration in Operations and Locations
    • Mergent  provides location and ownership information.
    • EDGAR provides SEC documents, including the latest 10K.
    • Business Source Premier can provide global operation information.

Competitor Analysis

  1. Size of Company
    Mergent has information on company size.
  2. Location of Headquarters & Operations
    Mergent lists headquarters, branches, and number of employees.
  3. Targeting\Positioning Strategy
  4. Demographic and Media Information
  5. Distinctive Operational Policies
    • Mergent  Annual Report to Shareholders may provide information on operations
  6. Global vs. Multidomestic Operations
    • Mergent  will list global operations as well as provide country reports for understanding how business is conducted in other countries.
  7. Level of Concentration in Operations and Locations
    EDGAR 10K will give a good overall picture of how and where business is and has been done.
    Mergent is a good resources for this information.
  8. Competitive Posture
  • Mergent  Annual Report to Shareholders
  • Industry Publications

    9. Prospects for Future Strategy and Likelihood of Success
  • Mergent  provides access to SEC disclosure documents where future prospects are often discussed (Management Discussion).
  • Business Source Premier provides trade and academic journal articles on strategy and success.


  1. For Specific Companies in the Industry
    • After reviewing all of the literature and databases, you should have a very good idea about how the industry works, which companies make up the industry, what the relative market share is of the target as well as competitor companies.
    • Search by industry code (SIC or NAICS) in Mergent or by company name in Business Source Premier
    • Look for market research in Business Source Premier
  2. Attractiveness for New Entrant (which types of companies would have the greatest likelihood of success as a new competitor?)
    Search news and trade publication articles in Business Source Premier, looking for trends and new products.


References and Appendices

  1. Citing Electronic Resources
  2. For Further Reference
    This guide created by Ruth Gallegos Samuels, Business Librarian at OSU and modified by Millsaps librarians. Contact us at if you have any questions.