1. Find at least one company that exemplifies your industry, using any source you have - your own knowledge, Google or Thomasnet.com.
2. Look it up in Hoover's database. (If the company isn't in Hoover's, you might check ReferenceUSA - either US Businesses or OneSource module - for the same information.)
3. For competitors,
- In your Hoover's search for your company, either:
- click on "Competition" and then on "Competitor List"
- use the "Primary Industry" link (under "Key Information") to look at top companies, and all companies, in that industry. (They may not be an exact match, so check descriptions.)
- OR, use Thomasnet.com using their product classification
- OR, use Google to find a distributor of a certain product, and look at the competing brands. If you want to be thorough, use all 3 methods.
4. For revenue and number of employees, look them up again in Hoover's database to find
- # EMPLOYEES
- also check whether the company is public or private, which you'll need to know for the R&D part:
5. For R&D expenditures in public companies, look in their latest annual report filing (10-K, or 20-F for foreign companies) from their SEC filings.
- find the 10-K or 20-F - use any of these:
- use the SEC EDGAR database
- in Hoover's - look under "Financials" and then "SEC Filings"
- on the company's database, look in the Investor Relations section (often in "About Us")
- open the document and find the word "research" within it until you get to expenditure data. If you don't find that, try "r&d". You'll either see it in the financial statements or in ans.com/subscriber/quicksearch.asp phrase like this: "Toyota’s research and development expenditures were approximately ¥910.5 billion in fiscal 2014, ¥807.4 billion in fiscal 2013 and ¥779.8 billion in fiscal 2012."
R&D expenditures in private companies are not public information, but you may be able to find them in the PrivCo private company database.
6. For plant locations, public companies again will have the most data:
- Again, open the 10-K or 20-F and search for "facilities" or possibly "manufacturing" - you will get a varied amount of information on this - some will be listed and others will just be mentioned.
- Or, use the printed (.pdf) version of the annual report issued to shareholders, which may describe this in more detail. To find this, you can probably just google "[company name] annual report" - or use the Investor Relations section of the website.
- Use Mergent Online database to find the company and click on "Property" to find company facilities - sometimes this will be clear, but you may have to make an educated guess as to which are manufacturing.
- For private companies, you might find something in LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations - find the parent company, and then look at the "Hierarchy" - some will be designated as plants, but subsidiaries and other units may be manufacturing locations as well - you may have to look at the unit description. The company website may possibly also give this information.
Don't forget you can always call the company and explain that you are a student - they just may give you the information you need!