About TCS Inc.

Established in August 1994, Thinking Cap Solutions Inc. is an applied economic research company founded in Boston and now located in Port Angeles, Washington. With the growing power of desktop PCs and internet access to large databases, founder Victor Maliar saw an opportunity to develop a new generation of business information products.

The vision for Thinking Cap Solutions: to provide high-quality, comprehensive, applications-oriented economic analyses at an affordable price. Combining forces with partner Elizabeth Baatz, Maliar introduced the Industry Cost Escalation Alert (ICE-Alert) to industrial purchasers in 1995.

The unique metrics presented in ICE-Alert, and now in ALERTdata Blueprints, have been a hallmark of the creativity that drives Victor Maliar and the information products he creates. A graduate of University of Connecticut, Maliar had worked as an economist at McGraw-Hill’s Data Resources Inc.’ s (DRI) Cost Forecasting Service in Washington, D.C. (DRI has since been sold and became a part of Global Insight Inc.) While in that position, Maliar built cost escalation forecasting models and did custom cost analysis for Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.

Ms. Baatz had worked as a research economist at DRI in Lexington, Massachusetts as well, but shifted into business journalism writing for Professional Builder, Plant Engineering, PURCHASING, Semiconductor International, ELECTRONIC BUSINESS, and many other trade magazines. As an economist at Cahners Publishing Company (now part of Reed Business Information), Baatz also presented her take on the economy at trade association and corporate events.

The transfer of mainframe power to the desktop and the release of government data on the internet led Maliar and Baatz to wonder: could business economics finally reach industrial purchasers and other front-line business functions at a reasonable fee? Looking at an underserved audience in the purchasing field, Maliar’s econometrics expertise led him to design and build Thinking Cap Solutions’ Leveraged Metric Intelligence (LMIQ) Model of industry price/cost/demand metrics.

The first information product that Thinking Cap Solutions created from this new economic model was called ICE-Alert. (ICE is an acronym for Industry Cost Escalation.) Known as “the strategic buyer’s comprehensive monthly guide to price, cost and demand trends in U.S. manufacturing,” ICE-Alert tracked direct materials and labor costs, fuel and energy costs and market demand pressures for more than 300 industries.

In 2006, the LMIQ Model was expanded to cover over 450 industries at the 6-digit NAICS industry level and extended into an array of new metrics including financial performance indicators. Then using a new custom-designed publishing system, Thinking Cap Solutions moved its ALERTdata Blueprints online in April 2008. Looking ahead, in 2008 the LMIQ Model will expand again with new models for services, mining, transportation and other non-manufacturing industries.