RelativeResourceManager8 - COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE - AN...

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1 COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE -- AN OVERVIEW By Stephen H. Miller Editor, Competitive Intelligence Magazine Increasingly, management strategists are relying on a frequently misunderstood practice known as Competitive Intelligence. From out of the shadows of corporate "spy vs. spy" stereotypes, today's CI professionals are legally and ethically collecting, analyzing, and applying information about the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of their competitors, and monitoring developments within the overall competitive environment (such as previously unseen rivals over the horizon, or new technologies that could change everything). The goal: actionable intelligence that will provide a competitive edge. By analyzing rivals' moves, CI allows companies to anticipate market developments -- rather than merely react to them. "The big payoff for Competitive Intelligence is that it will point out weakness that you have internally because of the strengths of your competitors. Companies that don't do this will fail," former Kellogg USA President Gary Costly warned as a CEO Roundtable hosted by the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals. 1 Likewise, said John Pepper, Chairman of Procter & Gamble, "I can't imagine a time in history when the competencies, skills and knowledge of the men and women in competitive intelligence are more needed and more relevant to a company being able to design a winning strategy and act on it. I can't imagine a company not realizing the fundamental need for this today." 2 Established in 1986, SCIP is a global not-for-profit association whose 7,000 members conduct competitor research and analysis for large and small companies, and help management to plan competitive strategy. WHAT IS CI? Competitive intelligence is the process of monitoring the competitive environment. To be more exact, CI is a systematic and ethical program for gathering, analyzing, and managing information that can affect a
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2 company's plans, decisions, and operations. 3 CI enables senior managers in companies of all sizes to make informed decisions about everything from marketing, R&D, and investing tactics to long-term business strategies. The CI Cycle Effective CI is a continuous cycle, whose steps include: 1. Planning & direction (working with decision makers to discover and hone their intelligence needs); 2. Collection activities (conducted legally and ethically); 3. Analysis (interpreting data and compiling recommended actions) 4. Dissemination (presenting findings to decision makers) 5. Feedback (taking into account the response of decision makers and their needs for continued intelligence). 4 Unlike internal knowledge management, CI's focus is on external events and trends, with a strong focus on competitors' activities and likely intentions. A key goal is "early warning" -- timely alerts that allow decision makers to take preparatory action to maintain competitive advantage. To be succinct, competitive intelligence allows management to detect changes in the market early and quickly enough to make a difference for the strategic position of the company.
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course MGT 4199 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Kennesaw.

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RelativeResourceManager8 - COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE - AN...

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