“Who owns the information, owns the world “N. Rothschild
A businessman who possesses important information before others has a huge advantage over his competitors and opponents. A tool for obtaining and analyzing any information that may be relevant to the client’s business and affect it in one way or another is COMPETITIVE (BUSINESS) INTELLIGENCE. This is an element of economic security, a powerful market research tool aimed at clarifying the intentions of competitors / contractors, studying the main business trends, analyzing possible risks and threats to develop managerial decisions in order to increase the company’s competitiveness.
With competitive intelligence, a company can:
- ensure timely receipt of reliable and comprehensive information about current and future financial and economic opportunities of the main competitors and persons who pose a threat to business;
- to determine the consequences of the actions of the main competitors and persons who pose a threat to the planning of measures to neutralize them;
- collect accurate and complete information about events and subjects in the market that affect the goals of the company;
- identify and track the political weight of individual competitors and individuals who pose a threat, and their impact on the business market.
The main tasks of competitive intelligence:
- collection and processing (study) of information about competitors / contractors;
- study of current and future trends of the studied market, analysis of possible risks and threats;
- analysis of financial and economic indicators, tangible and intangible assets of individuals and legal entities in order to identify possible risks and threats, as well as vulnerabilities;
- access to new markets for products;
- identification of new types of products in demand.
Competitive Intelligence Analytical Tools:
- study of the financial and material condition of an individual, collection of characterizing information;
- financial and economic research of a legal entity;
- comprehensive analysis of export / import operations;
- current and prospective analysis of the competitive environment.
Each tool, in turn, consists of certain elements.
1. A study of the financial and material condition of an individual, the collection of characterizing information – detailed information that provides the opportunity for a comprehensive assessment of a person who poses a threat to the owner to identify his unreliability, financial condition, vulnerability:
- definition of relations: relatives, vip-persons, proxies, joint commercial interests;
- determination of the property status of a person and his environment (material support and property rights to property);
- determination of participation in enterprises;
- determination of the accountability of the person (to whom it is subordinate) and the sphere of influence;
identification of vulnerable parties (tax evasion, fraud and other illegal activities);
- development of a relationship scheme for an individual.
2. Financial and economic research of a legal entity – a comprehensive study of the financial and economic activities of a legal entity in the following areas:
- determination of the main activities of the enterprise;
- identification of reliability / legality or transit / fictitiousness of the enterprise;
assessment of the enterprise, as well as potential partners and competitors;
determination of the methods of conducting financial and economic activities (in terms of the legitimacy of operations);
- identification of vulnerabilities (tax evasion, fraud, theft and other illegal activities);
- identification of key counterparties;
- establishing the causes of falling profits;
- investigation into the cashing of funds of the enterprise;
- assessment of the reality of the performance by the counterparty of its obligations;
- determination of financial risks based on the financial statements of an enterprise;
- warning of a possible raider attack.
3. A comprehensive analysis of export-import operations is an element of intelligence research related to information and analytical activities aimed at increasing the competitiveness of a company in foreign economic activity:
- finding out over a certain period the dynamics of changes in the volume and price of exported / imported products;
determination of the list of countries supplying / consuming a certain type of product;
- determination of the list of exporters / importers of a certain type of product;
- determination of the regional affiliation of competitors of exporting enterprises;
- determination of the list of main consumer enterprises (not only importers) of a certain type of imported products;
analysis of the activities of the counterparty for the availability of assets, identification of beneficiaries, affiliates, circle of related enterprises;
- identification of new products in demand outside the country, with a slight change in the production process;
- search for imported products that are in high demand;
- determination of new export directions for product sales.
4. Current and prospective analysis of the competitive environment – an element of research in intelligence related to information and analytical activities and aimed at studying the current state, features, problems and further trends of market development:
- characteristics of major companies with a significant market share, including importers, exporters, etc .;
- list of competitive advantages of the main market companies (opportunities for lobbying business interests in government bodies);
- development plans of companies to strengthen market positions;
- determination of the main risks when new players enter the market under study in order to assess the possibilities of their consolidation in the given market, analysis and forecasting of risks in the conditions of unfair competition;
- relevant information on the redistribution of the market under study between its main and new participants;
- general foreign economic indicators of the market under study, indicating the main counterparty countries;
- vents in the national and foreign markets that affect the goals of companies operating in the studied market.
- The activities of specialists occur in non-disclosure mode, including compliance with individual non-disclosure agreements.
- Each employee receives only the information that is necessary to complete a specific task.
- To protect personal data provided by the client or collected by competitive intelligence, administrative, technical and physical measures are applied.
- Information about the fact of a business owner asking for help, the economic condition of a legal entity, research, results and recommendations is a trade secret.
- Corporate rules based on the international standard for data protection requirements are mandatory.
The results of competitive intelligence are used in the strategic planning process and are the basis for decision making by company management. The more complete the information and analysis, the clearer will be the understanding of the effective interaction with contractors and its consequences for the business and the owner as a whole.