Turn Competitive Intelligence Into A Competitive Edge

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Managing competitive intelligence is about understanding competition. It is about gathering information, using industry information as a source at the right time and turning the gathered information into winning strategy to reach business- specific goals. Strategy developed based on Competitive Intelligence gives a company its Competitive Edge.

Best Practices, LLC's comprehensive study report, "Turning Competitive Intelligence into Strategy," addresses industry-specific key questions on how to effectively manage CI and turn intelligence into strategy to achieve the best potential performance for the company. The report includes 15 in-depth case surveys and in-depth interviews with 30 top CI executives at best-in- class companies, such as AstraZeneca, IBM, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Kodak, Eli Lilly, Abbott Labs and SAS.

"Competitive intelligence continues to be an evolving function in many companies," said Best Practices Research and Publishing Manager Cameron Tew. "Those companies that implement effective strategies and processes for disseminating and analyzing competitive intelligence tend to have the greatest corporate impact."

The report also serves as a guide on managing and implementing Competitive Intelligence throughout the company to achieve dynamic results.

The report focuses on areas including:

-- Structuring for Maximum Competitive Intelligence Impact

-- Optimizing Competitive Intelligence Operations

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-- Communicating Competitive Intelligence

-- Turning Data into Strategy

Among the key findings in the report:

-- A centralized structure for your CI function can have the greatest strategic impact on managing the competition.

"It boils down to how important strategy figures into corporate philosophy," a manager of new product development said. "You can focus on strategy or visions or on tactical execution. If you don't place value on strategy, then it will be hard to put CI in place."

-- Company-wide support for competitive intelligence is vital to the success of the group.

"You have to have senior management air cover," according to the associate director of marketing at one Top 10 pharmaceutical company. "You bring up things people don't want to hear. So, you have to have the mandate to do what you're going to do."

-- Empower competitive intelligence group to take a greater leadership role in developing and implementing competitive strategies.

"At some point, you have to transition from having a corporate champion to becoming a culture in the company," said one competitive intelligence leader. "I've worked hard at not only doing good work but trying to get the concepts embedded into the company."

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