Competitive intelligence is all around us and we must have both a good competitive intelligence offense as well as a solid defense against competitive threats. Oftentimes, companies do not have big competitive intelligence departments and even competitive intelligence can be a one-man function. Having a small department or a one-man competitive intelligence department significantly lowers the ability of a company to develop competitive landscape analysis, competitive radar screens, proprietary metric based competitive landscapes to support the business decision making. That deprives the ability of a company to understand what the competitors are doing and to build a reliable picture of their business. That is when competitive intelligence outsourcing to destinations that are more economically reasonable comes into play.
Why outsource competitive intelligence in the first place?
Companies outsource services as they can get a better cost value equation.
Businesses will outsource if they either do not have the capability to do the job in-house or do not have the money to hire someone to do the job in-house. The biggest advantage of outsourcing competitive intelligence is when companies can improve the cost without compromising the quality and as a result they possess decision making tools which were not affordable before.
Furthermore, if the competitive intelligence is outsourced to destinations that are cheaper than the Western world, the benefits are enormous. Some of the most often popular places for outsourcing are China, India, Philippines, and recently Eastern Europe. The decision to outsource competitive intelligence to more strategic locations automatically makes the companies more competitive. The latter have optimized costs and achieve the quality results other companies are achieving by paying much more.
When you outsource competitive intelligence would you hire competitive intelligence companies per project basis or would you rather get dedicated workforce?
As with any other outsourcing assignment you can hire people per project basis or you can obtain dedicated employees that can complement your own competitive intelligence department over time. Needless to say, the answer depends on what your company’s needs are. If you require assistance for a single short term project that will not occur in time, you should definitely hire competitive intelligence professionals for that project only. However, if you foresee that you need competitive intelligence professionals to support you continuously, you can require that you have dedicated employees that are not your direct hires. That is where competitive intelligence outsourcing companies can help you find the right talent to add to your team.
How can you tell if you require competitive intelligence support over time?
Many companies are trying to build landscapes and monitor the competition. To be able to do so you need analysts to be constantly updating the information for you. If your company expects to have for example, weekly newsletters, updated company competitor profiles, updated and timely financial results highlight reports, or other similar assignments that are labor intensive and must be delivered in a timely manner, then dedicated analysts would be the right choice. Furthermore, by working on your assignments only and over time, your dedicated professional analysts will be able to provide added value recommendations as they would acquire in-depth knowledge about the business and the competitors.
Intelligence Pathways is a competitive intelligence outsourcing provider and a leader in assisting companies in measuring, developing and supporting unique competitive intelligence tools. We can help you answer your competitive intelligence questions and safeguard your company’s information.