The Integrity News
Vol. X No. 28
November 26, 2001
Business Week (pgs 56-58)
In a recession, competitive intelligence can pay off big. Its like
a crystal ball.
CLOAK AND DAGGER -- how three
companies used corporate intelligence.
An electronics distributor avoided a
price war by focusing its marketing
resources after finding out that four top
competitors would be exiting the field.
A flooring company found out that a
competitor was going to miss a product
launch date and used that information
to win a contract from a top retailer.
An electronics giant found out that one
of its competitors might buy a software
supplier and they moved quickly to buy
the company themselves.
Competitive intelligence involves LEGAL
methods of data collection and analysis,
from scouring securities filings and
news reports to database research to
schmoozing with representatives of
rival companies at trade shows. It is
NOT corporate espionage which involves
the theft of trade secrets through illegal
means such as wiretaps, bribery, and
"Companies that engage in corporate
spying see a payoff in increased revenue,
costs avoided, and better decision-making."
Most major corporations spend over a
million dollars per year on competitive
intelligence. But companies of all sizes
need to know what the competition is
doing, planning, thinking about, and