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"Competitive Intelligence (CI): Effective Structure, Alignment and Information Sources"
To be effective, a competitive intelligence group (see definition at end of abstract) needs an environment that includes proximity to key customers and/or executives, opportunities for frequent interaction with stakeholders, direct management by an executive champion, alignment with future-focused business leaders, functional independence and, in many cases, a seat at the decision table. It also needs effective processes and procedures for mining an array of internal and external information resources.
This cross-industry report provides benchmarks and insights that managers and executives can use to build and sustain high-performing, well-recognized CI organizations through effective CI structure, organizational alignment and use of appropriate information sources.
· CI Centralization
· Proximity of CI Function to Senior Leadership
· Current and Ideal Departmental Alignment
· Pros and Cons of Reporting to Various Departments
· Most Important Primary and Secondary Resources for Collecting CI Data
· Practices for Gathering CI from Company Employees
· Practices for Gathering CI from External Customers
Many of the data graphics in this presentation provide averages for the full benchmark class as well as separate averages for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical industry segments. This segmentation strategy was adopted due to the high volume—46 percent—of participation from the pharma industry.
· Percent of Respondents' CI Functions with Centralized vs. Decentralized Structures
· Number of Organizational Levels between CI Head and CEO
· Job Titles of Person to Whom CI Head Reports
· Percent of CI Departments with Separate Departments
· CI Department Reporting Structure
· Primary Information Sources used by CI
· Secondary Information Sources used by CI
SAMPLE KEY FINDINGS
· Organizational placement or “fit” of the CI function significantly impacts its ability to influence and engage decision makers. Strategic planning and business development are the locations most often cited as desirable departmental homes.
· A majority of the benchmark partners rank company employees as the single most important source of primary data. CI staff goes to subject matter experts within the company for ad hoc intelligence—to understand the significance of emerging technologies, to learn about strategies of competitors that employees once worked for and to discover what competitors revealed at trade shows and conferences employees attended.
The research was conducted in two phases that involved 54 companies across 15 different industries. Each phase involved a survey instrument as well as separate in-depth interviews with selected CI program executives. Surveys were focused on collecting quantitative data, while interviews harvested qualitative data and management insights.
“CI” (Competitive Intelligence) – For purposes of this study, the term “Competitive Intelligence” (or “CI”) is defined as actionable knowledge and insights about competitors and the competitive environment. CI process includes gathering, analyzing and disseminating actionable information and insights. Activities include SWOT analyses, competitor product profiling, industry audits, scenario development, value chain analysis, etc. Functions of corporate librarians are excluded.