Competitive intelligence (CI) is a process for gathering and analyzing information about the competition. Competitive intelligence is not considered corporate espionage as the information gathered is public knowledge. This information can be gathered from a variety of published and unpublished sources. Published sources include: periodicals, journals, reports, and government documents. Unpublished sources can include: surveys, market research, and interviews. CI is a gathering of the competitor’s activities, business trends, and other information the competitor would use to gain a competitive advantage. There are three basic objectives to a competitive intelligence program. 1.) Provide an understanding of an industry and the competition, 2.) Identify the competition’s weaknesses and impact of strategic actions towards the competition, 3.) Identify the competition’s potential moves which might affect a firm’s position in the market (David & David, 2017).
David, F. R., & David, F. R. (2017). Strategic Management: A Competitive Advantage Approach, Concepts and Cases (16th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
Some rely heavily on the SWOTT as a major part in determining considerations of a company and can be quite essential for a well-developed strategic plan.
Of course, the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses, is just a colored square on a much larger picture. In keeping, the strategic plan is multifarious and as such has any number of segments that can be considered as a consideration. For instance you have delineated aspects of the SWOTT, the SWOTT can be considered as the primary internal consideration utilized by organizations. Developing a strong strategic plan based on the information gained from a SWOTT analysis is a good way for a business to start down the road to success, but there is more to the story. Once the plan has been developed, management needs to come up with the most appropriate way to put the plan into action. After putting the plan into action, management’s job is not done. The effects of the plan need to be evaluated to make sure that the company is getting the results it expects. Adjustments are made as needed, and the cycle continues. Evaluate your performance, plan for progress, activate the plan, evaluate the results, make adjustments, which leads you back to evaluating your performance.
I would think that because this process is repeated over and over, there is a danger for management to become complacent, and not put their best effort into creating and maintaining the strategic plan. If the company has been able to become a leader in their industry, I could see that this could increase the possibility of management taking their position in the marketplace for granted. I think when a business is just starting out, motivating managers and employees to buy in to the process of creating and maintaining a strong strategic plan is not difficult. The logic of checking the progress and monitoring results and making adjustments is probably clearly understood by all those involved. I think the challenge is maintaining a high level of motivation and belief in the strategic management process.
What are your thoughts? Is there a flaw in the SWOT process?