home

Case 1: Uncovering product launch plans
ISSUE
A major international pharmaceutical company faced the impending expiration of patent protection for a profitable product. The client needed to prepare for competitive initiatives by generic drug companies.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
The client needed to know which generic drug companies intended to bring out a competing product, the precise nature of these products, and how close the competitors were to actually bringing such products to market.

METHODOLOGY
  • SRS Intelligence studied the development and manufacturing processes of generic drug companies and other industry issues.
  • Sources were identified in each target company and certain peripheral entities who would likely know relevant information.
  • Scenarios were devised for approaching these sources.
  • SRS Intelligence engaged these individuals in discussions that touched on the client's business issue.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence identified which of the target companies was preparing a competing product and determined the stage of development. The client was able to make appropriate plans to protect its revenue stream.


Case 2: Benchmarking: customer service process

ISSUE
A Fortune 500 manufacturer of technology-based products for consumers and businesses needed to improve its customer service process and reduce costs.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
The client needed detailed metrics for the customer service process of a major competitor in order to determine how to improve its own process. Other consultants had failed to obtain this Intelligence.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence reviewed the results of other consultants' unsuccessful efforts, debriefed internal experts at the client firm and reviewed primary and secondary published sources about the targeted competitor.
  • A collection plan was developed on the basis of the client's (and the previous consultants') assumption about the structure of the competitor's customer service process.
  • SRS Intelligence detected an anomaly early in the collection effort using its unique Dynamic Targeting methodology, changed the focus of collection, and found new targets and new sources for information collection.
  • An accurate, detailed picture was painstakingly pieced together which differed totally from the client's initial assumption.

RESULTS
The client gained an in-depth understanding based on full details of the competitor's actual customer service process, including process and performance metrics. With this knowledge, the client was able to evaluate its own business process and to formulate a new strategy.


Case 3: In-depth executive profiles
ISSUE
A division of a major technology-based company was suddenly confronted by a new and aggressive competitor led by executives who were totally unknown in the industry.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
The client urgently needed to know the goals, plans, and management capabilities of the "new kids on the block".

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence quickly researched the structure and dynamics of the market and industry in question.
  • A collection plan suited to the industry and the sensitive nature of the project was developed and various kinds of researchers were used as collection proceeded.
  • Persistence, imagination and Dynamic Targeting all contributed to the identification of unique sources in a variety of business and other spheres and the acquisition of historical and current information required for a penetrating analysis.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence gave the client an in-depth profile of each the competitor's leading executives, an evaluation of their management capabilities, and a credible assessment of their probable intentions (which subsequently proved to be correct). The client used this Intelligence to devise and pursue strategic and tactical actions in various spheres.


Case 4: Strategic intent and plans (International)

ISSUE
A division of a Fortune 500 company that is the dominant player in its industry learned of an unexpected foreign acquisition by an aggressive and innovative domestic competitor. The competitor teamed with obscure foreign partners for the acquisition, which they portrayed as the first step by an alliance with a global strategy. The client feared that the competitor's moves would ultimately limit its own options overseas. The only information available was a brief article in a foreign business publication, which had triggered the client's concern when it was found during routine media monitoring.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
The client urgently needed to know what precisely the competitor was doing overseas, the identity and intentions of its foreign partners, and the competitor's goals and plans, together with the probable strategic implications of the acquisition.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence studied the client's industry and debriefed the client to gain an understanding of possible and probable strategies, then developed indicators of various approaches that the competitor might take.
  • A collection plan was devised for a simultaneous secondary source and field research effort by overseas research teams against multiple foreign targets in several European and Pac-Rim countries.
  • Unique resources were mobilized in several countries and complex scenarios were designed as required to acquire certain sources.
  • Some sources were contacted by in-country researchers and other targets were approached from distant countries. To avoid alerting the domestic competitor, no contacts were made from the USA.
  • Dynamic Targeting, including on-going close contact with the client and with another, specialized consultant also engaged by the client, ensured that findings were exploited in a comprehensive and synergistic manner to identify, home in on, and engage sources and to get the right information.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence clarified what the competitor was actually doing, as well as the intentions of the competitor and its foreign partners, and was able to give the client comfort that the competitor's foreign initiative posed no strategic threat. SRS Intelligence also laid the groundwork for future expanded monitoring of the competitor's activity in the relevant foreign markets.


Case 5: Sources of competitor advantage

ISSUE
A major industry player that provided a critical service to healthcare professionals failed to match the financial performance of another large player. Executives wanted to know why their competitor was more profitable.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
Identify the sources of a competitor's superior profitability.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence studied the client's industry, debriefed client executives and managers, and interviewed industry observers and experts to identify drivers of financial performance.
  • The client and its competitors were found to provide essentially a commodity service of similar quality and at virtually the same price. Accounts receivable was the sole source of competitive advantage that could explain the difference in profitability.
  • SRS Intelligence showed the client that a targeted assessment of the competitor's relevant business process would be more useful and cost-effective than an all-encompassing corporate profile.
  • A review of the client's own business processes led to a targeted collection plan that focused on the competitor's IT capabilities.
  • SRS Intelligence identified, targeted, and engaged sources within the target's IT function and succeeded in developing a detailed picture of the competitor's process improvements, including work performed by outside IT consultants.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence gave the client precise guidance for improving its accounts receivable process and boosting profitability.


Case 6: Web-based supply chain innovations
ISSUE
A Fortune 500 company that sells science-based products used by a wide range of industries was moving slowly on use of the Internet to rationalize its supply-chain activities. Managers believed their company should move more quickly in this direction, but had no hard evidence to support their position.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
Determine goals, plans, and activities of all the client's competitors in the area of web-based supply chain innovations.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence debriefed client personnel, reviewed materials provided by the client and from secondary sources, and defined the ways in which the Internet could facilitate supply chain rationalization in the client's industry.
  • A collection plan was devised that focused on the IT function in each competitor, using information gleaned from the trade press and other secondary sources, as well as primary materials such as presentations by competitor personnel at industry conferences. IT managers and personnel in each of the competing companies were identified and targeted.
  • SRS Intelligence acquired sources in the IT function of the target companies and obtained from them the required information.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence uncovered the goals, plans, capabilities, and activities of all the competitors regarding the use of the Internet in supply-chain rationalization. The client's IT team used this knowledge to make a compelling case to executive management for accelerated efforts.


Case 7: Litigation support (International)

ISSUE
A leading business services firm that serves Fortune 500 and other large companies had recently dissolved an alliance with a foreign partner. The client was concerned that its erstwhile partner was violating a non-compete agreement that precluded each former partner from seeking business from the other's pre-alliance accounts for a certain period.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
Determine for litigation planning purposes if the former alliance partner had approached specific accounts in violation of the non-compete agreement.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence developed and implemented a collection plan based on simultaneous activity in the USA and overseas by a variety of researchers, including some unique resources.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence found evidence that the former alliance partner had approached only one of the specified accounts in apparent violation of the non-compete agreement. Information about how various customers and prospects perceived the client and its competitors also was uncovered. The client decided there was not sufficient cause for litigation and avoided considerable expense. Incidentally, the client also gained knowledge useful for business development purposes.


Case 8: USA market entry/JV Partner Search & Screen
ISSUE
A large foreign defense manufacturer sought a continued return on expertise it had developed and capital investments it had made in developing and producing materials for a specific project. The client perceived a promising global market for new end-uses and decided to begin by entering the USA market.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
Verify the business opportunity, develop a market entry strategy, and, if a JV with a local firm were determined to be the preferred mode, carry out a JV partner search & screen and provide a short list of preferred JV partners in the USA.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence carried out intensive secondary and field research on the relevant markets and the niche industry that serves them. Industry players are small, secretive, mainly privately-owned firms.
  • Numerous interviews were conducted with industry observers, government and private sector experts, and management and staff of all the major players to determine both industry dynamics and market trends.
  • SRS Intelligence determined the strengths and weaknesses of the major players and also profiled their managements.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence verified the market opportunity and determined that the preferred entry mode was a JV with a leading USA player, in which the client would provide, on an exclusive basis, high-performance materials using its unique capabilities. The client received a short list of preferred partners, with a complete rationale for each one (including an assessment of the leading executives). Afterwards, SRS Intelligence set up meetings for the client's executives with executives at each candidate firm and assisted the client at these meetings and with subsequent contacts and negotiations. Ultimately, the client signed an agreement precisely with the candidate firm that SRS Intelligence had ranked as the most appropriate partner and the company most likely to desire a JV with the client.


Case 9: Due diligence

ISSUE

A manufacturing firm with operations in several regions sought to increase market share. It was confronted in one important market by a tough, new, privately-owned local competitor that offered consistently lower pricing. The client, which has expanded its reach both by establishing new operations and by acquiring existing local firms, did not know if the competitor -- a potential acquisition target -- was temporarily "buying business" or had a long-term cost advantage.

CRITICAL INTELLIGENCE NEED
The client urgently needed to know the manufacturing cost structure, profitability, and pricing strategy of the competitor/potential acquisition target.

METHODOLOGY

  • SRS Intelligence quickly developed an analytical framework based on industry economics and a financial model.
  • A collection plan suited to the industry and the nature of the target was developed.
  • Sources inside and outside the target were identified and engaged and all necessary information was obtained for a thorough operational analysis and the construction of a pro forma income statement.

RESULTS
SRS Intelligence gave the client an in-depth profile of the competitor's operations, an evaluation of their production and marketing capabilities, and a solid assessment of their profitability and pricing strategy. The client used these insights to devise and pursue an enhanced marketing strategy and to assess the competitor as a potential acquisition.



Do you need customized training? To discuss it and receive a quotation call SRS Intelligence today at +1 215-884-9466 or e-mail info@srsIntelligence.com


Copyright 2001-2005 SRS Intelligence. All rights reserved.



top of page