COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATIONS
Competitive Intelligence is a valuable tool that is used by companies to legally research their competitors, find information about the marketplace, and identify new opportunities. Competitive Intelligence can also be used for vetting purposes to thoroughly verify the legitimacy of new partnerships in order to minimize exposure to reputational risks and other liabilities that can result from unreliable joint ventures.
Vital to business success, Competitive Intelligence can be gathered through a variety of sources and methods that an experienced Private Investigator will be able to use efficiently in order to provide reliable information to business owners and directors, allowing them to make informed decisions about investments, expansions, acquisitions, partnerships and other growth opportunities for their companies.
This information can be tactical or strategic and can be used by the decision-makers to identify the best short term and long term strategies that will allow them to capture a larger share of the market and stay ahead of the competition while protecting their companies from risks and preparing them to face any future challenges that their business environment may throw their way.
Competitive Intelligence investigations can be tailored to suit companies and budgets of all sizes. From simple general business profiles on the competitors to in-depth data collection and analysis on the principals, key personnel, partners, supply chains, and other elements of interest, such investigations are the best sources of information for making the right business decisions and avoiding unpleasant surprises.
The “downside” of Competitive Intelligence investigations is that the legal methods of obtaining data rarely reveal sensitive information that is heavily protected by their owners, and thus, are often limited in nature and rely heavily on a good analysis of the bits and pieces of the information that was gathered from different (mostly publically available) sources such as:
The gaps in information from those sources can be filled with interviews and surveillance that are conducted legally and adhere to the governing rules and regulations; in contrast to Industrial Espionage, where a competitor may resort to using illegal means such as theft, hacking, bribery, and extortion in order to access valuable information that is not accessible otherwise.
Not all companies or foreign government entities play by the rules, with some willing to go to great lengths to get an edge on the competition and obtain sensitive information illegally. Entities who engage in Industrial Espionage pose a great danger to companies with weak security protocols and who are not prepared to react to such threats in a timely and efficient manner.
The consequences of being a victim of Industrial Espionage can lead to serious financial and reputational losses and even put the survival of the company in jeopardy. For this reason, it is crucial for the companies operating in hyper-competitive environments to conduct Counter-Intelligence investigations in order to reduce exposure and mitigate risks associated with this illegal activity.
When a company possesses information, knowledge, technology, ideas, or personnel that gives them an edge in a marketplace, they have the potential of being a target of Industrial Espionage. In order to find effective solutions, the decision-makers need to know and understand what threats, risks, and vulnerabilities surround their company and what measures can be implemented in the most efficient manner to protect their secrets from premeditated attacks or unintentional (but just as devastating) information leaks.
Private Investigators are familiar with the best methods of gathering intelligence; hence, they are also the best resources to advise business owners and directors on the most effective ways of protecting their information against Industrial Espionage and related threats.
A properly conducted Counter-Intelligence investigation may identify:
To find answers to the above questions, a Private Investigator may:
Information is crucial for success in any business environment. Getting and staying ahead of the competition means not only gathering information (legally) in order to identify opportunities and apply appropriate business strategies; but also protecting own secrets from the competitors who may want to steal them. Private Investigators with knowledge and experience in collecting information are also well positioned to provide advice on how to protect it, making them a valuable resource for business owners and directors who want to make informed decisions for their companies.