Since, CI is supposed to be "actionable", we find it's far more useful to think in terms of the business
applications CI will be used for, rather than the
collection of services Aurora offers to accomplish those objectives.
Below, you will find a list of the top intelligence
priorities for the application of competitive intelligence in business today.
Put together as part of your competitive strategy, these applications can be summed up in just a few words:
"Minimize Threats & Maximize Opportunities"
Aurora WDC's Recon CI Solutions team is called that for a
very specific reason -- because there's a "problem". While we offer an impressive array of skills-based Professional Services & Third-Party Products, what really matters is how
our clients use them to win in the marketplace day-to-day. Market-dominating competitors don't need
"products & services", they need applied "solutions" to help them build and extend their hegemony
over rivals and return value to their stakeholders.
All CI programs today use outside consultants and contract researchers to execute those parts of
their mission which they're uncomfortable or unfamiliar with or is beyond their mission scope or internal capabilities.
Our approach is designed to help isolate those services that might best be performed by our staff and those that should
be retained in-house; all the while, keeping in mind the need to provide results
on a positive cash-flow basis -- in other words, we make certain you don't hire us to do something we don't know will
produce a return on your investment. It's simply not in our self-interest to retaining you as a long-term client to do
otherwise. At Aurora, we call this the "Entrepreneurial Intelligence Philosophy
Because we're an outsourcing and support bureau, our solutions are designed to fit the specific needs of clients
within the immediate context that they will use them -- which means, we won't try to force-fit a service to a problem you don't
have. Ultimately, you choose from a menu of
services that satisfies one or more of the needs described below:
Operational Benchmarking: Understanding the operational
performance of competitors as well as other best-in-class companies requires
detailed interviewing of each firm, usually over the phone. From Sales/Marketing
to Manufacturing to Finance to Product Development and Channel Relationships,
Aurora can provide your firm with the information necessary to compete
Intellectual Property: Whether you're defending your
own IP (and acquiring competitor products for tear-down to check against
it) or looking to see what new patents a competitor or customer is filing
each day and seeking to protect (thereby giving an indication of future market
direction), we can help to monitor and interact with competitors and customers
where you might feel reluctant or unprepared to do so yourself.
Sales & Marketing Support: Because all competitors
are unique, we provide research and analysis capabilities designed to describe
the best, most effective methods to sell against competitors, both tactically
and strategically. Likewise, as competitors eye new markets, you need to
understand how they're likely to enter and acquire marketshare.
Mergers, Acquisitions & Alliances: Whether you're
trying to oust an existing competitor or enter a market that holds promise,
M&A and alliances provide firms with an unparalleled means of growth
-- and due diligence, from target selection through integration of the company,
Threat & Opportunity Tracking: Existing competitors and
environmental threats to the current status quo, as well as new areas of business
your firm may have previously not conceived, present the continuum of possibilities
for the future of your company. Let Aurora monitor developments among these
threats and opportunities and alert you when the time is right to strike.
Intelligence Function Deployment: For firms that have
not yet deployed a CI function, Aurora can provide the advice, staff support,
training and tools necessary to get off on the right foot.
Intelligence Function Improvement: For existing
CI units, Aurora provides benchmarking and best-practices advice on which
areas require attention and how best to improve the CI mission to meet and
exceed executive expectations.
CI Unit Outsourcing: For small and medium-sized companies,
Aurora is the CI department -- when the phone rings, it rings here.
Sub-Radar Issues: Legislation... Regulation... Latent
competitors (customers and vendors backwards- or forwards-integrating)...
Parallel competitors (substitutes)... Aurora can track and help to manage
the impact of sub-radar issues for your firm.
Counter-Intelligence: All companies perform CI... whether
that's formal or informal. Your company is a target. Guaranteed. Learn
from the ones that know how to conduct effective CI, ways to defend your firm against CI
(as well as the most insidious and illegal means such of Industrial
Espionage) -- we'll advise you on everything from hacking to elicitation interviews to
dumpster-diving to internal "moles" -- and how to avoid them -- Aurora knows every trick in the book.