7 reasons NOT to outsource Competitive Intelligence activity
- Competitive Intelligence
Last week we published an article in which we offered 7 reasons to outsource the Competitive Intelligence systematic. Still, as said, choosing this path is not ideal to launch a CI unit; outsourcing should be chosen only when there is no other option. These are the reasons that support this thesis:
1. A foreign agent will NEVER have the knowledge that you have about your business. As any efforts and professionalism demonstrated, an external entity will never know your business as you know it, so neither will be able to meet your information needs at 100%.
2. Outsourcing CI activity may be more expensive. This may seem like a contradiction to what we said last week (higher efficiency, reduced fixed costs ...) but it is not; the hourly rate that will apply outsourced entity will always be greater than your own employees´.
3. You generate a dependency. If you subcontract the CI activity, you can end up becoming a captive customer. If the "know-how" and the improvement process occur in the provider, the day you desist the collaboration can mean losing everything achieved so far.
4. A foreign agent will not be part of the internal processes of your company, so it cannot provide the gained knowledge. One of the most interesting aspects of Competitive Intelligence is recovery which is made of acquired knowledge in the various committees, meetings, workshops, etc. of the organization. If the CI activity is carried out by an external agent biased knowledge will reach such situations.
5. To disseminate sensitive information about your company. If a suitable supplier is selected there should not be problems, but many organizations are reluctant to leave sensitive information on their activities to third parties.
6. It is difficult to generate direct business opportunities. The generation of business opportunities is one of the great benefits of CI; if the activity is outsourced, it is much more difficult such opportunities to be identified as the person who should do so does not have sufficient knowledge of the company´s business.
7. Difficulties in maintaining the system alive. When the CI is outsourced, there is a gap between the organization and the supplier that makes difficult for the system to evolve, as this evolution occurs in a timelier manner (when reviewing the Critical Surveillance Factors, in follow-up meetings, etc.).
If you are thinking of launching Competitive Intelligence in your organization and do not have clear the steps you need to take, you can contact us for assistance. Also, you can try free professional software like INNGUMA requesting a demo.