Competitive intelligence (CI) is good for business, plain and simple.
Competition is a fact of life in the business world. As such, the practice of competitive intelligence has become a commonly accepted and essential part of running a successful company. No one in business questions the need to monitor the moves and strategies of rivals, to takes steps to anticipate and mitigate market threats, and to identify and seize opportunities that may come from this activity. It is only when abuses occur--Hewlett-Packard’s alleged illicit spying on its board, McLaren’s alleged theft of Ferrari’s race car technical secrets, P&G’s dumpster diving for Unilever’’s secrets--that the words “intelligence,” “spying,” “privacy,” and “secrets” become jumbled indiscriminately.
Competitive intelligence is not about spying. Spying is spying and implies something deceptive, perhaps even something illegal (See our CNBC interview on the Patriots spy scandal). Competitive intelligence is about the legal, ethical pursuit of information and the analysis of that information in order to better understand today’s competitors or tomorrow’s business disruptions.
Misconception 1: Distrust your employees first. Yes, companies leak information all the time, most of it through the very act of doing business. Paranoia is not the answer to learning about a rival. Our cardinal intelligence rule, “Wherever money is exchanged, so is information,” tells you that every time a business transaction takes place—whether leasing new office space, purchasing equipment, or bringing in temporary workers-- intelligence of interest to competitors is invariably created. That’s just how business works. Sure, you can have a malicious employee – or a board member – but more likely the company serves this information to the market on a regular basis anyway.
Misconception 2: Everyone needs a “deep throat.” Maybe it’s a legacy of the Watergate scandal, but many executives believe the only way you can know about a rival’s strategy is by having a “deep throat” informing on that company. In reality, companies through their own business dealings give away enough hints for the astute observer to piece together the puzzle. Our analysts do not seek out some astounding “secret,” They seek many fragments of information, which they can filter and string together to gain a reasonable view of a company, or rational scenarios about pending competitive threats.
Misconception 3: Dumpster dive first, think second. Competitive intelligence is a thinking person’s job. When you go after something in a rival’s trash you’ll likely find just that – trash. Sure, people sometimes toss vital information in the garbage, but most of the time they don’t. Attending a trade show or a conference, listening to speeches and conversations, as well as the banter between customer and supplier is more revealing and more accessible than rummaging through trash cans – even if the trash is technically in the public domain.
Misconception 4: Intelligence at arm’s length is good for business. One of HP’s apparent failings was farming out the leak-search project through various subcontractors. The board chair may have been more than three layers removed from the person collecting the information. The decision maker should be in direct contact with the analyst/information collector. In HP’s case, the board chair appeared to convey a request that was filtered through many levels. Somewhere along the line, the Chair’s intentions and objectives may have been misunderstood or perverted, the goal or objective lost along the way. The main message that appears to have gotten through is that the ends justify the means. In business, arms-length intelligence requests not only run the risk of jumbling of the original message, but also of activities going awry.
Misconception 5: Cowboys, cowboys everywhere!Managers today are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, action oriented. In this environment, you need to establish limits for those collecting information for your company—not squelch talents and initiative, but train and educate. Make sure your employees and others working for your firm know the limits. This is critical. Multinational companies employ staff from all around the world, likely with different views of what it takes to stay competitive – including how aggressively to gather competitive information. You need to instill a common sense of ethical information-gathering values across your corporation. DO NOT assume that because everyone collects his or her paycheck from the same corporation that they intuitively know the ethical and legal limits. You need to have guidelines. Fuld & Company’s Competitive Intelligence Ethics Guide is one example of such guidelines.
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By David Sell | July 24, 2012
PHILADELPHIA — Generic competition — a billion-dollar problem for brand-name drug companies since the 1980s — is making inroads in the orthopedic medical devices industry. Last week Cardinal Health Inc., one of the three biggest device wholesalers, said it was increasing its offering of lower-cost products for broken bones.
This nascent trend, borne of increasing pressure to control health care costs, represents a direct threat to brand-name device makers such as West Chester, Pa.-based Synthes, which was bought in June by Johnson & Johnson for $19.7 billion.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not use the term “generic” devices, as it does with drugs, but there is an approval process. Like drugs, medical devices have patents, and the disputes employ numerous lawyers.
Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said last week that medical devices are a $40 billion market worldwide. But Johnson & Johnson, like other device makers is being pressed to lower prices or at least slow the rate of growth.
Trade publication Orthopedic Network News reported that list prices for hip and knee implants increased 4.2 percent between 2011 and 2012 — the lowest increase in the 19 years it has surveyed device manufacturers and the fourth straight decline in the growth rate.
Laura Ruth, director of the health care practice for research and consulting firm Fuld & Co., said the generic device market is still “fragmented,” but pointed to a January report by the Government Accountability Office as an example of greater scrutiny of the cost and acquisition process of hospitals, whose bill are often transferred to taxpayers. Hospitals often buy through group purchasing organizations, which have been criticized for being too cozy with manufacturers and too secretive with hospitals.
The title of the GAO report was: “Lack of Price Transparency May Hamper Hospitals’ Ability to Be Prudent Purchasers of Implantable Medical Devices.”
Because of those forces, Ruth said, “there should be a greater opportunity for lower-cost devices.”
Original Article here
: http://articles.philly.com/2012-07-24/business/32828942_1_cardinal-health-synthes-device-manufacturers Read more about generic medical devices:
Kellogg took the top spot at this public war-game competition, during which students work through analytical exercises to offer companies strategies for achieving competitive advantage in the marketplace. The competition is sponsored and facilitated by Fuld & Co., a research and consulting firm specializing in business and competitive intelligence. This year’s topic focused on the use of wireless technologies in the healthcare industry. The Kellogg team included Matthew Havey, Aaron Newman, Amyn Andharia ’13, Becky Trevino ’12, Kaushik Seethapathy ’12 and Saurabh Shah ’13.Read more about other competitions Kellogg students have wonMore articles about the war game:
Robert Galvin, Motorola’s CI Pioneer and how the Joint SCIP-ACI Certification Program Has Built on the Lessons He Taught
CI Magazine | July 2012 | By Leonard Fuld
Robert Galvin, former chief executive of Motorola and the person most responsible for building the company into a global electronics company, died last October. Galvin shaped post-World War II Motorola into a technology innovator, the Intel or Cisco of its day. However there is a back story that Robert Galvin told me about his experience with how government applied intelligence. It was this experience that helped shape Galvin’s view of what has since become known as competitive intelligence.
Galvin – along with an actress, an atomic scientist, and a couple of other very smart individuals - achieved one other great accomplishment: they shed light on the United States’ intelligence program. This is the story Robert Galvin told me when I interviewed him in 2004 (any political inaccuracies or errors are the author’s). In a sidebar accompanying this article I will reflect on the lessons the CIP™ certification program learned from Galvin and other pioneers in the field – lessons hard won, supported by corporate success and experience.
We have several instances in our recent history where faulty intelligence assessments led us astray. A 2004 Senate hearing concluded that it was group think and just plain poor intelligence that took us into Iraq.
In 1975, similar sentiments during the post-Watergate era encouraged then President Gerald Ford to establish the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) with the CIA head, George Herbert Walker Bush, setting the mechanism in motion. The PFIAB (now known as the PIAB) was to provide a check and balance on the various government intelligence agencies. An Executive Order issued on February 29, 2008 essentially stripped the PIAB of this oversight privilege.
Let’s move the calendar pages back to the mid-seventies to see how effective the PFIAB truly was and how we may sorely miss its quiet advice in years to come.
In 1974, Major General George Keegan, assistant chief of staff responsible for intelligence for the U.S. Air Force, began to argue that the Soviet Union intended to prepare for war – and not just co-exist with the United States, as intelligence estimates had concluded for nearly the previous decade.
General Keegan convinced the PFIAB members, who then met six times a year, that the National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) was off-base in estimating Soviet strategic initiatives. He saw evidence of photo reconnaissance for construction of underground shelters, naval construction and new missile systems, all of which convinced Keegan that the Soviet Union was seeking dominance.
The 16-members of the PFIAB at the time included Edwin Land, the inventor of instant photography; Clare Booth Luce, actress, former congresswoman and ambassador; Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb; George Schultz, former Secretary of the Treasury; John Foster, former director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and Robert Galvin, Chairman of Motorola.
Mr. Galvin, along with Teller and Foster, recommended that the PFIAB conduct a competitive analysis to test the assumptions and conclusions emanating from the intelligence community at the time. Galvin, in particular, had found such strategic gaming analysis a useful tool in his years in business. The group dubbed the exercise “Team A/Team B.”
“It simply passed the common sense test to us,” Galvin recalled. Group think appeared to have ossified the intelligence process back then, he felt, just as the more recent Senate intelligence report identifies it as one of the major stumbling blocks in the case with Iraq.
"The issues the intelligence agencies were dealing with that were reported through the Secretary of State or Defense and to the President were so complex,” noted Galvin. “How then could it be that some genius, on a very important desk, could come up with the one and only analysis and recommendation as to what should happen?”
Finally, in June 1975, partly in response sentiments expressed by Galvin and his PFIAB group, George Herbert Walker Bush, Director of Central Intelligence under President Gerald Ford, gave the go-ahead for the PFIAB-proposed intelligence experiment. Team A would consist of intelligence professionals, appointed from the various agencies. Team B, though, consisted of an eclectic group, mostly of government outsiders.
Joining the PFIAB on Team B for this exercise were seven individuals, including Richard Pipes, professor of Russian History at Harvard University, and Paul D. Wolfowitz, then with the Arms Control and Defense Agency and formerly Deputy Secretary of Defense in the second Bush administration. Led and chaired by Richard Pipes, they formed three Team B groups. The Team A and Team B sides confronted each other on three occasions.
Because they were treated as intelligence community outsiders, Team B members did not have access to all current classified information. Nevertheless, they digested what information they could and drew conclusions (some of which found their way into the press at the time and rattled government officials).
A Senate report on the Team A/Team B incident, issued in 1978, listed the intelligence errors committed on the Soviet watch three decades ago and it nearly mirrors the just-released Senate report on Iraq. The 1978 report recommends more “creative use” of other analytical approaches and formats, and a need for competitive and alternate analyses. In a stinging rebuke to government leadership, the report also states that “Policymakers must define the questions, not the answers.”
America’s best-managed businesses consistently use Team A/Team B gaming approaches to anticipate a rival’s future moves, ultimately to develop a successful competitive strategy. Mature management, as Mr. Galvin stated, welcomes contrary opinions from outsiders in the strategic games they play. As long as our government views the Team A/ Team B concept as an experiment – or worse, a nuisance or threat – rather than as a necessary improvement, more intelligence failures may lie ahead. Our leaders (Mr. Obama included) need to revisit the strategic intelligence exercise of nearly 40 years ago and re-learn the lessons of a different era. Mr. Galvin, your government along with Corporate America misses you – and Team B.
Leonard Fuld interviewed Mr. Galvin in 2004. He is Chairman of the Fuld Gilad Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence and President of Fuld & Company a global competitive intelligence firm with offices in Cambridge, London and Manila, and author of The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence (Dog Ear Publishing, 2010. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Article Here: http://www.scip.org/Publications/CIMArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=16859
ABS-CBN News Now interviews Leonard Fuld, President of Fuld & Company, about competitive intelligence and how businesses use it to ethically collect information and set up early warning systems to identify threats and opportunities in the marketplace. Leonard Fuld describes how Fuld & Company uses war games with clients to help them anticipate competitive moves and prepare for future strategic decisions regarding competitors.
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Job-based clinics pay off
Employers, employees save on health costs; productivity improves
May 24, 2012 | By Tom Wilemon
When Brooks O’Brien burned his arm with hot cooking oil during a weekend at home, he went to work for medical treatment.
He drove to Opryland, where Gaylord Entertainment opened a health clinic for its 4,500 employees this year.
“It’s super-duper convenient,” he said.
O’Brien didn’t have to pay for anything. Even so, Gaylord saved money. Providing the benefit is cheaper than picking up the tab for a visit to an emergency room. Workplace clinics also save employers money on routine procedures, such as blood panel tests. By 2015, these clinics are projected to serve 10 percent of the American population under the age of 65, according to a report from Fuld & Co., a consultant for Fortune 500 corporations and other large employers…
Download the free report here
A study recently conducted by the Government Finance Officers Association notes that employers generally save $1.60 to $4 for every dollar they invest in a clinic. Besides saving on health-care costs, the clinics help reduce absenteeism. A worker does not have to take an entire day off for a doctor’s appointment.
Gaylord employees still have the right to see whatever doctor they choose, but all preventive care services are provided on-site for free. If an employee goes to the clinic for a sore throat, the visit could be free if that worker is on Gaylord’s traditional health plan. A minimal copay is charged if the worker opts for the company’s high-deductible plan.
Read full article here: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120525/NEWS/305250040/Job-based-clinics-pay-off
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Are you SCIP CIP certified yet?
The Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence (ACI) is an educational institution dedicated to training managers and companies in better managing risks and anticipating new market opportunities though the use of superior competitive intelligence (which encompasses such terms as competitor intelligence, market intelligence, marketing intelligence and strategic intelligence). It is the only institution to offer an accredited Competitive Intelligence Professional (CIP™) certificate program - a complete intelligence program - from basics to advanced analysis - developed and led by the leading thinkers and educators in the field - Leonard Fuld, Ben Gilad and Jan Herring. .
They have been recognized for their expertise in competitive intelligence by: Business Week, CNBC The Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, FNN, The New York Times, United Nations and The Wall Street Journal. Our program brings over 20 years of unmatched expertise in CI theory and practice to CI professionals, managers and senior executives at all levels.
Competitive intelligence—analyzed information that gives you insight and competitive advantage—is a discipline that can be taught. You and everyone else in your company, from salespeople to research scientists, can apply this discipline to improve market standing and bottom-line results.
This isn’t to say that the discipline is simple and easy to learn. The biggest challenge most managers face is that they are surrounded by smoke screens, rumors, and competitive distortions. Competitors create smoke screens all the time—and the marketplace helps them out with a glut of information and misinformation. Rumors (sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally placed) course through markets, prompting managers to react inappropriately or to ignore danger signs altogether.
You need to see through these smoke screens—not wait them out. If you wait until the smoke clears, you may have delayed too long. You may find that your opportunity has disappeared or the threat solidified. Either way, you lose. You need to see ahead of your competition and spot a major disruption long before it lands on your doorstep.
One thing is for certain: Competitive intelligence is both every manager’s responsibility and opportunity. Corporations have begun to recognize this fact. A search on the Factiva news service (a Dow Jones–Reuters news service) reveals a meteoric rise in awareness of competitive intelligence. The number of news articles on competitive or competitor intelligence multiplied from 68 in 1990 to 157 in 1994, 751 in 1998, and 9,574 in 2003. The news stories covered the need for intelligence from North America, Latin America, Europe, and throughout the Asia/Pacific region and in nearly every area of business, from R&D to sales to marketing to operations to communications.
The growth of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, based in Alexandria, Virginia, from a handful of members in 1986 to thousands today from around the globe, is another indication of the concept’s acceptance within most large corporations.
Yet this growth begs a question: How can even a few thousand intelligence professionals hope to meet the intelligence needs that emanate from everywhere in the corporation? As I have suggested, they can’t and they shouldn’t.
Competitive intelligence, as a means to see through and ahead of fast-changing rivals, has become a critical component in the business arsenal. It should be part of everyone’s job. At the same time, intelligence itself has evolved into something much less neat, clean, and easy to manage. It has become more sophisticated and, for those who take full advantage of it, an ever more powerful weapon.
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Fuld & Company Appoints Managing Director, Europe | Nutraceutical Magazine
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Fuld & Company (www.fuld.com), the international competitive intelligence and market analysis organization, has appointed Julian Price as Managing Director for Europe. Based in London’s Mayfair at Fuld’s European headquarters, Julian will be responsible for managing all of the company’s European operations. Julian brings with him a wealth of relevant operational and industry experience having been MD at Intelligentsia, a UK-based business insight consultancy. He also has a strong career history in consulting and Consumer Packaged Goods, particularly in the grocery sector.
Commenting on the appointment, Leonard Fuld, chief founder of Fuld & Company and based in Cambridge Massachusetts, USA, said: “Julian will be a very strong addition to the executive team, as we prepare for expansion throughout Europe and the Middle East.” Julian Price added: “I am excited to be joining a team of exceptional people and to lead Fuld’s continued growth. These are exciting times for the sector, and Fuld is well placed to continue its lead in competitive research and consulting.”
Original Article Here: http://www.nutraceuticalmag.com/News/tabid/56/EntryId/52/Fuld-Company-Appoints-Managing-Director-Europe.aspx
The Battle for Wireless Health May Help Cure an Ailing US Healthcare Business
U.S. Business School War Game Predicts Mergers and New Services to Gain Affluent Boomer Marketshare
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare technology companies - ranging from large such as GE to startups like Independa - will need to find partners and cater to the affluent Baby Boomer generation and their caregivers if they are to take the lead in wireless health, an industry that promises to help reduce much of the estimated $2.5 trillion of wasted resources in the global healthcare system. This was among the predictions of a national war gaming contest held between four top business schools and run by Fuld & Company last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The four teams stress tested the wireless health strategies of Bosch Healthcare, GE Healthcare, start-up software company Independa, and Medtronic in this Eighth Annual Fuld & Company national war game. Business school teams were: Dartmouth's Tuck School, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg School, and Yale School of Management.
"Wireless health is a very complex business that is part of the even more complex healthcare industry," said Leonard Fuld, Fuld & Company president. "Serving chronically ill or aging patients in the home setting - the target market for the war game - presents a number of unresolved challenges, among them patient compliance and reimbursement. That said, the teams representing some of the world's largest healthcare enterprises wrestled with this complexity, offering insights that may prove critical to Bosch, GE and Medtronics when this market takes off in the next few years. We are confident about our predictions as past competitions have accurately forecasted events and competitive activities in a number of industries."
In addition to the general prediction about the need to form alliances and acquire competencies, other key insights emerged, including:
- Think about the people, not the patient: Developers must make their products and accompanying services user friendly and meet very personal needs of the patient and the caregiver alike if they are to succeed in this market.
- Early adopters of wireless health will come from upscale baby boomers who can pay for the technology themselves and who are already primed to accept and use this form of highly interactive next generation of telemedicine. While there was a great deal of discussion around payer or Medicare involvement, it will likely be the affluent boomers who will buy the products and services outright.
- Mergers, alliances and licensing agreements are inevitable. Wireless health is a composite of a number services and technical expertise with no single company able to control this market. Players will need to ally or possibly merge with counterparts in order to bring together the critical elements of this healthcare supply chain. For example, hardware-based companies, even with superb engineering skills, will need to ally with software or back office service firms in order to succeed.
- Profits will come from data integration, not from killer apps: For companies to extract the value (and the profit) from this industry, they will first require industry standards, followed by a requirement to integrate the data from various sensors and devices to provide a holistic view of patient health.
- A back office service industry will emerge as a new service model: No matter how intelligent the analytical tools, back office nursing and medical professional service organizations will emerge as an intermediary to offer healthcare providers the ability to alert primary care physicians or offer home support. Such services will fulfill wireless health's promise to allow physicians to follow and truly interact with many more patients than they are able to in an office or hospital setting.
- Evidence rather than more software "bells and whistles" will rule the day: Medicare as well as private payers will demand wireless health providers present data to demonstrate patient compliance and overall effectiveness. Lacking such data will limit a competitor's ability to grow its customer base with hospitals and providers institutions.
Judges for this year's competition included: Jon R. Cohen, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Quest Diagnostics;Jeremy Delinsky, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, athenahealth; Gagan Puranik, Associate Director, LTE Innovation Center, Verizon Wireless; Joe Ternullo, Associate Director, Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health; andBill Bulkeley, Green Line Research, Inc.
ABOUT FULD AND COMPANY
Fuld & Company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with offices in London and Manila, is the world's preeminent research and consulting firm in the field of competitive intelligence. Founded by Leonard Fuld, a pioneer and recognized leading authority in the field, Fuld & Company has serviced more than half the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 for over 30 years. The firm does research and analysis, strategic gaming, intelligence process consulting, and training to help clients understand the external competitive environment. For further information go to www.fuld.com.
Original Press Release Here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-battle-for-wireless-health-may-help-cure-an-ailing-us-healthcare-business-149802825.html