Top 4 Reasons an In-House Fuld + Company Consultant Boosts Companies’ Strategy + Intelligence Capabilities
Posted January 21, 2020| Fuld + Company
As company-leaders plan for the year ahead, they should consider why a 3rd party on-site strategic intelligence resource might be good for business.
For more than 40 years, Fuld + Company has partnered with its clients to deliver strategic insights, guidance and industry analysis that support executive decision-making. Our engagements manifest in many ways, and more recently, our clients are requesting continuous, on-site decision support from us, either because they have identified a need to grow and evolve the company’s internal intelligence function, or, they are simply looking for heightened access to the Fuld + Company’s objective 3rd party perspective on an on-demand basis and thus consider hiring a consultant.
While each client engagement differs depending on specific needs, there are four ways Fuld + Company’s consultants add additional value to the in-house intelligence function. An on-going Fuld presence:
1. Acts as an extension of the internal team, increasing capacity and value of the intelligence function
For more than four decades, Fuld + Company has operated as a premier competitive intelligence and competitive strategy firm executing more than 10,000 global engagements. We often deploy our Intelligence Benchmarking Survey as a barometer for process improvement opportunities with many of our clients and over the years have found that nearly 60 percent of the organizations we’ve surveyed struggle with demonstrating and managing the perceived value of competitive and market intelligence initiatives. In response, we have developed many structured analytic techniques and research techniques that facilitate our clients’ ability to increase the value of key insights as well as determine how to best disseminate and leverage findings in an impactful way.
As technology continues to advance at a whirlwind pace, there are more and more frequent uncertainties about the nature and direction of the competitive market, it’s critical that objective, third-party insights, and analysis are available to business leaders. Having a Fuld representative on-site extends our capabilities and expertise day-to-day, to support our clients’ specific business needs, as they arise.
2. Brings rigorous methodological expertise and leverages external resources for research and data collection
For most decision-makers, sales and business operations are the central focus and discovering and implementing fresh research and data analysis methodologies are not as highly prioritized. That said, having an outside consultant contribute insight on the competitive environment through targeted research and analysis can lead to implications that might be otherwise overlooked by internal teams. For example, one large consumer electronics client with a sharp focus on product innovation, tended to rely nearly exclusively on syndicated data sets as a main information source to identify whitespaces and conduct market entry analysis. When Fuld + Company provided an on-site analyst for an extended engagement, he entrenched himself in their existing process and suggested ways to add new layers of insight. He suggested other information collection approaches such as interviewing representative industry stakeholders or detailed patent searching, could contribute to a more robust analysis and understanding of the competitive market dynamics. With this better understanding, the intelligence function could provide the business team with evidence-based judgements about the likely future of a market and the implications for the client’s business. In addition, our analysts and consultants have access to our most experienced senior leaders who can advise on research techniques and analytic methodologies that yield higher-quality outcomes. Had our analyst not been on-site, there would be no opportunity to critically evaluate the existing process and offer unique alternatives for information gathering and analysis.
3. Delivers an unbiased and fresh perspective, void of pre-existing internal dynamics
When our clients want to bring a product or service to market or look for new sources of growth, they rely on us to provide an objective perspective derived from rigorous evidence collection and analysis. As with every client engagement, we research and analyze the competitive environment to provide answers to complex questions, often surfacing new, better questions a client should pursue, to gain the most relevant insight. We are not influenced by preconceived ideas or preferences that the organization has. We seek to illuminate the reality of a situation–not just entertaining the interests of product teams or executive-level managers’ agendas.
<Read our blog on identifying and avoiding cognitive bias in decision-making>
On occasion, senior managers can be clouded by fears tied to their own performance or year-end goals, but when a Fuld analyst or consultant is available, the recommendations are presented objectively and aligned clearly with the key intelligence topics and strategic business goals, based on robust evidence and analytic methodologies. Our conclusions are not influenced by internal politics or dynamics, but rather, by actual evidence and documented analysis. As such, when Fuld + Company has an on-site presence, company leaders have access to both internal and external perspectives that inform the best possible outcomes.
4. Facilitates functional improvements and organizational change
Fuld + Company prides itself on embracing change, finding and evaluating innovation trends and preparing clients for impending industry transformations or disruptions that could alter their established business model and the trajectory of their businesses. However, many clients are spread thin with too many objectives. Some of those objectives are clear and straightforward, such as managing the day-to-day operations of the company and others are more complex, like responding to competitor innovations and threats, as well as anticipating market shifts. Companies that can execute while planning for future innovation are those that retain the sharpest competitive edge. Occasionally, execution can get muddied when internal teams ignore the external playing filed in favor of solely focusing on internal dynamics.
When on-site, we are uniquely positioned to monitor the external environment while observing the company’s day-to-day operations. Listening to what is said in meetings, working in parallel with the employees who drive change, and discussing strategic business challenges with leaders is invaluable. Pairing internal priorities and considerations with a detailed and coherent view of external developments, allows us to advise clients on how to best leverage their internal strengths, even as they confront industry change. As we mentioned before, our rich history and experience with intelligence process consulting enables us to really assess and evaluate the role of intelligence in the organization, and help either improve in real-time or take on larger initiatives that the internal teams wouldn’t be able to address with existing resources otherwise.
While there are a myriad of ways companies can work with a consultancy like Fuld + Company, it’s lesser-known that we can work in tandem with internal teams during an engagement. Retaining a Fuld + Company analyst or consultant with domain expertise, and inviting him or her on-site proves to be a wise decision when confronting complex long-term challenges. Combining industry insights and external marketplace data with internal dynamics is a powerful combination that when leveraged effectively, can set businesses apart from the competition they know, and those lurking on the horizon.