Market intelligence (MI), gathering and analyzing information about a company's markets to determine future opportunities and strategies, has taken on added importance in a business world shaped by commodity volatility, ever-changing consumer demands and growing markets in emerging countries. While gathering MI is not a new concept, it is being embraced more by supply managers as they work to meet the needs of their internal and external customers. The challenge is collecting and analyzing the MI that matters to your organization and putting it to good use.
Organizations that refuse to seek MI, or ignore it, will likely see their margins erode to wiser competitors. Think back to some of the "surprises" that have occurred in your supply chain recently - could there have been information that, if obtained and correctly channeled, would have yielded a better cost result or prevented an interruption? If you said no, then your supply organization is one of the few that have captured value from MI. However, most organizations would admit that it is a constant effort to stay current with unfolding market events. Fortunately, there is much that can be done to improve MI capabilities within your organization without having to spend a small fortune.
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