After leading a major capture for 4 years I think I picked up a few pointers on the value of Competitive Intelligence and Competitive Analysis. Obviously, the links between developing win themes, ghosting strategies and a PTW approach are the major areas, but later when working a major proposal, I found that having good CI/CA on hand is extremely important. There is a NORAD/NORTHCOM saying "The time to exchange business cards is not at the start of a crisis". Well I would say the time to look up customer and market trends should not be when the RFP hits. Your too busy setting the outline, breaking out sections, lining up graphics, etc... CA/CI at the time of the RFP should provide a plug and play operation where you drop in the parts you need, you refer back to your win themes and compare them to the Section L and M criteria. CA/CI starts early, in some cases before the decision to go through with the capture.