Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

Trade Data Use: Competitive Intelligence

One the biggest ways that Zepol's users utilize trade data in their companies is for competitive intelligence. They track their competitors and understand what suppliers other companies in their industry are working with. In addition, they look at the products that they import to better understand their marketplace. Competitive intelligence, at its core, is about making better decisions by having accurate, actionable information.

The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) defines competitive intelligence as:

"Competitive intelligence is a systematic and ethical program for gathering, analyzing, and managing any combination of Data, Information, and Knowledge concerning the Business environment in which a company operates that, when acted upon, will confer a significant Competitive advantage or enable sound decisions to be made. Its primary role is Strategic early warning."

Trade data, specifically U.S. Customs data, is a great example of a competitive intelligence resource. The best trade data tools allow users to gather, analyze, and manage shipment information within a robust application and that is extremely important for companies involved in international trade. This data allows companies to make smarter decisions based off of accurate information, and the companies that implement trade data into their decision process make better decisions about product development, sourcing, sales, and trade management.

The final piece that competitive intelligence professionals use U.S. Customs trade data is as a reliable early warning system. Below are several examples from trade data users on how they use U.S. Customs data to warn them before it is too late:

* Within days they can see that a competitor has shifted to another supplier. If they shifted to new country they can even estimate the price of the products using U.S. Census data.
* They can spot prototype shipments months before products hit store shelves, fully understanding where it will be manufactured.
* Seeing shipment trends that can show if a company is forecasting lower or higher sales in the coming months, deducing when products will be available on the market.
* They know if a new competitor has entered their space allowing them to take action quickly.

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