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Information Broker

Tool: Creating competitor profiles

Typical use (type of issue/project)

To identify micro scenarios that could affect your organisation in the future by creating detailed profiles on each of the organisation's main competitors. These profiles are used to reveal scenarios such as strengths in the competition, strategies of other competing firms, and changes in the environment that they may already be responding to.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself as an HR professional. Note: this tool will require engagement with other contacts both internal and external to your organisation.

Tips for effective use

Continually update your competitors' profiles with new entrants and exits to the market, mergers and acquisitions, and so on. Continually ask the question - who are our main competition and what can we learn from them to prepare for the future?

Signals of successful use

Having an in-depth understanding of the organisation's competitors; their background, finances, products, markets, facilities, personnel and strategies. Using this as a legitimate source of competitive advantage to plan for future scenarios.

Signals of unsuccessful use

Creating profiles for the organisations you know of that have easily accessible information, instead of those that are truly your competition.

Links to other tools

Current workforce profile, Situation event planning, Future view, Stakeholder engagement.

 

Creating competitor profiles

Steps:

  1. Do some research to identify the competition - read the trade press, business news, journals, ask a colleague.
  2. Comment on what you know and the scenarios that can arise from these.
  3. Consider what your organisation needs to do differently (and the necessary interventions) to ensure you stay ahead of the competition.
Competitor name:  
Area
Factors
Scenarios
What should we do differently?
Background Location of offices, plants, and online presences    
History – key personalities, dates, events, and trends    
Ownership, corporate governance, and organisational structure    

Financials

P-E ratios, dividend policy, and profitability    
Various financial ratios, liquidity, and cash flow    
Profit growth profile; method of growth (organic or acquisitive)    
Products Products offered, depth and breadth of product line and product portfolio balance    
New products developed, new product success rate, and R&D strengths    
Brands, strength of brand portfolio, brand loyalty and brand awareness    
Patents and licenses    
Quality control conformance    
Reverse engineering    
Marketing Segments served, market shares, customer base, growth rate, and customer loyalty    
Promotional mix, promotional budgets, advertising themes, ad agency used, sales force success rate, online promotional strategy    
Distribution channels used (direct and indirect), exclusivity agreements, alliances, and geographical coverage    
Pricing, discounts, and allowances    
Facilities Plant capacity, capacity utilisation rate, age of plant, plant efficiency, capital investment    
Location, shipping logistics, and product mix by plant    
Personnel Number of employees, key employees, and skill sets    
Strength of management, and management style    
Compensation, benefits, and employee morale and retention rates    
Corporate and marketing strategies Objectives, mission statement, growth plans, acquisitions, and divestitures    
Marketing strategies    

and then...

  1. List out specific scenarios you have identified from the learning gained from your competitors.
Scenarios Interventions
1  
2  
3  
4  
5  

These tables are also available as a pdf or Word document.