, AZ (December, 2006)   Concordia-Intel was formed in April, 2006, to acquire and manage intelligence on competitors, customers, markets and supply chains and to train company employees to do the same in their daily activities and contacts with suppliers, competitors, and other industry sources.  The firm is based in Providence, Rhode Island.
gTraining sales, IT, and other staff is especially important,h claims Richard Wilkins, founder and principal of Concordia, gbecause it is often these personnel who have regular contact with customers, suppliers, prospects and computer-based resources that are at the leading edge of what is occurring.h
gAlthough the Web has facilitated researching secondary sources such as articles, specific databases, SEC filings and new product announcements,h adds Wilkins, gthe balance is driven by lots of hard work such as interviewing industry experts, product consumers, thought leaders, channels, media, and academicians, then piecing the disparate bits of information together.h
gMost managers think they know their competition,h says Wilkins, ghowever, few know these companies deeply enough to beat them regularly.h   He points to a number of indicators that should alert managers that they need professional intelligence development and management help:
 Lost sales holding steady or increasing;
 Company earnings and growth regularly failing to exceed competitors;
 No staff tasked with specific the responsibility to acquire and analyze CI;
 Outward facing teams not trained to report competitive information in a regular and disciplined manner;
 Absence of well trained secondary data research personnel;
 Absence of an internal database to manage and organize the information when it arrives;
 Failure to take acquired information and leverage it into rival-specific strategies on a regular basis; and/or,
 Absence of disciplined meetings to discuss competitive activity.
gIn some industries,h points out Wilkins, gthe greatest competitive threat comes from companies with similar assets in different fields, a supplier wanting forward integration, or even a customer wanting to backward integrate to pick up more of the value chain.h
gCompetitors are most threatening when they cannot be seen or arrive from an unexpected direction.  Early identification is critical to warding off loss of market share or revenue.h
Further information on the intelligence gathering services of Concordia-Intel or the training courses available can be obtained from Richard Wilkins, Principal, Concordia Intel, 441 Wayland Avenue,Providence Rhode Island, 02906.  Mr. Wilkins can be reached at telephone: 401-273-4121 or via email at r.wilkins@concordia-intel.com