In order to achieve economy of scale with intelligence vendors, information providers and consultants it is essential to manage partnerships and external business relations well. This section provides insights and best practice sharing in the area of vendor management.
Proper information procurement can be key to timely intelligence dissemination. Strong partnerships to outside intelligence brokers, consultants and information vendors result in improved negotiation power and flexibility.
Starting with status quo evaluations, past purchase identification and gathering of vendor information a proper offerings overview and internal processes for streamlined and controlled purchases can help to save time, cost and offer maximum access to most suitable intelligence.
An internal network of procurement specialists in combination with professionals who realize information and competitive intelligence purchases are essential to gather information on important vendors. After a long list of potential and existing vendors is established a detailed gathering of outside offerings should be conducted.
Oftentimes interesting services, combinations of products or intelligence deliverables are missed from known or potential vendors just because these are simply not known to all parts of the organization or the organization as a whole. As opposed to bundle services and target a broader bandwidth of information offerings organizations purchase single market studies in fragmented ways, ad-hoc and for higher list prices.
This reactive way of acquiring information and intelligence does not appreciate and exploit recent developments in the information business where companies like Frost & Sullivan, Thomson Reuters (to name a view of the largest, global and most traditional information vendors) combine broad expertise and capabilities in bundled packages by target market or services into attractive offerings way beyond a static industry report or market study.
Especially membership access to their databases and information offerings can be very attractive in pricing and content, saving the client organization huge amounts of money when exploited to maximum extend.
In order to prepare the organization for proper decisions on future intelligence vendor partnerships a vendor database should be created. This can serve the competitive intelligence group or a broader audience as overview and starting point for information acquisition decisions.
The following downloads provide templates for a so called Vendor Information Request form to gather crucial basic data about partners offerings and a simple Excel spreadsheet template as a database to gather all information.