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In every industry, it is necessary to create an agile strategy to the changing current of market trends, warnings and indicators. However, in certain industries, the pace of change is much quicker, meaning there is even less time to react to important competitor developments.
Air and defense companies —for example— have a serious need to develop a strategy that is agile, that pushes innovation and that speaks to the needs of their market at any given time. They must consider the changing nature of global threats, the stiffening of product competition, and the need to operate at an accelerated pace of business.
In this post, we address each of these drivers and identify ways in which Competitive Intelligence (CI) serves as a critical tool to support accelerated industries, such as companies in the air and defense community that face similar challenges.
OODA was developed for military strategy, but is extremely applicable and useful for industries where change happens quickly. Forming an agile strategy means constantly observing your market, orienting your company on the right side of developing trends, deciding on the strategy to use, then executing it well.
Geopolitical developments are vital indicators for air and defense companies as to where they should focus their efforts and what type of products they have the opportunity to sell. Every government has a list of defense weapons they would like to attain, but it is when political climates change that needs become more urgent and companies need to position themselves well.
For example, Poland was looking to purchase a new attack helicopter in early 2013, but the need was not immediate. However, when Russia became involved in Eastern Ukraine, Poland increased the urgency for a purchase. Boeing was able to position themselves and their aircraft correctly to be the chosen purchase for Poland.
Staying ahead of the curve on these developments requires companies in this industry to develop and maintain a set of informative connections and use technology to assist in their research.
Leaders in the air and defense industry recognize that agility is essential for rapidly responding to emerging opportunities. CI is essential for identifying those opportunities and gaining the competitive advantage necessary for success in an increasingly crowded field, such as air and defense. Organizations that move quickly into new markets are more likely to be successful when they invest in CI to reduce uncertainty around competitors and future market trends. CI seeks to deliver clarity into each business opportunity by providing actionable insights about a company’s current market, customers, and competitors. Air and defense companies using CI will have more information that will better inform a forward-thinking strategic process. As we know— knowledge is power.
As an example of forward thinking and planning, Boeing recently decided to change up their strategy. The decision was not driven by losses, but rather Boeing’s failure to win more business. This is a message we frequently convey to our consulting clients: “Business as usual,” often results in little business in the future. To remain competitive, companies in every industry need to foster a culture of innovation that encourages employees to question processes and implement changes that will drive the business forward. CI supports innovation by providing greater customer understanding, and monitoring for disruptive innovation (products, processes and business models) as well as market trends.
CI consulting can help your strategic needs specifically. When a company needs to modify their approach urgently, consultants will be the ones to come in with a swarm approach. Evaluating your market and specific needs with an expert perspective, they will be able to outline a strategy and potential outcomes to guide you toward the best decision. In air and defense, when success depends on the ability to anticipate needs and developments, consultants can assist in evaluating the upcoming trends and help you position yourselves in the best way by making it clear which products and areas you should drill down on.
Software built for CI, like Knowledge360®, acts as the radar you need to pick up on relevant news or information that will be important for your accelerated industry and your success. Knowledge360® keeps your finger on the pulse in a number of different areas. Industry developments occur more quickly and more surreptitiously today than ever, and researching those developments is overwhelming for any one person or role. Using a trusted source of information, like Knowledge360® will allow you to automate the research process. Automating research will widen the scope of what is possible to know, effectively giving you a competitive advantage.
In industries where the stakes are high and the market changes quickly— such as air and defense— it is vital that companies invest in the knowledge and the perspective to anticipate changes. An agile strategy will be stronger and more informed with the proper research and perspective in mind, allowing them to respond to any change with agility, ensuring they maximize every business opportunity presented.
Derek Heiss is the Director of Cipher’s Consulting Practice and is specialized in competitive intelligence and market strategy consulting. Cipher is a consulting and technology firm, based in Annapolis, with a 20+ year track record of delivering solutions to the Fortune 500 and Global 1,000.