Other Tools  
  The ICBS is a knowledge-based strategic management information system framework that has been built drawing direct inspiration from the resource-based view, the activity-based view and tries to refine the classic strategic SWOT analysis, using benchmarking and competitive intelligence techniques as a versatile learning tool. Value Management - also a tool used to build the ICBS - provides a perspective of Value based on the relationship between satisfying needs and expectations and the resources required to achieve them.  
  Competitive intelligence  

Competitive intelligence is the action of defining, gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence about products, customers, competitors and any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers in making strategic decisions for an organization.

Key points to emphasize:

1.       Competitive intelligence is an ethical and legal business practice, as   opposed to industrial espionage which is illegal.

2.       The focus is on the external business environment.

3.       There is a process involved in gathering information, converting it into intelligence and then utilizing this in business decision making. Competitive Intelligence professionals emphasize that if the intelligence gathered is not usable (or actionable) then it is not intelligence.

The term Competitive Intelligence is often viewed as synonymous with competitor analysis, but competitive intelligence is more than analyzing competitors — it is about making the organization more competitive relative to its entire environment and stakeholders: customers, competitors, distributors, technologies, macro-economic data etc.

  Business intelligence tools  

Business intelligence is the activity of monitoring the firm’s external environment concerning the information that is relevant for the decision-making process in the company. The aim is to use the strategic intelligence in the decision-making process. That is, to make intelligence actionable, capable of guiding decisions in organizations, in the sense that, if the intelligence gathered is not usable (or actionable), then it is not intelligence.

Sometimes, the terms “business intelligence” and “competitive intelligence” are interchangeably used. While there are many interpretations for both terms, the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals – SCIP (www.scip.org) distinguishes these two concepts in terms of scope of action. For SCIP, business intelligence refers to any combination of data, information and knowledge concerning the business environment in which the company operates that, when acted upon, will confer a competitive advantage or enable sound decisions to be made. Whereas competitive intelligence is defined as a systematic and ethical process of gathering, analyzing, and managing external information that can affect the company’s plans, decisions, and operations. It focuses on scanning a company’s competitive landscape for opportunities, threats, risks and advantages.

Business intelligence tools are a type of application software designed to report, analyze and present data. The tools generally read data that have been previously stored, often, though not necessarily, in a data warehouse or data mart.

  Value Management  

The concept of Value is based on the relationship between satisfying needs and expectations and the resources required to achieve them. The aim of Value Management is to reconcile all stakeholders’ views and to achieve the best balance between satisfied needs and resources.

What is Value Management?
Value Management is concerned with improving and sustaining a desirable balance between the wants and needs of stakeholders and the resources needed to satisfy them. Stakeholder value judgments vary, and VM reconciles differing priorities to deliver best value for all stakeholders.

VM is based on principles of defining and adding measurable value, focusing on objectives before solutions, and concentrating on function to enhance innovation. It uniquely combines within an integrated framework a value focused management style; a positive approach to individual and team motivation; an awareness of the organizational environment; and the effective use of proven methods and tools.

Value Management uses a unique combination of concepts and methods to create sustainable value for both organisations and their stakeholders.

The Institute of Value Management Techniques

 Sugests some tools and techniques. Some of them are specific to Value Management and others are generic tools that many organisations and individuals use. You can see detailed information on https://ivm.org.uk/value-management/techniques/

  (Strategic) Benchmarking  

Benchmarking is the process of comparing what your company is doing with what the best performing company in your industry is doing. Process benchmarking, one of three types of benchmarking, compares operational processes. Performance benchmarking compares product lines, marketing and sales to determine how to increase revenues. These are more short-term in their scope and produce quick results. Strategic benchmarking takes a long-term view of company direction relative to the future strategies of competing companies.


Benchmarking involves five steps. The first is to identify the object of your benchmarking project. Large general subjects are less appropriate for a benchmarking study than single procedures or concepts. Next, identify a company that excels in the particular procedure or concept you are studying. Then study that company. The fourth step is analysis of the information you received by looking at the other company's procedures. In the final step, you apply what you learned to your own company.


Strategic benchmarking looks at what other companies are doing in terms of top management capabilities, strategic initiatives, competitive product development and other long-term qualities and processes that have proved successful. Determining what a company is doing strategically is sometimes easier than trying to learn how they manage individual procedures. Top management capabilities are often evident in the operations of the company. Leaders that are savvy in terms of technology tend to implement technology-rich processes. Strategic direction can be found in annual reports, if the company is public. Selecting a company to study that is not a direct competitor makes it easier to approach management and ask for advice and information on how the company built its success.


The analysis process is like re-engineering a product to find out how it is made and comparing what you find to a similar product made by your company. You will find certain advantages and certain flaws on either side of the comparison, and some of the good qualities of the competing product may prove unworkable in your manufacturing process. An understanding of how a competing product works will definitely have an effect on how your company designs and manufactures future products. The same is true for business strategy.


For a small company, a full strategic benchmarking project may take too much time and tie up too many key people. A good way to approximate strategic benchmarking is to study a management process such as Six Sigma, then apply SWOT analysis to each area of the company you would like to improve. SWOT analysis is the process of identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats presented by a strategy, decision or manager performance. The key is to implement your findings and not let your time and effort go to waste because you don't follow through with the application of your knowledge.

 You can see detailed information on https://smallbusiness.chron.com/strategic-benchmarking/