Is Market Intelligence Really Any Good?

Procurement Market Intelligence

Do you know what market intelligence is? Or at least feel confident you can recognize it? If you are asked if market information impacts your bottom line or how effective are you at integrating the data into real-world projects, are you able to answer?

The Market Intelligence Gap

Market intelligence can easily improve business effectiveness, but it takes commitment. Often, market intelligence feels flat, consisting of statistics and economic measures that don’t seem to relevant. For example, you may know about the 25% steel import tariffs, see the upward cost curves on diesel fuel, and hear about supply capacity constraints and wage escalation, but wonder, “what should I do with this information?” You aren’t alone!

Actionable Intelligence

The problem isn’t you, it’s the market intelligence you are receiving. The information is solid, but it isn’t actionable. Think of it this way:  if you were to hear the theory of basic algebra, you would recognize its value. But you wouldn’t understand it until you worked some equations.  And you wouldn’t appreciate it until you applied it to your real-world problem and received the benefit of its real-world results.  That’s actionable intelligence.

How to Close the Gap

The Market Intelligence Gap only widens as you go down the Procurement Team pyramid.  Less experienced team members are even more susceptible to not understanding how to effectively apply market facts to a vendor negotiation.  Cross that over to more complicated categories, more involved finished goods or any kind of constrained marketplace and the gap just gets bigger.

Solving this problem and getting to actionable intelligence is usually a process.   The good news is that realizing the potential of market intelligence can be done in four easy steps.  First, you need quality market intelligence that connects the dots and provides actionable pro tips along with clear, spot on analysis.  This is a critical first step because it allows your people to see the link between data and task.  Second, you need to educate your team as to how to apply this information.  That can take place via negotiation workshops, sharing success stories, mentoring.  Third, executive support is needed to encourage acceptance of new ideas and approaches.  Fourth, wins should be measured and celebrated to ensure continued acceptance.

When done right, Market Intelligence coaches your team with on point, seasoned pro insights that easily turns words into goal achieving actions.   To learn more about market intelligence reports, actionable insights, negotiation training and other tools to help generate effective category strategies, please visit

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