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What is Competitive Intelligence(CI): An Introduction to CI in the Law Firm Environment Part 1


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These slides are introductory information as relates to Competitive Intelligence in the Law Firm Environment and was obtained from a PLI audiocast held on 4/25/12 and presented by Jennifer Alexander and Margaret Hennessey. A PLI-LLANY Research Briefing

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What is Competitive Intelligence(CI): An Introduction to CI in the Law Firm Environment Part 1

  2. 2. WHAT IS CI  SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals): CI is a necessary, ethical business discipline for decision making based on understanding the competitive environment  CI is not spying  It does not consist of fraud, bribery, trespassing, deceit, eavesdropping, stealing  Many CI groups go beyond tracking competitors  Monitor developments in targeted and/or whole markets and industries  Detect trends that are affecting current clients  Identify potential clients and markets  Assist senior management with resource planning 2
  3. 3. GOAL OF CI  Provide “actionable” information  What are the implications and impact of a piece of intelligence  Help people make decisions, lessen risks, ascertain threats, allocate resources, create strategy  It is not just supplying information  CI is not just about presenting facts  There needs to be analysis and an interpretation of the facts or some insight  Challenge conventional organizational “wisdom” 3
  4. 4. GOAL OF CI IN A LAW FIRM Assisting Attorneys in identifying new business opportunities Explaining the importance of knowing not only the legal needs but the business and industry needs of clients Not providing a data dump 4
  5. 5. WHERE CI IS IN LAW FIRMS • According to the 2011 Law Librarian Survey, the 3 main departments primarily responsible for competitive intelligence are :  Library (56%)  Marketing (22%)  Business Development (7%) 5
  6. 6. HOW TO START A CI PROGRAM Obtain management  Market the program, buy-in and support set expectations (needs a “champion”)  Measure the outcomes Define the function (get recognized for the value CI brings to an organization) Identify resources (especially in-house resources) 6
  7. 7. HOW TO START A CI PROGRAM Keep statistics of  Consider skill set research requests needed for role in your firm and assess current staff Survey attorneys on capabilities what kind of info they would like and how they want the info  Create a process presented which must include best practices for request submission Present findings to and templates for senior level deliverables administrators 7
  8. 8. MARKETING CI PROGRAM  Start with Practice Group Chairs – Detail how you can assist the department  Keep statistics of all CI projects and present to Senior staff (annual report)  Present CI capabilities at Practice Group Meetings and Retreats  Meet regularly with other admin functions to discuss CI accomplishments  Present at new hire orientation 8
  10. 10. WHAT CI SKILLS DO LIBRARIANS POSSESS  Experience and training in eliciting information  “Reference Interview”  Research skills  Ability to devise the best search strategy and collect data  In-depth knowledge of resources  Expertise in managing information flow 10
  11. 11. PERSONAL SKILLS ARE ESSENTIAL  Charming – A person who can deliver bad news with a touch of optimism  Inquisitive - A person who is unduly curious.  Sense of Humor – A person that sees the humor in things and can remain relaxed. 11
  12. 12. WHAT CI SKILLS DO LIBRARIANS NEED TO ACQUIRE  Ability to assess and interpret information  Analysis – establish facts, draw conclusions  Present those conclusions in a clear and logical manner  Develop expertise in presenting ideas  Simple graphics, Excel  Become familiar with firm’s focus and expertise  Know industry jargon, keywords, key players, competitors  Develop an understanding of CI tools & techniques  SWOT, KITs, PEST, Porter’s Five Force Model 12
  13. 13. VALUABLE SKILLS NEEDED IN CI Strong business, legal and industry knowledge Strong research, analytical and communication skills Can identify trends from news articles and statistics Thinks outside the box Can deliver information quickly. Must be very familiar with information resources across industries Knows when to stop/limitations Works well under pressure Familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as Adobe Professional, web and graphic software Ability to manage expectations 13
  14. 14. WHAT ARE EMPLOYERS SEEKING IN CISTAFF?  The following are attributes for CI analysts and managers from job postings key business partner anticipate future competitive moves make informed assumptions develop forums and tools translate findings into recommendation consult with management identify and communicate develop insights develop and maintain a competitive database identify opportunities create actionable insights provide strategic leadership inform key business processes develop knowledge of external data sources determine the strategies maintain high set of CI ethical standards  CI analysts need to be insightful, partners, leaders, strategists, predictors, developers, consultants, communicators, ethical 14
  15. 15. CI AT PAUL, WEISS Business Intelligence Group resides in the library  Supports the Business Development, Marketing and Communications groups  Monitors competitors, provides insight into companies and industries  Utilizes mostly secondary sources, some primary  Assists other departments with their strategic initiatives  Conducts due diligence on prospective vendors, technology assessments (research new products, tests mobile applications for attorneys) 15
  16. 16. CI AT PAUL WEISS CAPABILITIES VALUE DELIVERABLESConducts research and analysis on Provides insight on potential clients and new Company profiles (e.g., in-depth companycompanies, industries and markets developments affecting existing clients reports, brief snapshots) Identifies potential industries to target Biographical sketches Identifies market trends that affect the firm Industry/market screens for trend-spotting and its clients and generating new ideas Analyzes external environment Targeted research In-depth industry and sector reportsMonitors, evaluates and reports on new Assists with marketing and sales strategies News scansdevelopments that affect the firm’s Delivers relevant information in a timely Periodic updates on companies, industriesmarkets, clients and competitive position fashion and key issues/topics Sends information in understandable formatsResearches competitors’ current Offers insight into competitors’ value Competitor profilespositioning and potential future prospects propositions Competitor tracking Assesses competitors’ strengths and Peer firm analysis including league table weaknesses rankings Tracks trends in the legal industry as it relates to business development effortsPerforms custom research and analysis Assists decision-making across the firm Executive briefingsfor various departments Supports strategic and resource planning Ad hoc research reports Supports technology programs Due diligence on vendors/productsProvides expertise on an array of print Availability of professionals to perform Skilled research support 16and online resources complex research
  17. 17. CI AT MLA Business Intelligence is a collaborative effort at MLA. - Research is done by the library staff who also assists in formatting data presentation on ad hoc basis. - Research and analysis is done by BI Manager who is part of the Marketing Dept. The BI Team supports Marketing/Business Development mainly. 17
  18. 18. CI AT MLA• RFPs • Competitor Profiles – Assist in compiling and analyzing – Prepare profiles on competing law firms information on companies and industries during the RFP process • Geographic Research – Prepare profiles of legal/business environment nationally and• List Creation internationally – Compile lists of target companies and events • Lateral Research – Track and compile lists of lateral partner moves• Industry Analysis – Provide overviews of industries • Practice Area Watch – Provide information on practice area• Legal Trends trends in the legal market – Identify legal trends • Alerts – Setting up docket, SEC filings and news• Cross Selling alerts – Identify cross selling opportunities 18Note: Deliverables vary, data is presented in one sheet write ups usually in MicrosoftWord, PowerPoint and Excel Spreadsheet.
  19. 19. COLLABORATE WITH ADMINDEPARTMENTS • Collaborate with Recruiting on lateral and alumni programs • Collaborate with Accounting on gathering and compiling billing data on clients • Collaborate with IT on creating an intranet page where Marketing materials can be stored as well as maintaining the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database • Collaborate with the Library on business and legal research requests • Marketing/Business Development collects data and information from 19 the various departments and utilizes the data to pitch new business for the firm
  20. 20. CI CHALLENGES IN LAW FIRMS There is a lot of transparency in the legal marketplace Law firms have many competitors (peer groups, boutiques)  Larger firms have many practice groups, usually in various locations, that have their own competitors  Practice groups also have industry focus Clients – and potential clients – are numerous as well Legal marketplace is evolving 20
  21. 21. CONCLUSION CI is a useful tool for law firms in today’s competitive legal marketplace Librarians have some of the tools already But librarians need to boost other skills 21
  22. 22. CONCLUSION Many firms do not have a formal CI program, slowly begin to present why it is necessary if your firm doesn’t have a program. Prep staff for new responsibility Set realistic expectations 22
  23. 23. PART 2 May 9, 2012 @ 1 PM Creating Company Profiles 23