Economic intelligence is an institution dealing with collecting and verifying the creditworthiness of companies. The intelligence department prepares and provides, for a fee, reports and financial information about companies.
The sources of information for the intelligence services are their own databases, Business registers, debtors' registers, company bankruptcies, publications, surveys sent to fill entrepreneurs, telephone interviews with the surveyed company and its partners, visits to the surveyed company, public administration offices, and others. Data collected by the intelligence agency about other business entities are obtained in accordance with the law, primarily from the so-called open sources.
Reports of the intelligence services serve companies to assess the reliability of potential business partners (customers, contractors, suppliers).
Application of information obtained from economic intelligence
Financial databases have a wide application with, among others
- deep and rapid analysis of industries, companies and markets;
- credit analysis;
- assessment of the financial condition of companies;
- assessment of business partners and competitors,
- marketing research (when planning a marketing strategy),
- planning the future strategy of the company (business development, freezing, changing the profile, changing the target group).
The most frequent clients of economic intelligence services are banks, consulting companies, investment funds, leasing companies as well as trade, production and service enterprises.
Contents of the economic intelligence report
A commercial report is a standard service of every interviewer. It provides a description of the organizational, legal and financial situation of the company under study and an assessment of its credibility. The substantive content of such a report are primarily:
- company's registration data (legal form, business addresses, capital, ownership structure,
- the right of representation, management, object of activity,
- information on the financial situation of the audited company (solvency, payment discipline, debt collection experience, * * presence in debt registers, balance sheet data, economic indicators with a commentary),
- other information (employment, related companies, directions of import and export, investments started, etc.),
- the credit limit of the merchant's credit proposed by the credit institution.
Information from the interview office at various stages of cooperation with the contractor
The financial situation of companies may change, therefore it is recommended that the verification of the contractor is a continuous and not a one-off process, carried out only before the conclusion of the first contract.
Information from the interview office can be obtained at various stages, i.e. .:
- before cooperation, in order to:
- get acquainted with the company's situation,
- check the veracity of the company's organizational and legal data before concluding the contract;
- support of negotiations,
- during the cooperation, in order to:
- supervise high-risk contracts,
- consider the decision to expand the area of cooperation.
Benefits of economic intelligence services
Using economic intelligence services can bring many future benefits:
- The cost of such a service is significantly lower compared to the negative effects of cooperation with an unreliable contractor,
- obtaining detailed information about the company takes place in a very short time, compared to how time-consuming and difficult to search for information is.
- certainty that a specialized, competent institution is responsible for the execution of the request to acquire information;
- more informed and responsible decision making.
- Briciu, S., Vrîncianu, M., & Mihai, F. (2009). Towards a new approach of the economic intelligence process: Basic concepts, analysis methods and informational tools. Theoretical and Applied Economics, 4(4), 21.
- Said, A., & Bretones, D. (2009). Economic intelligence and knowledge management: two complementary facets of the same issue. International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, 2(1), 1-26.
- Kuhlmann, S. (2002). Distributed techno-economic intelligence for policymaking. RTD Evaluation Toolbox, Assessing the Socio-Economic Impact of RTD-Policies, European Commission-Joint Research Centre, IPTS, Seville, 210-217.