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When you settle in to begin preliminary research on a new category, where do you start? Like any living, breathing person these days, you probably open up a browser and start typing queries into your preferred search engine. In fact, Accenture Interactive notes that “94 percent of B2B buyers report that they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product.”

And sure, Google will provide you with a ton of information within seconds. But, how do you know that information is accurate, unbiased and up-to-date? The truth is: you don’t know. And more importantly, can you quickly find the category-specific information you need? Combing through the thousands of search results is like trying to find a needle in an online haystack.

So, if Google is your main (or only) source for research, we’re here to tell you – you’re doing it wrong!

These days, sourcing departments have discovered an easier way: harnessing centralized market intelligence tools rather than Googling. In essence, market intelligence (MI) presents information compiled from multiple reliable sources. Structured MI creates a broad picture of existing markets, customers, price trends, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, competition and growth potential for products and services. An organization can use MI to make accurate and confident decisions regarding market expansion, product development and, yes, procurement strategy.

Why Use Market Intelligence? 

Sure, your organization could conduct its own market research and compile its own intelligence – but who’s got the time or resources to do that?! Instead, many strategic companies use MI compiled by third-party firms who employ teams of economists, researchers and analysts. These third-parties use unbiased resources such as Census Bureaus, governmental agency data, other publicly available economic data, public financial filings, relationships with industry contacts and proprietary statistics and tools to create comprehensive reports on a huge range of industries, products and services. Think of it as your own external think tank or brain trust!

The research these ‘external brains’ compile can help mitigate supplier risk, increase savings, improve cost avoidance, aid in decision-making and encourage your department to challenge your assumptions about long-term suppliers and recurring purchases. Using MI, you may discover additional capabilities of existing suppliers, find new vendors, identify new regions where capable suppliers may be located, determine early warnings in supply market risk and more. And the best part? You won’t spend hours scouring search engine results to find the information and trying to apply it to your specific project. Your external brain has already done the heavy lifting!

Who Provides Procurement Market Intelligence?

There are many companies out there that provide similar but unique offerings. Research consultants are a common option, but they can require significant monthly costs. And there are certainly libraries of niche content for particular purchase types, such as IT. However, ProcurementIQ's offering is an off-the-shelf procurement report library covering more than 1,000 indirect products and services. You’ll be able to log in from any web browser to access in-depth, accurate and unbiased research, right at your fingertips. Plus, our data is structured the same from report to report, using the same table of contents, so you’ll know exactly where to find the information you’re looking for. Don’t spend hours searching for information online – our independent data and analysis from trusted sources will help you make better purchasing decisions faster.

Google is great for a lot of things, like finding out the capital city of Norway or a new recipe for pot roast. But, when you’re looking for accurate category research quickly, a market intelligence solution like ProcurementIQ is what you really need.

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