Companies in the same field compete on multiple levels, such as who is more profitable, acquires more new customers, has more branches, employs more customer service personnel – the list can go on and on.
It makes good business sense for a company to be the first in its field to analyze their strong and weak suits against the competition in order to make adjustments. Doing so gives a company the edge in defining the public relations comparison agenda as they present their message to current and potential customers.
Among the myriad sources for information about competitors financial reports (especially end-year reports) top the list because:
Regulation forces companies to divulge information in these reports which otherwise would be un-disclosed;
The reports contain detailed information about a company’s activities;
The information found in the reports can be quoted and, most importantly, can’t be denied
The downside to these financial reports is that they are sometimes released in a format, such as Adobe™ PDF, making it harder to extract the data.
Companies rely on technology more and more to get an edge and to be the first to get their message before the public. Many are using Internet push technology be among the first to get the reports.
These successful companies rely on spreadsheets and databases to automate the comparison process and use data extraction tools such as a PDF to Excel converter to quickly extract the data.
In the near future more corporate investments will be made in IT systems that will connect and transfer business data for their competitor’s financial reports directly to their PR and marketing department to gain an edge.
The companies with the biggest advantage will be those utilizing software to automate the PDF conversion processes.