Intelligence assessment is the development of forecasts of behavior or recommended courses of action to the leadership of an organization, based on a wide range of available information sources both overt and covert. Assessments are developed in response to requirements declared by that same leadership in order to inform decision making. At SCMO we carry out logistics assessments on behalf of law firms, corporate finance firms, chemicals & pharmaceuticals corporations, resources companies, real estate organizations, high net-worth individuals, insurance companies, distribution groups, logistics organizations, and other institutions around the world.
An intelligence assessment reviews both available information and previous assessments for relevance and currency. Where additional information is required, some collection may be directed by our logistics analysts. Intelligence assessments are based on our customer's requirement or need, which may be a standing requirement or tailored to a specific circumstance or a Request for Information (RFI). We then work the "requirement" through the intelligence cycle, a structured method for responding to the RFI.
The nature of the RFI and the urgency placed on it may indicate that some collection types are unsuitable due to the time taken to collect or validate the information gathered. We shall then advise our customer at once. Once a RFI is received, we shall direct our specialized advisors to respond to the request. This may involve:
- A review of existing material
- The tasking of new analytical product
- The collection of new information to inform an analysis
Intelligence gathering disciplines and the sources and methods used are proprietary to SCMO and strictly confidential. As requested, we then take known information about situations and entities of importance to the RFI, characterize what is known and attempt to forecast future events, through a typical "all source" assessment, analysis or processing. Our logistics analysts uses multiple sources to mutually corroborate, or exclude, the information collected, reaching a conclusion along with a measure of confidence around that conclusion. Where sufficient current information already exists, the analysis may be tasked directly without reference to further collection.
We offer logistics intelligence and market information in various levels, degrees, and modes. Some recurrent RFIs, we have packaged and commoditized with a very favorable pricing. Others are made-to-order, built upon request, and charged accordingly:
- Logistics consultations (oral consultation)
- Logistics hotline (written email - packaged)
- Logistics studies (written report + oral delivery)
- Gerson Lehrman Group - GLG (oral consultation)
- Logistics data sheets (written datasheet - packaged)
- Logistics due diligence (written report + oral delivery)
Once completed, the logistics intelligence analysis is then communicated back to our customer, in the format directed, although subject to the constraints on both the RFI and the methods used in the analysis. Upon request, SCMO logistics analysis may be written to a defined classification level with alternative versions potentially available at a number of classification levels for further dissemination.
The following case studies demonstrate how SCMO approach has been successfully applied to client issues.
Our client was an investment bank, which was considering investing as a major stakeholder in a transportation company specialized in apparels between Asia and the USA (trans-pacific). We were asked very precise questions regarding procedures, control, pricing, gross profit margins, profits, specialized freight forwarders, shipping lines, air-lines, partners’ selection, lead time, delays, commodities breakdown, apparel importance, statistics, risk, insurance, freight costs, other costs, trends, volumes, and customs duties, which we prepared. We lined up in front of the client a SCMO expert specialized in this subject. The client could explore in-depth for a few hours into the answers, as our advisor was coming from the industry. The interview was recorded, and the client could go back to it.
Our client was a diversified American holding company that wished to enter the Chinese logistics market. They had no knowledge of the China world and culture, but were intending to invest US$ 200 million in that venture. They had already worked for a number of years with a local Hong Kong Chinese agent for serving Greater China. They called upon SCMO expertise to assess the reliability of that person to become their "Chinese compradore". In Asia, a good compradore is key to success, while the wrong alliance ends in a lost investment. We background-searched that individual, from birth to date, personally, socially, and professionally in the logistics sector. A psychological evaluation and assessment was driven by a multicultural specialist, so as to assess the success probability for "Asia blind" American stakeholders to manage successfully such a key partner. A security due diligence revealed his strengths and weaknesses, and the schedules and reasons for frequent trips to Macau and other locations. Logistics intelligence was gathered from the market and with old colleagues, both ex employees as well as ex employers. SCMO intelligence assessment was positive, and the current situation is a success.