Kesting Ventures Corp's
ISUM Competitive Intelligence System



Question by Chairman to Division President:

“How do your strategic products compare with your competitors’ products in both cost and performance?”

Division President’s Answer:

“I don’t know.”

Chairman’s Directive:

“Well then, I don’t understand how you can manage your business. I want you to find out where your division stands and then develop a technology program that enables your division to lead. And don’t forget ‘Blue Sky’ thinking.”

Division President’s September Statement:

“Every year when we begin our planning cycle, I ask whether we know our competitors’ costs. And every year we say that we don’t know. Once and for all, I want this question answered and I don’t want to ever have to ask this question again.”

ISUM Competitive Intelligence System

ISUM Competitive Intelligence System

Kesting Ventures Corp.’s ISUM Competitive Intelligence System is a proprietary managerial accounting system that is capable of modeling manufacturing processes so thoroughly that plant managers and engineers can use the models to optimize their own plants.

CLICK HERE to view the ISUM Competive Intelligence System Powerpoint Presentation

Information is not knowledge. Information must be assimilated and processed by people, who then use it to stimulate their judgment. Judgment is required to produce a knowledge block.

Knowledge blocks consist of intelligence PLUS knowledge

Kesting Ventures Corp. believes that knowledge blocks are potentially a company’s most valuable asset and many well known business consultants concur. Most companies consider information to be a tangible asset that must be structured and sorted for effective use. Intelligence is corroborated structured information. Intelligence is the “above-the-water” observable part of a company’s intellectual assets. Experience and knowledge are more than three times the size of intelligence.

Judgment and knowledge are usually not tangible assets. Judgment, which includes experience, know-how, insight, intuition, etc., is an underutilized intangible asset. Converting this intangible asset (the submerged portion of the iceberg) into valuable tangible corporate knowledge blocks can produce significant productivity improvement, growth and profitability.

Conventional thinking has been that this conversion is very difficult and time consuming. In fact, books have been written describing just how difficult this conversion is.

But, with Kesting Ventures Corp.’s knowledge systems and training, the creation of tangible knowledge blocks is relatively quick and easy. In addition, knowledge blocks can be kept current through knowledge portals.

The ISUM Competitive Intelligence System is one of Kesting Ventures Corp.’s knowledge block systems.

What are knowledge blocks?

Knowledge blocks are multi-page spreadsheets that correlate value judgments of experienced people (experts) concerning the performance of a product (or service), economic value and influence with market share, pricing and other market and financial parameters.

Knowledge blocks enable people to solve very complex puzzles. Since knowledge blocks are a tangible asset that can give a company a long term sustainable advantage, knowledge block creation is the lowest cost and most effective way to increase productivity.

KVC is working with companies to create knowledge portals that enable their professional staff to readily access and update their knowledge blocks.

The creation of knowledge blocks and knowledge portals is a new discipline that requires training. Knowledge Block Training Programs are available form Kesting Ventures Corp.

Kesting Ventures Corp.’s ISUM Competitive Intelligence System is a managerial accounting system that is capable of modeling manufacturing processes so thoroughly that plant managers and engineers can use the models to optimize their own plants.

Most cost accounting systems that have been designed for the purposes of financial reporting are NOT useful for managerial and competitive intelligence purposes. For example, period costs assigned to products, which are typically >50% of product cost, mask the comparison of alternatives.

Many of our clients tell us that they don’t understand their own costs because their cost system is replete with seemingly arbitrary direct, indirect and overhead allocations. The financial statements for an entire plant are accurate but on a product by product basis there are a lot of problems. And business decisions are made on a product by product basis.

Managerial cost systems are made possible through KVC’s proprietary experiential modeling methodology, which converts value judgments into numerical data.

Experiential Modeling

Each project begins with thorough background analysis. The client’s information is sorted and corroborated to produce the client’s intelligence and then supplemented with additional secondary intelligence and engineering analyses.

Good competitive intelligence ought to be based on all data, information, know-how, intelligence and knowledge.

Next, KVC designs a complete knowledge block structure that includes all possible manufacturing operations. This is required because the processes of the client and its target competitors must be compared with each other as well as an estimate of the low cost optimum process.

Next, KVC writes the knowledge block workbook.

This diagram describes the flow of KVC’s proprietary ISUM competitive intelligence system

ISUM Standards

KVC forms a strategic partnership with its client to bring all information, know-how and experience into the ISUM Competitive Intelligence System.

A critical step is the creation of the client’s ISUM standard that precisely correlates with the client’s financial cost system.

An added benefit of the ISUM standard is that it provides the client with a managerial system that can be used to optimize the client’s process.

All of KVC’s field research is accomplished through intense experiential modeling sessions with world class technology experts. World class technology experts want to participate because they recognize that they will have the opportunity to learn a great deal. In fact, experts don’t want to be excluded from experiential modeling sessions.

Research methodologies such as telephone interviewing DO NOT produce the level of detail that is required for competitive intelligence. Instead, KVC conducts 1-day or 2-day structured experiential modeling sessions that last 8-10 hours per day. In addition, many experts continue to contribute to our research because they realize that they gained more than they gave.

KVC identifies the experts in the appropriate areas, prepares a budget for their compensation and the out-of-pocket cost of the session, and then sends invitations to them to attend the 1-2 day sessions.

Well before the session, each panel member receives a briefing document that wets the appetite for the session. However, panel members only receive the comprehensive workbook when they actually attend the session. They may contact the KVC Program Leaders at any time prior to or after the session if they have questions.

During an ISUM experiential modeling session Kesting Ventures Corp. prepares models for specific plants as well as for the panel’s view of the optimum process. Panelists contribute to the models of specific plants because they are interested in learning how each player compares with the optimum process.

Expert panelists typically comment that they ‘get more than they bring’ to the panel session and leave with a better understanding of the needs of the market in which they participate. The panel is NOT open to the public and nothing from the panel’s work is available for publication. And, of course, participating panelists sign a non-disclosure agreement that protects everyone should confidential information be inadvertently disclosed.

During an ISUM experiential modeling session KVC, prepares models for specific plants as well as for the panel’s view of the optimum process. Panelists contribute to the models of specific plants because they are interested in learning how each player compares with the optimum process.

The completed knowledge block with all intelligence, workbooks and training manuals is the deliverable of KVC’s proprietary ISUM Competitive Intelligence System.

Most competitive intelligence projects result in a point in time approximation of manufacturing costs with very broad confidence limits. ISUM CI provides a managerial and engineering system that is a true knowledge block. ISUM CI is relatively easy to keep current, which means that the client’s maintenance cost is dramatically reduced. In addition, clients can use ISUM CI to optimize their manufacturing process and ISUM CI also helps manufacturing planning.

ISUM CI costs no more than other competitive intelligence research methodologies.