Approaches to environmental scanning:
1. Systematic approach: in this approach, formats for various issues are developed and is done systematically in a step by step fashion. The information related to various factors viz. Regulatory, social, economic, technological, resources, etc. is collected which has direct bearing on the working of the company. Data on various factors is continuously collected and updated and their effect on various elements pertinent to the organization is studied. The variance of various factors is analyzed and their swing is worked out to estimate the impact of the changes. A system of assessment of the environment is prepared by the strategy manager followed by all the line managers in the organizations.
2. Process information approach: information on environment and its various factors is available from trade papers, trade magazines etc, and many organizations prepare summary of the relevant information to keep themselves updated. The processed data is made available to the strategy management group for processing and drawing interferences on which corrective actions may be taken by a company.
3. Ad Hoc approach: some companies collect specific information on selected environmental factors by conducting special studies. Such studies are usually conducted when a company wants to launch a special project. The impact of a project on various environmental factors is studied within the frame work of a specially designed study program and results are obtained through analysis using computer software of changes and developments may be studied using point projects and results extrapolated for use by strategy managers.