Consumer goods suppliers have volumes of valuable data available to guide them in making better, faster decisions that will impact their business performance. Many turn to analytics partners to help, but are those partners doing what you need to be successful?
There is always a rush to grab the data and start sharing it, but if the data is wrong, you are better off waiting for accurate data. Your partner should be examining retailer data to make sure it’s believable and keeping you informed when it’s not. If they are just blindly passing on whatever they can get, they aren’t doing you a favor.
Giving you access to terabytes of data is not what a good partner does. They should be highlighting exceptions and wins, identifying developing problems, and recommending quick fixes to these issues. A good partner should be a watchdog, not just a report generator.
Each of your stakeholder teams needs their own special spin to save time and make better decisions. Sales need insights on how to grow. Replenishment must find and fix on shelf issues and prevent retailer compliance fees. Marketing wants insights on how to avoid past mistakes and launch the best events, and IT needs their daily store level data feeds so they can get the executive team their morning performance dashboards. A good partner understands that each department has its own unique needs specific to their goals and provides them with the dashboards they care about.
Having a separate solution for each team, whether it is a different retailer or a different function, is important. You need common business practices and a common view across your retail businesses, not just for omnichannel but for your entire business. Most projects start small, prove successful and then scale rapidly. That means you need a partner who can meet as many of your needs as possible. After all, don’t you want to know inventory in the field across all retailers and not just one?
Solutions that wow the eye but don’t do anything are a great indication that it’s just sizzle, not steak. It’s important to look for a partner who not only has impressive solutions but also delivers tangible results. This way, you can ensure that your investment in the partnership is worthwhile and yields a positive return.
If the first line of help from your partner is a phone tree, it’s a good indication that they are more concerned about making the sale than making you successful. Good digital resources, self-help videos, and training programs are all important to success, but when you need help, your partner needs to have subject matter experts ready to answer the phone or respond to your emails.
Partnering with an analytics company can provide valuable insights for your business, but it’s important to ensure that your partner is setting you up for success. Trusting the accuracy of the data, providing actionable insights, catering to the unique needs of each stakeholder team, supporting all your retailer teams, delivering tangible results, and providing reliable customer support are key factors to consider. By asking these questions and carefully evaluating your analytics partner, you can ensure that your investment in the partnership yields the desired results and drives your business towards success.