In the world of retail, analyzing data and metrics has become essential to keeping ahead of competition and balancing details to stay profitable. No more can you run a retail business on second-guesses or hunches since the retail market is more competitive than it ever was.
With that in mind, do you know how to take control of your retail data and insights so you can turn it into something useful? Setting up analytics isn't always perfect, especially when having to gain information from multiple sources.
It helps to have a consolidated platform from a third-party who can manage it for you. This way, you get a more thorough picture of what's happening between your retail store and suppliers.
Here's some tips on how to make it happen, including how real-time analytics matter more than anything in today's more challenging retail market.
Analyzing Supply Chain Scorecards
Through a real-time analytics solution, you can get features like supply chain scorecards that provide the most comprehensive view of direct store delivery performance both from a retailer and supplier perspective.
You'll have the opportunity to see more detailed metrics that impact your trading partners and your own top line sales performance. While you'll have quick access to your total sales, you'll get into areas that help you make smarter decisions for the future.
Some of the above include clear metrics on your sales trends, gross margins, sales forecasts and inventory. In retail, looking down the line is essential to see any potential road bumps. With all of this available in a centralized web portal, you and your partners can access it all 24/7.
Analyzing Your Orders and Replenishment
How many years have you had to accept out-of-stock situations because you didn't have full access to POS sales, orders, fill rates, actual deliveries and service levels? Order and replenishment analytics bring you complete metrics on what has been ordered but hasn't arrived, and the cost associated in lost sales.
No more will lack of data and the tools to analyze it be a burden on your joint business performance. With this shared visibility, both retailers and suppliers share essential trading data to set benchmarks to measure performance, establish accountability and improve overall inventory planning and execution.
With visibility to POS sales at the Store and UPC levels, suppliers can generate more accurate orders and refine their forecasting methodologies to best meet the demand of their retailers. In stock position is improved, and customers are delighted at the shelf when their favorite products are consistently available.
Managing Your Inventory
Trying to prevent future stock outages is just as vital, and not all metrics let you look at this thoroughly. Now you can by studying your inventory on hand, how many days of supply you have left, as well as your in-stock and return percentages.
The ability to view inventory at the UPC level not only allows trading partners to identify potential out-of-stocks before they happen, but also identify excess inventory areas that burden store staff and lead to shrink and out-of-code product losses.
This also provides suppliers with the ability to better forecast future demand by incorporating current inventory levels in their demand planning processes, and even take advantage of recommended order quantities that can be generated by a comprehensive analytics solution.
Understanding What Stores Are Selling
DSD Visibility can also provide insights into where products are not selling, but should be. Often products lose distribution or never make it on retailer shelves after a reset. As available, store planograms and authorized lists can be integrated into this centralized portal to identify exceptions and ensure all sales opportunities are addressed.
Suppliers also want to know what stores are selling to get an idea on which retail markets to tap. Analytics can help with this through a product search to view how well an item sells in various retail environments. It provides a percentage of store penetration and what the opportunities are per store - including overall sales potential.
The productivity of Promotions can be greatly enhanced by ensuring sufficient inventory quantities and displays ahead of any price reductions. This allows suppliers to better evaluate promotional spends vs. budget and retailers to support only the most impactful events that will drive traffic to their stores.
SEE ALSO: iControl's Latest Release of its Enterprise Data & Analytics Portal Features New Promotion and Loyalty Card Reporting
Expanding DSD Visibility at the Enterprise Level
iControl offers a DSD Visibility portal that can be expanded to a more holistic solution offering a 360-degree view of the retail supply chain. This Enterprise Visibility solution includes key reporting such as item and promotional performance, promotional planning, business reviews and even market basket analysis .
All of these prove how many angles you need to look at in order to gain a more dimensional picture of how your retail business performs today. Because data can be shared, it makes partnerships work on a symbiotic level that only creates more collaborative and lasting working relationships.