Burgeoning challenges naturally follow businesses. The question is, how do companies manage these challenges? Oftentimes, the data will tell us in which direction we should make a decision. Distributors that struggle with gathering their data to make their next move also fail to understand what areas of operation are causing them the most time and harm.
In order to recognize these faults, distributors should lay down a foundation based upon data analysis and forecasting. Companies that do so find they are able to manage their existing business while also predicting new business. What is the secret to success for these companies? Here are three common obstacles that distributors are dodging by having their data do the hard work for them.
1. Managing the sales team
Being a salesperson isn’t easy. Managing a sales team can prove to be even more difficult. While having to shift between working in the office to working on the road, a major road block for many is not having data at the ready. In order to get their next deal, your sales team members must have access to the resources they would normally have at their desks. A job that requires this level of versatility needs a flexible technological backbone to support operations. Enabling the use of mobile technology puts your sales team on the front line of defense. With all of their data accessible conveniently at their fingertips, they are now able to create the link to easily analyze reports and do their job.
2. Keeping track of customer orders
While you’re managing your sales team, you’re also managing their client relationships. Do they have access to previous purchase history reports? Is the information accurate and meaningful? In a case study from Lipman Brothers, the company was struggling with knowing exactly who it was selling to and to what capacity.
With over 2,000 popular brands, the company knew its products were selling but “users were still spending a lot of time customizing their view of the information or sifting through the data to retrieve a specific number” in order to draw reports. By being able to quickly sort through its data in various areas including brands and suppliers, the Lipman Brothers team was able to make decisions based on the hard numbers presented, ultimately saving the company time from having to dig through meaningless data.
An organization with a strong analytics backbone isn’t exclusive as to who benefits. Managers are also able to get an inside look as to how their sales team is performing by being in the field with them. With access to individual sales incentives, managers are able to see how each individual is utilizing data and whether or not they are reaching goals.
3. Inventory forecasting
What is the bridge between your sales team and their clients? The product that they are selling. Georgia Crown, a full-service beverage distributor, sought a solution that would aid the functionality of its internal and external operations. With analytics, the company was able to analyze its numbers and inventory in multiple combinations, so team members could pinpoint what products were at peak performance during certain times throughout the year.
Alan Walker, Vice President of Technology for the company believes in the power of grasping the forecast period as, “suppliers are able to see how they are doing in sales, as well as how many cases and bottles have been depleted that month, they can access more than 100 different reports, which they can then slice and dice as they want.” By choosing the right inventory forecasting tool, your company can feel confident in predicting consumer trends by meeting their demands with accuracy while spending more time in other areas of the business.
What can your organization do to avoid these hurdles?
Getting ahead of these challenges begins with equipping your team with the right analytics tool that fits their needs. A mobile analytics application will empower your team to make timely decisions regardless of their location, but especially in situations where they would normally ponder their next move. Want to learn more? Visit our website.