Stepping Up Your Retail Analytics
By Olivia Drexler, ERS Intern
Where Current Analytics Fall Short
Navigating the performance of a retail business can be difficult when there are so many data sources to keep track of and act upon. The most beneficial reports are those that provide actionable insights that detail the strengths and weaknesses of the business. However, the effectiveness of those insights may be hindered by a lack of expertise on the part of the report builder. For example, many companies rely solely on their own in-house teams to analyze and interpret high volumes of data. They don’t have the benefit of industry best practices or specialized expertise. Oftentimes they lack process or a relational database in to integrate, utilize or optimize data effectively. Small or under-resourced companies are also at a disadvantage. Their planning teams spend all their time doing grunt work collecting raw data, rather than generating actionable insights from the data. Eventually, they reach an inflection point where their current system can’t meet their needs. As a result they turn to companies like ERS to find a more efficient solution.
Support Starts at the Top
When a company identifies that they need to improve their POS and inventory analytics, the next step is garnering support for making a change. That generally requires support of an executive sponsor- who makes the initiative a priority. Most of the time the desire for change comes straight from the top which streamlines the process. Other times it happens when the planning team voices the need and they find themselves in a position fighting an uphill battle. In this scenario they have to lay out the benefits and expected return on investment to get management to listen. The need is simple: bringing in a solution that relieves some of the grunt work and unlocking the team’s analytic skills. ERS can teach, guide and complement the existing planning team and give them the tools to get the job done.
How ERS Can Help
ERS has over 18 years serving manufacturers, retailers, distributors and brands in a variety of product categories. They have optimized the gathering, integrating, validating and interpretation of POS data. With an ERS solution, the burden of data collection and report building is lessened or removed, allowing companies to more effectively assess the overall health of their business. The reports and planning functions ERS provides are not only the numerical and sales data, but include specific recommendations to improve future sales and efficiency. The transformation of data to actionable solutions can help to understand consumers’ shopping habits, improve inventory decision making and allocation, and more accurately forecast future sales and inventory needs. This level of interpretation is not something that can be found as part of most POS reporting platforms and this is what makes ERS’s team a unique advantage for companies.