As a CPG brand, chances are you constantly predict future volumes by applying base and lift factors to forecasts. While these plans are mathematically accurate, in-store execution can significantly change the outcome. When the process is not optimized as a whole, with the consumer at the center and the consumer experience as the main objective, then projections cannot be realized.
Phase 1: Find and fix channel correlation
Do you run in-store execution (merchandising activities, compliance checks and product re-stocking) in a disjointed fashion from the rest of the value chain (order, delivery, manufacturing, shipping, etc.)? For example, how are questions like the following answered?
- Do we have enough product to re-stock?
- How can I prepare my field sales personnel to tackle a digital promotion?
Each organization channel has unique questions like these and therefore needs to access timely, relevant data, presented in a way oriented to their specific needs, or a single version of the truth.
Here’s an example
A summer buy-one-get-one-free campaign is running in more than 10,000 stores simultaneous to ads and virtual coupons running through Facebook.
- Is the promotion being executed consistently and correctly?
- Are products being restocked in a timely manner to ensure that the coupons can be honored?
- Is the promotion successful in all locations?
- What factors are influencing the results?
- What’s the ROI?
These questions and others can be answered if a CPG can provide each channel with a single version of the truth through automation. By automating the consolidation of relevant system data delivered through multiple channels and processes, data is provided without distraction or overwhelm, and presented in a manner that can be executed on.
Orchestration across the value chain is now enabled through an automated and repeatable application environment so process owners can determine who receives which data, identify potential gaps, create insights based on available information, and empower chain participants to excel in each step of the process, thus, resulting in increased sales.
Phase 2: Max out time in-store efficiency
Once your organization has reached execution maturity as demonstrated by “doing things right,” then it’s time to “do the right things.” But what are those right things?
An obvious answer is to focus on activities that drive the highest level of in-store efficiency, but this approach would leave quite a bit of money on the table. Fine tuning at this juncture is required where each store will have unique requirements based on its own leverage points in terms of:
- sales volume,
- layout, and
- an endless number of combinations.
Those responsible for plan delivery and execution must be able to define, configure, measure, and repeat in-store standards that can be easily deployed to a reasonable level of granularity. In this sense, each organization should have multiple “pictures of success”. Using those pictures of success, companies can prioritize the actions that will have a greater impact on store volumes while focusing the field personnel on executing those activities.
For example, ensuring an adequate distribution and positioning of products on the shelf will reveal opportunities for additional shelf space to be acquired such as in a special season. To achieve the ultimate level of efficiency, companies can apply high-end technologies such as Digital Image Recognition or Artificial Intelligence where the increased expense is offset by the real-time value generated at the shelf by making “in visit” decisions.
Think strategy straightforward
Most often, less is more. Focus on key points to measure and improve, rather than trying to execute many actions in the store, not knowing which of the actions are generating positive outcomes. Devise a simpler approach to in-store visits, with the major goal categories being:
- time efficiency,
- volume/revenue/margin outcomes, and
- share of shelf in each and every available space opportunity in the category.
Leverage technology to sell more
But technology alone will not bring the benefits you expect if it is not accompanied by a revision of the surrounding processes. Ultimately, change management procedures are expected when you implement high-end technology solutions. To succeed, identify a partner that will provide the:
- knowledge, and
- people to understand your core processes and further enable success.
We help you sell more
Schedule a demo of our solutions today to discover how AFS can provide immediate value to your business.