Consumer durables companies around the globe are going through a phase of digital transformation. Many have successfully implemented a decision support system with the help of robust customer data management and its analysis. But still, a majority of these companies are looking backward at their data, as what has happened rather than what will happen.
With this approach, they do not fully harness the potential that analytics solutions offer. With the application of predictive analytics in consumer durables, companies can make smart business decisions impacting their inventory management to supplier effectiveness, customer segmentation to increased sales, and cost reduction to increase bottom lines. This shift can truly differentiate those in this industry as innovators and tread ahead of the competition.
In an ultra-competitive industry like consumer durables, the adoption of Business Intelligence and analytics will be the factor that will drive the company forward.
Marketing & Sales Analytics
Today, companies have customers' data, which they can leverage to view and evaluate, how their customers will purchase (omnichannel), what they will purchase (Product mix) and when they will purchase (predictive analytics). It has been enabled because of the information that these customers leave behind. Never has this purchase profiling capability been so conceivable as today.
Companies can leverage this information to model (predict) the consumer affinity for any particular segment of their offerings. Once they have this information the customers can be enticed with relevant offers either through email or promotional messages or in-store sales personnel to quickly close the loop.
Sales analysis highlights what products are trending across different retail stores. Insights from this exercise can drive inventory and shelf space management decisions. The power of near real-time analytics allows more effective collaboration between sales, marketing and supply chain management.
Sentiment Analysis requires analyzing a large amount of data generated in the digital space. Given the millennial’s propensity to update their social status and opinions with everything (from products they love to the advertisement that they didn’t like and why), it is a treasure trove to identify trends.
Promotion Channel Analysis can lead to insights on the channels that are working in favor of the consumer durables players. Basis this, a highly prioritized advertisement and promotional spend strategy can be formulated thereby improving returns from these campaigns.
Apart from all these benefits, a sales analytics solution can help decision-makers maintain visibility on primary, secondary & tertiary sales data with intuitive dashboards. It can also help them identify any cross-sell or up-sell opportunity and target accounts for amongst the customer base.
Efficient Inventory Management & Lean Supply Chain
Efficient inventory management is critical for any industry because of the storage or opportunity cost attached to it. With analytics, consumer durable companies can identify an optimal inventory level. This will result in cost reduction opportunities across the value chain. That is the reason why supply chains and logistics make up for a significant chunk of any consumer goods manufacturer. Hence, comprehensive supply chain planning and analysis of the steps involved is key to make the most of this spending.
It requires organizations to consolidate data from ERP systems. With predictive analytics, a consumer goods provider can ascertain the demand by factoring in demand-supply economics. It can provide guidelines to vary safety stock levels, predict product shelf-lives, lead times and cycle times from the suppliers, and share-of-wallet for the different products.
Demand Forecasting is also very crucial for businesses and can be done through analysis for historical sales data. With scenario analysis, the decision-makers can factor the impact on sales due to seasonality, any marketing or sales promotion campaigns or any competitors’ activity.
Data Analytics solutions can act as a true decision support system while making sourcing decisions. They can help reduce total delivery costs by evaluating and managing transportation profiles, outsourced partnerships, and delivery types. Also, the platform can increase productivity associated with accurate receiving, picking and shipping, labor utilization, and throughput velocity.
Financial Analysis For P&L Management And Reporting
With the help of analytics solutions, executive dashboards can be created, showcasing the metrics across the whole array of processes and departments. With some simple drag and drop features, executives can play around with the data to add or remove parameters to create a balanced scorecard for their business operations.
It takes immense effort from the Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) team to collate all the details cautiously and present a holistic picture of the business health. With the application of financial analytics solutions, the teams will not only achieve efficiency but will also be able to reveal hidden truths to support the company goals.
Keeping a timely check on the Account Payables (AP) and Account Receivables (AR) is very critical for consumer durable firms. It helps them keep a check on payment schedules and default risks against partners across the entire value chain.
An analytics platform collates all the information in one place, removes duplicity and creates a true image of the company’s financials. It can help identify trends & bottlenecks through scenario-based planning & budgeting. Also, with a comprehensive financial report generated through a BI platform, decision-makers can get a multi-dimensional view of aggregated expense across categories.
Workforce Optimisation & Skill Development
The human workforce is a very integral and key element of any organization. The information related to performance, compensation, leaves, and others is recorded in every organization. With HR analytics, this information can be put to use in driving strategic workforce-related initiatives to save costs.
Using analysis throughout the company, top and bottom performers can be identified and then moved up or down. This could be used to plan the organisation’s future spending on training and development of the workforce.
With Analytics, compensation analysis can be done based on the appraisals and performance of the employees to create a fair and leveled compensation program, which is especially important for the consumer durables industry where a lot of representatives are on the fieldwork. Analysing absenteeism and performance-related changes can highlight hidden behavioral patterns and can help in the timely resolution of conflict to avoid attrition of key resources.
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Streamline Some Other Key Business Processes With Analytics
The product manufactured companies go through various stages before reaching to end customer. At each of these stages, a huge volume of information is extracted. This includes data from shipments (which tracks the journey from manufacturer warehouse to a distributor or retailer), sales information (at retailer POS), consumer surveys (collected on the field and consisting of qualitative & quantitative data), data when shopped online.
With predictive analysis built on these large and rich datasets, companies can deliver a significant impact on their bottom line. It leads to effective cost and pricing decisions across the entire product portfolios & channels and connects processes across the organization like never before.
Consumer durables is an industry very close to customers because of the dependency on these products in everyday life. This makes the timely resolution of raised queries and tickets very easy. It gives rise to a separate customer service department. An analytics platform greatly helps the stakeholders in the timely resolution of these tickets by flagging the outstanding queries after it crosses a certain threshold.
The analytics solutions help in benchmarking the company’s performance with market performance. It can reveal areas of improvement which would lead to enhanced category management practices to look at pricing, substitution, segmentation, and retailer/category performance using all available data sources for more complete and timely views of category market performance.
Improve your customer experience and design lean operations for your business with Predictive Analytics.
In light of dramatic changes in the consumer landscape, it has become imperative to track and predict customer behavior more than ever before. Being able to gauge that with the help of the information they leave behind, creates an insurmountable advantage.
An analytics system can pinpoint areas of concern like product defect ratio, demand & supply pull, and much more, allows stakeholders in making winning decisions. It helps in the efficient management of raw materials sourcing and quality, optimizing inventory, and understanding margins over costs.