Operating as a trusted partner
You and your retail customers benefit most from your trading relationship when you act as trusted partners. You are seen as a trusted source of advice when you can communicate clearly the insights that you discover from effective trading data analysis.
How can I get the best value from my customer relationships?
Modern retail relationships are powered by insight, information and data-driven evidence. This used to be the preserve of the big brands and category captains but with the insights that SKUtrak surfaces, every supplier should now strive to be a trusted source of advice, make complex decisions with confidence, and retail-friendly recommendations with certainty.
Buyers don’t have time to meet all suppliers regularly yet they are bombarded with new product proposals, promotion suggestions, and market analysis. They want to work with well-informed suppliers, who understand product performance - good and bad - and can use their understanding to help build category performance through objective insight. Account managers who can provide this level of understanding, with clear evidence presented in an easy-to-digest manner, quickly become trusted advisors to grocery buyers.
Supply-chain managers oversee thousands of products and cannot monitor every product in every depot and store every day, in their pursuit of optimal stock levels and order volumes. Retailer sales forecasting is often sophisticated and powerful but it isn't a crystal ball; it is not an infallible record of future events and needs to be interpreted as a guide in the context of recent and recurrent patterns. Sometimes you will know that stock levels are not quite right, or that forecasts just look ‘wrong’, whereas at other times you may have delivered everything that was ordered, and yet on-shelf availability isn’t what it should be.
- attempt to engage your grocery customers with too little, or too much information;
- rely on large complex spreadsheet models rather than coherent and relevant visualisations;
- drag your customer counterparts through 100+ page presentations; or,
- skip hard evidence to argue for your 'gut feel'
then your behaviour is working against you... if you want to build a valued, valuable relationship where your customers seek you out for advice, opinion and insight.
SKUtrak advocates and supports data-driven decision making and helps you to develop a rich understanding of trading patterns that you will use to offer insight, recommendations and proposals to your customers:
- The visual nature of SKUtrak reporting and analytics is perfect for that quick "I saw this and though of you" email that shows you have your buyer's interests at heart;
- The mapping of inbound (supplier-to-depot) and outbound (depot-to-store) service metrics helps you to understand and articulate why order volumes aren't high enough to meet availability targets;
- SKUtrak's centralised data store (DSR) provides a consistent collection of data across your major customers, mapped to your product, brand and category definitions, so that you can provide the same excellent service to all of them; and,
- The automated nature of SKUtrak means that you spend your time exploring, understanding and reporting on trading performance rather than collecting, organising and correcting the data necessary to do the job reliably.
Thorough use of SKUtrak helps you to ensure that distribution, orders and deliveries are optimised for the needs of your customers' shoppers and that you work collaboratively with your retail counterparts to ensure that decisions are made in the interest of those shoppers. As an ‘extra pair of eyes’, using the retailer’s own data, you help to drive your customers' thinking when it comes to decisions on forecasts, promotions and ranging.
The insights we provide allow retailers to make changes really quickly - which benefits both sides. As a result, we are working more collaboratively with our retailers and have seen an increase in orders, and on one particular product a treble digit increase in distribution
Watch the video:
Thatcher's Case Study
Listen to Martin Thatcher, MD and Chris Milton, Sales Director at Thatcher's Cider to understand how they have become a trusted, data-driven supplier to their retailers. They talk about how SKUtrak has helped them:
- Build collaborative relationships with their retailers
- Increase sales
- Avoid potential problems from happening
Getting heard as a supplier
Read this eBook to find our 3 key tips to help suppliers be heard by retailers.
Think like a buyer
Read our blog to see how you can help your buyer hit their targets.
Improving retailer collaboration
Representatives from a mix of supermarket suppliers joined us to discuss how using SKUtrak can help collaboration.