Valeo Foods Group Case Study
Valeo Foods Group Case Study
About the client
A leading international food business, Valeo Foods Group employs 4,500 people and operates across 106 global markets. 13 of its 85 international brands are the market leader in their category, and the group’s diverse portfolio includes a range of historic names such as Kettle, Metcalfes, Barratt, Poppets, Lion, Kings Elite Snacks, Wild West, Rowse, Jacob's and Balconi.
With annual unit sales of 600m and revenues of €1.2 billion, the company has grown rapidly since its founding in 2010, acquiring 18 prominent food businesses and developing more than 170 new products during that time.
- One day per week saved thanks to the automated collection and curation of retailer data.
- Additional time savings realised via personalised data feeds and simplified reporting.
- Deeper understanding of promotional effectiveness, facilitating better informed and more productive conversations with retail partners.
- Integration with applications like Power BI enables vital information to be shared quickly and easily with key executives.
How SKUtrak saved Kelly's Mondays
“Every week, I was losing an entire day of my job. SKUtrak changed that - but that was just the start.”
For business development professionals like Kelly Holman, managing huge amounts of retailer data is a key part of the job. As a National Account Executive at Valeo Foods Group, one of Kelly’s main responsibilities lies in helping the company understand the performance of its snack foods at one of the UK’s largest retailers. It’s a task that, before SKUtrak, was costing her a vast amount of time.
“My Mondays would start with me turning my laptop on at 6am, just so that I could begin the process of downloading all of these huge spreadsheets from various retailer portals,” she explains. “From there, the rest of the day would be spent inputting data, creating and fixing various formulas, and making sure that everything was pulling through correctly. It would take up the entire day, every single week.”
Even with all of that time invested, Holman had little guarantee that she’d get the information she needed. Some retailers would be slow to upload their data, leaving her with little option but to continually refresh their portal in the hope that it would eventually arrive. Others still would just omit certain information; “we’d then have to get in touch with their supply chain contacts directly,” she says.
All of that changed when the company introduced Atheon Analytics’ SKUtrak in August 2022. Kelly had first come across the product in the form of its “Lite” version, available as a complimentary tool through one of Valeo’s retail partners. Working as a Demand Planner at the time, she was keen to understand how the company might benefit from access to the full suite of SKUtrak services.
“Pretty much right away, I knew that this was what we needed,” Holman continues. “With SKUtrak, we’d have the capability to pull in all of the information we’d need, automatically, without having to speak to anyone or go hunting for it.”
SKUtrak is a powerful analytics platform designed specifically for the needs of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Tapping directly into retailer portals, it collects data automatically, every single day - providing users with a complete, current, and coherent view of the flow of goods.
With SKUtrak in place, Kelly quickly got her Mondays back. More than that, however, the multi-access nature of the product put an end to time-consuming queries from the wider Valeo team, too. “Everyone has their own login,” she says, “so everyone has access to the data they need. It’s all personalised around their accounts too, and so people no longer need to come and ask me to produce their data for them”.
The user-friendly nature of SKUtrak has only helped to amplify that benefit, according to Holman. Pointing to some of the data portals that have been created by Valeo’s retail partners, she notes that there’s a night and day difference in terms of accessibility. “They’re often fantastic systems, but also extremely convoluted,” she notes. “With SKUtrak, if you want to build a report, you just select the information you want and it’s done.”
A breakout success
With SKUtrak rapidly proving its worth to Holman and her close colleagues, it didn’t take long for the wider Valeo business to notice the impact that the platform was having. Other use cases were quickly adopted, from the monitoring of stock levels through to promotional analysis, the latter of which has been particularly valuable, suggests Kelly.
“Promotions are critical for our business, particularly for the Kettle brand” continues Kelly. “We run on a three-weeks-on/three-weeks-off model, and our sales volumes are heavily dictated by that. Understanding how we perform across those periods is vital.”
Prior to SKUtrak’s introduction, Valeo was monitoring that performance using a variety of homemade analytical tools. These “basic spreadsheets” - as Holman describes them - were adequate, but lacked the kind of nuance needed to understand the truth behind a promotion’s success or failure. As with the company’s data collection challenges, SKUtrak’s impact here was transformational.
“With SKUtrak, we get a story about every promotion,” says Kelly. “Let’s say that one underperforms. Rather than sitting there wondering why, we can look at the data behind that promotion and find out. Maybe we’ve shorted a certain number of cases, which has then limited availability to some stores, and that’s the primary driver of that underperformance.”
“SKUtrak gives us that insight, and brings it together in a really clear way. So, if someone internally is questioning why a promotion didn’t perform as well as we expected, we can quickly explain why. Or, perhaps we’ll see that our service level to the retailer was 100%, but their depot didn’t deliver everything to the store. SKUtrak gives us another level of insight into what’s happening.”
Versatile and visual
While SKUtrak provides Valeo with deep insights right out of the box, the company has also been able to customise it around specific needs. Critical to this is the platform’s DataShare functionality - a service that allows an organisation’s data to be pushed out to the applications and analytics tools of their choosing.
“We’ve created a dashboard within Power BI that displays our data in the way that our Commercial Director needs it,” explains Kelly. “While it’s great for individual users to be able to see their own accounts, we also need that top-line number that speaks to our aggregate performance. DataShare and Power BI provide that, with the added benefit of being able to explore performance with different retailers as needed.”
That combination of immediate intelligence and deeper insights seems to serve as a good reflection of SKUtrak’s overall impact at Valeo. The headline facts are there for all to see, but so too is detailed information on stock, service levels, replenishment, promotional effectiveness, and more. In-depth analysis is never more than a few clicks away, confirms Holman.
“It gives you the complete picture,” says Kelly. “Stock, service, availability, shorts, promotional analysis, all of that information is there. But it also brings all of those things together. It links them, builds a story around them, and presents that story in a way that makes it easy to tell to others. It’s invaluable.”
“SKUtrak is helping us to have fundamentally better conversations,” she concludes. “We’re having better conversations with our customers, and better conversations internally. And because of that, we’re making better decisions too.”
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