Big data and analytics have also been major drivers for the alco-bev industry when it comes to improving insights across the supply chain.
Article By- Saurabh Singh, Senior Vice President & Head CPG Solutions at Polestar Solutions
Given today’s scenario, every good business knows that one of the most important tools for making money is information. We need to look at the key drivers and trends shaping the industry as we move forward into a new era. In addition, we also need to look at how brands can leverage technology, especially analytics, to effectively capitalize on growth opportunities, and find solutions to its problems while enhancing the market appeal to consumers.
Adapting an Analytics-Driven Strategy for Success
Technology is driving change in operations and strategy – right from crop analysis to smartphones scanning product labels. Big data and analytics have also been major drivers for the alco-bev industry when it comes to improving insights across the supply chain. Having in place solutions to provide real-time insights can help identify the largest problems at hand and find ways to optimize production, maintain quality.
Some of the ways in which analytics can be used to address changes and emerging trends are-
Demand Forecasting Using Market Trends: By collecting statistical and behavioral consumer competition data points and powerful analytics and AI-driven engines on top of it, businesses can gain valuable insights to inform business strategy, remain proactive and expand production of beverages over time. This helps businesses to target more specifically the root cause and improve productivity.
Innovations in Product Design and Strategy: By using survey analytics, businesses can determine varieties of products that are more appealing to each demographic, resulting in better recommendations and increasing average deal size. Businesses can achieve a first-mover advantage by coming up with innovative offerings and providing offers to increase market share.
Optimized Supply Chain Operations: Supply chains are currently complex and intricate therefore, manufacturers/ retailers can use analytics to get a transparent, real-time overview of various variables to proactively prevent bottlenecks. Adopting such a proactive outlook, using data will help you keep your feet on the pedal; and handle the levers in the right way to keep an edge over the competition.
Identifying Best Performing Channels: With analytics, it is now possible to measure revenue versus costs to identify best-performing routes, track sales at restaurants or hotel chains, identify which venues are using smart-menus, etc., and gain better visibility. Instead of focusing just on volume, businesses can now focus on value, which is the goal!
Sales Performance Tracking: It is possible to devise appropriate incentives and rewards for sales representatives by analyzing performance data by region or category. Additionally, analytics can enable trend forecasting for new products/ brands that hit the market in time. Also, experimentation and results are becoming more visible with improving analytics. Businesses can now quickly look at the performance and make decisions.
Sales and Operations Planning Area: When the demand is more than supply, issues crop up around the procurement of raw materials, how much to import, when to import, locations to target, etc.; here analytics can help provide maximum insights.
Better Connected: Brands aggressively use social media to engage with consumers, and, having social media data can provide an edge by helping understand how consumers interact with the brand, plan product launches, etc. This encourages loyalty to the brand, which also has the potential to increase sales. It’s all about building relationships.
Brand Advocacy: Collect the right data on where the average customer is, their spending and purchasing habits, etc., and enable brands to roll out effective promotion/ marketing plans, measure results, and identify the best performing channels.
Agile and Smart Pricing Strategy: Companies can compare price points and determine how raising the price would impact sales. Additionally, pricing analytics can help optimize a business’s pricing strategy for maximum revenue. This helped many businesses to get to an optimum price point to deliver maximum value.
The Right Blend for the Alco-Bev Industry
When it comes to focusing on growth, companies are beginning to understand the importance of building capabilities around analytics, digitization, automation, etc. Analytics can enable companies to put in place a BI architecture, and in turn, reduce manual efforts, generate insights through analytics to make better business decisions, and improve internal business processes. Alco-bev companies can use marketing analytics and primary and secondary sales analytics to gauge the ROI and impact of marketing initiatives as well as surrogate marketing.
Additionally, when we look at operations and quality assessment, and analytics strategy can go a long way in helping run plants, raw material test analysis, blend inspection analysis, quality control, compliance, end of line quality analysis, hygiene assessment, and managing customer complaints. There are multiple visual and physical checks required across various stages, and because it is a restricted environment wherein companies are bound by various regulations, analytics can be extremely beneficial. Advanced analytics also helps businesses to centralize planning and strategies. With the silos of verticals in an organization, it is important to plan strategies centrally and make collective decisions.