This is one of the most difficult times to provide reliable and predictable data and analysis to your team. The situations you face in the industries you serve seem to be changing daily. No one could have predicted the exact changes brought on by COVID-19, nor can anyone predict the near-term outlook with any certainty.
However, decisions still have to be made and your best bet begins and ends with your own data. Quick decision-making has become even more important. Access to accurate data, tools for monitoring and business intelligence, data warehouses, data migration and visibility have become critical as distributors seek to maximize their profits under constantly changing conditions.
Even in ordinary times, our clients rely on data at all time to make good decisions and improve their businesses. Here are just a few examples of areas your business may see an increased need for data analysis.
- Estimating stock availability. COVID-19 has caused supply chain issues in many industries. Having good data about your own stock levels and availability can make a big difference in both sales and customer service. It may be tempting to overstock, but due to the unpredictability of demand it is not the best strategy. Analyzing data trends can help you prepare for fluctuations in demand while at the same time, freeing up cash flow.
- Working with important customers. Your customers are relying on you to help keep their own organizations running smoothly despite supply chain issues. In some cases, you may have contractual obligations to important customers. Just as the right data can help you manage your stock availability, it can also help you predict future needs and communicate lead and fulfillment times to customers.
- Sharing data. Your customers and your vendors probably don’t have the access to sales and product history that you have in your ERP system. As they attempt to navigate uncertainties in their own businesses you can add value to your relationship by providing valuable insight into demand and usage patterns.
- Modeling out new scenarios. Many of your customers are in the process of evaluating their future needs and potential pivots in their businesses. It is important to get ahead of the curve to model out new scenarios so you can continue to support them as situations change.
- Increasing e-commerce demand. The inability to meet face-to-face has caused on increase in the percentage of sales that most distributors are seeing in online channels. Analyzing your data can help you get ahead of trends by understanding which product lines, geographic areas and industries are switching to online sales right now.
Tridex Systems has helped many distributors develop and deploy data warehouses, business intelligence reports, KPI dashboards and more so that you can manage your business with accurate and up-to-the-minute data. You can spend more time on strategy and quick decision-making and less time running reports and manipulating data.