How are vendors still in the dark about what happens to their products once they leave the shipping dock?
While interactions between manufacturers and their channel partners have largely remained unchanged for decades, the business world is now entering a transformative stage.
Powered by cloud-based applications that can quickly process information and deliver rich results in order to reduce guesswork, a new breed of data-enabled companies is being created that are surpassing their rivals.
Why manufacturers have conducted business, year after year, without adequate intelligence about what happens to their products once they leave the shipping dock is inexplicable. In an industry that demands so much from its internal data, downstream details are instead accepted as being incomplete, sporadic, and inaccurate. In a technology products economy estimated to be around $5 trillion in indirect sales worldwide, this lack of information can only cause problems for those trying to innovate and excel.
With intelligent and reliable sell-through data available to them, manufacturers are better aware of inventory levels by region, the products being shipped, and their final destinations. When inventory needs to be moved or repositioned in the channel, shipments can be made sooner – with less fuss and expense. This kind of information is critical with fast moving technology products, particularly where new versions and updated models are frequently introduced.
At one time, and it could perhaps be argued that this was why vendor channel audits became popular, the lack of visibility and market intelligence from channel partners actually served to undermine existing business relationships and negatively impacted revenue streams as organisations were too slow to react to market demands, or were simply unaware of them. Today, companies need more dynamic, comprehensive, and up-to-date POS reporting, granular details on inventory, financial data on events and promotions, activations, consumption, and asset tracking to keep up with the competition, let alone get ahead of it.
Channel Data Management (CDM), a relatively new concept on European shores, is disrupting old fashioned ways of collecting data in order to address these exact business issues. CDM is essentially the indirect channel’s equivalent of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), predominantly used for direct selling. CDM facilitates the flow of critical intelligence between manufacturers and their channel partners – enabling both parties to ultimately benefit from focusing efforts in the right areas, as dictated by statistics rather than guesswork. For channel partners, providing regular and accurate sales information via CDM technology to manufacturers ensures that the payments that are due for market promotions, incentives, and rebates are accelerated as the data provided is instantly more accurate.
Amazon, Google, and Uber are just a few brands that make up a well-known group of disruptors that have upended entire industries. They invented groundbreaking new ways of conducting business, leaving traditional competitors scrambling to catch up.
Zyme is confident that Channel Data Management, delivered as a cloud-based SaaS solution, promises to do for manufacturers and their partners what earlier disruptors have done within their own market segments. Manufacturers that already use a CDM solution are successfully achieving a 54 percent reduction in the average time-to-pay incentives to partners. Surely, this is a compelling concept all round?