For small businesses and entrepreneurs, it can be hard to appease the larger retail chains who require detailed reports and constant inventory management from their suppliers. CPG companies fighting to stay competitive need to look at what reports will be most useful to their retailer partners, and then figure out how to compile that information. Luckily, for CPG organizations, Field Activity Management Software gives field representatives the ability to collect data quickly and effortlessly, all while keeping within the realm of their regular duties. Here are the three reports that every manager should be asking for from their representatives in the field.
Merchandising Photos Compilations
Being able to provide photo-evidence of great looking merchandising displays is something that retailers want, and that field representatives can easily deliver with the right software and a mobile device. Merchandising displays highlight not only the product sold by suppliers, but are also a clear display of the amount of effort put in by reps in the field. It’s just as Lyn Falk, president of Retailworks Inc. puts it -- “A bad display can negatively affect all of the other good things you are doing in your store.” Creating a compilation of merchandising display photos taken from a number of locations gives managers and retailers confidence that there is an effort put forward to leave a polished display for consumers.
Purchase Order Reports
Managers should be constantly aware of new orders from their retail clients, and it is the job of field reps to collect those orders and report them in real-time. Field Activity Management Software makes this exchange simple and easy. Reps simply fill out custom forms created for each customer, which consist of product and quantity numbers. They then fill in discounts, tax, etc., and send the report immediately to their supervisor or manager who can act on it.
Retail Audit Reports
While managers should be conducting retail audits in order to protect their brand and company, most retailers will be very interested in viewing them as well. Performing retail audits means collecting pricing info, taking note of what promotions are running for products, paying attention to volume of sales, purchasing trends, and levels of stock, among other things. All of this information reflects not only on the brand, but also on the retailer who is displaying the product. Retailers will want to know if their employees are incorrectly pricing items, forgetting to display promotional material, or are otherwise underperforming. Managers and business owners need retail audits to maintain their brand image, pricing strategies, and to make sure that retailers are upholding their end of contractual agreements. If retail partners are not giving a product the correct in-store location, or are forgetting to run promotions that the organization has put in place, it may be time to have a talk.
Gathering data and compiling reports helps to build a strong case for organizational decisions going forward. While analytical decision-making was once a chore reserved for larger companies who had the resources and time to collect large amounts of data, mobile technology and affordable cloud-based software has enabled small business and entrepreneurs to compete on the same playing field in this regard. Asking employees to provide detailed information about both their activities and the activities of retail employees helps organizations to grow, and helps to build bonds with retail partners at the same time.
Cam Garrant is the marketing manager at Repsly. Passionate about delivering quality content and data-driven insights, Cam's interests include SEO, basketball, and bad jokes.