Companies only hire Third Party Merchandising businesses for exceptional work. The entire business model revolves around picking up outsourced work that the vendor wants off their shoulders. Since many companies have the options to build their own teams or hire other third party companies, Third Party Merchandisers must constantly look for ways to exceed expectations.
One way to increase competitive edge is to offer strategic merchandising execution through sophisticated data management, including contact information and retailer preferences to program objectives and employee schedules.
Having all of your data in one place is more efficient for companies. Time consuming activities like switching between interfaces, softwares, and operating systems can be eliminated. You could see your client list, retail locations, and activity records all in the same place. A number of mobile data collection softwares exist that can help you rally all your paper and digital data. Before implementing new software, take a quick look at important choices and considerations.
You have two basic choices here: custom or established software. According to this article by the President of High 5 Software, custom is 10 times more expensive than established software. Established, Cloud-based softwares not only have a much lower initial cost; since they have been field tested for user compatibility, businesses save countless hours on employee training.
To Third Party Merchandising field reps, having more time to do their specific duties like conducting customer surveys and tracking inventory, creates efficiency. While other kinds of field reps may solely work with the retailers, third party merchandisers are often working directly with the customer. This puts added pressure on the rep to perform at his highest level; so the easier his new software is to use, the better he will do his job. And when your rep is out there doing his best, your business will become more efficient, specialized, and sought after.
Defining Your Needs
What mobile data collection software you choose to run with will depend on the needs of your company. Third Party Merchandisers conduct continuous audits to measure the success of certain in-store merchandising strategies. You may want that data compiled by state, by city, or even by vendor. Being able to readily compare different strategies gives back-office managers a chance to see what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found strong correlations between companies who efficiently handled management errors had a clear idea of their financial profile. Choosing wisely with software means evaluating your business needs and goals and running with an interface that will quickly and easily deliver on them.
Knowing Your Wants
Beyond determining what software your business needs, you should also think about what your business wants. While there are a number of single purpose softwares that can help organize data into one place, there are software options that do so much more. Perhaps you want software with GPS tracking, allowing you to see the efficiency of your team’s travel choices; other features of Cloud-based mobile data collection software allow back-office managers to instantly send any piece of data to field reps to any device at any time. Successful businesses are proactive, looking into future solutions rather than just fixing current problems. Knowing what your business needs, but also what it wants, will put you ahead.
If your Third Party Merchandising business is up to its ears in paperwork or dispersed digital data, it may be time to think about leveraging mobile data collection software. Before making the switch, make sure you know all pricing options and how your choice will affect your business needs and wants. Once you determine which software is best for you, you can enjoy the benefits of having all your data in one place.
Erin P. Friar
Erin Friar is a Content Marketing Journalist Intern at Repsly, Inc. and is completing a Journalism degree at Suffolk University. She is a master of grammar and is passionate about creating fresh content to help foster efficiency and overall success in small businesses.