Nearly one-thousand years ago, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said this:
“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.”
While it may not be the application he intended at the time, Marcus Aurelius described perfectly the business strategy that drives success in an era where data is king. That is, data consoldation.
Employee schedules, client info, inventory levels, and more--to many small and medium businesses today, data collection has become second nature. It was just a decade ago when only huge businesses found analytics to be an affordable and useful option.
Data consolidation has become more important and simpler than ever before. Cloud-based storage has taken much of the legwork out of data collection, especially benefiting those in the following industries.Today there exists a plethora of cost-effective software options for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and it is quickly becoming apparent that leveraging the right kind of software can level the playing field. While these data collection software packages are useful on their own, to rise above the competition businesses will need to consolidate all of their information.
1. Luxury Goods
Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry--these are three of the most prolific luxury brands in the world. To rise above their competition, stay relevant, and expand into new markets, these companies collect data on their competition, market trends, and the effectiveness of their retail placement. Collected data is not useful until it becomes applied data.
Understanding the impact that market trends and certain retailers have on an organization allows luxury goods brands to take preemptive measures towards preserving their brand value. Luxury handbag designers don’t want their products in retail locations which consumers perceive as cheap or commonplace. Exclusivity is one of the main draws of luxury goods. Because of this, luxury good manufacturers need to balance their brand image and continue to drive sales across multiple locations. Data consolidation makes understanding the current and future situation of a brand much clearer, and for trend-setting luxury goods manufacturers, predicting the future is a necessity.
2. Medical Suppliers
Far from the trend-setting business culture of luxury goods manufacturers, medical supply organizations use data consolidation practices to ensure that physicians are getting all of the equipment requested to perform their jobs properly. In the medical field, there is little room for error from anyone involved, and this includes the field reps who are taking purchase orders. If somehow a product is delivered to the wrong individual, physicians may quickly lose confidence in their suppliers and look to do business elsewhere. Managers of reps in the field can use tools like Field Activity Management Software to quickly collect and consolidate purchase orders from every client in the field. Staying organized is one of the primary benefits of data consolidation. For Medical Suppliers, organization and accuracy that comes through data consolidation is not an option--it is an obligation.
3. Third-Party Distributors
Delivering products to retail locations and setting up merchandising displays means field team managers are juggling a number of balls at all times. The daily duties of a distribution managers involves sending reps to correct locations, verifying that merchandising displays and promotional material are correctly displayed-even collecting purchase orders and performing retail audits to prevent the dreaded OOS situation. Using multiple programs to perform these daily functions is not only inefficient, it provides rival organizations with a distinct competitive advantage over yours. Being able to monitor employee location and combine that data with the other retail information gives a clear picture about who is performing up-to-par.
Data consolidation is certainly the organization of the non-obvious. For medical suppliers, third-party distributors, and luxury goods brands, looking at collective data is quickly becoming the new standard, replacing the old process of using multiple software packages. The sooner these kinds of organizations adapt a single, flexible, cloud-based software package, the sooner they will see victory over their competitors.
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.