Business intelligence blog

    How to increase margins in your food distribution company

    The changing demand for organic, fair-trade or locally sourced products, as well as changing food industry regulations, are putting a strain on food and beverage distribution companies. Coupled with the perishable nature of many products and the power of major grocery chains, increasing  margins can be a challenge. Data analytics is proving to be a powerful way for food and beverage companies to predict changes in demand and respond accordingly.

    In this blog, we will discuss key strategies you can implement with data analytics to ensure that your company will meet these new challenges and prosper.

    Increase sales  

    Identifying new cross-selling opportunities is one of the quickest ways to boost revenue. Analysis of your customers’ purchase history will reveal which products customers should be buying but aren’t. You may find you have a customer who is consistently purchasing hot dogs and buns, but not the complementary condiments. Making a cross-selling offer to this customer is an effective strategy to increase revenue.   

    A critical, and often overlooked, strategy to increase sales is to prepare for sales meetings adequately. Due to time constraints, sales reps often go into their sales meetings with a cursory understanding of the customer’s needs. However, a rep may have only a few minutes to meet with the customer to secure a new order. Therefore, adequate preparation for the meeting is critical. 

    A high-quality business intelligence solution (BI) offers instant access to accurate information on a customer’s purchasing history in a matter of minutes. This way, your rep can go into a meeting armed with product suggestions and promotions that will meet your customer’s needs. With the mobile accessibility of Phocas, your reps can prepare for their meetings on the go. 

    Avoid and eliminate dead stock 

    Managing your inventory with greater precision will result in significant cost-savings. Raw materials that are on- site too long are in danger of becoming dead stock. Avoiding a warehouse full of dead inventory is difficult for companies that don’t have a solution in place to monitor their inventory levels. A BI solution enables you to monitor how much stock you have on hand, as well as the quantity of each product. This capability helps food and beverage distributors make informed decisions when managing diverse inventory. Full transparency enables your company to monitor each product’s lifecycle, comply with safety regulations and improve your forecasting. 

    Increase efficiencies

    Improving efficiency should apply to all departments for cost-savings. Reports, for example, are traditionally generated by the IT department. Once a report is requested, it can take several days for IT to deliver it. The data is often outdated by the time the reporting process, including asking for further detail, is complete, rendering the report of little value. This traditional reporting method gives little actionable insights given the nature of static reports. However, BI reports can be created and shared in a matter of minutes. Insights gleaned from accurate and up-to-date data can save you money and increase revenue. BI can also be used to streamline procedures and improve efficiency in other departments, as well.  

    Avoid risk with business intelligence

    Continuing to rely on outdated business solutions to run your food and beverage is risky.  These systems limit your ability to respond to an unforeseen shift in today’s rapidly changing marketplace like the forced shutdown of cafes and restaurants during the pandemic. Disruption can result in the unexpected expense of dead stock, delays in shipment, and poor customer service. Food and beverage distributors must have access to accurate, real-time insight into their business to stay on top of trends, control costs and improve purchasing decisions.  

    By implementing a BI solution like Phocas, you can monitor stock turns, slow-moving stock and GMROI, sales revenue and more by product group, manufacturer, product, territory, and store. With Phocas, you can minimize dead stock and save declining customers while identifying new sales opportunities. Accurate forecasting, refined inventory management, and an easier way to find sales opportunities are the secret ingredients necessary to increase your margins. 
    To learn more about how you can optimize your supply chain and improve your business with BI, click here or on the button below.  

    eguide-optimize-your-food-distribution-supply chain


    Written by Mike Grant
    Mike works with Sales, Finance, IT and Business Leaders who are keen to optimize their business intelligence and data analytics capabilities. He has helped many businesses drive sales and find opportunities within their data.
    Mike works with Sales, Finance, IT and Business Leaders who are keen to optimize their business intelligence and data analytics capabilities. He has helped many businesses drive sales and find opportunities within their data.

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