In recent years, business intelligence (BI) has become central to the operation of many successful businesses across the globe.
Many professionals would be aware of the benefits easy data analysis can have, as they are able to operate more efficiently across departments. However, there seems to be less awareness of the benefits BI can have for a company’s customer relationship strategy. We think it is high time that changes.
Making Figures Add Up
A company needs to have confidence in its figures for its customer relations to be successful. It is not uncommon that companies may get their figures wrong during the reporting process before they transition to BI. This can happen for many reasons, but a usual culprit is manipulations in spreadsheets where one or more formula may be incorrect. As a result, a company may have worked off false assumptions for long periods of time, resulting in seemingly inexplicable low profit.
Not only can good BI solutions like Phocas help avoid these types or errors, but the reporting process becomes far quicker. This results in managers and other employees using factual data to inform their actions, and doing so more often. This way companies can approach their customers offering standard prices, rebates and other arrangements at levels where both parties will benefit. Moreover, by having accurate data on a customer's buying behavior, your reps have a better chance at identifying new sales opportunities your customers will appreciate.
Collaborating With Customers
Using a BI solution like Phocas allows for data sharing between retailers and suppliers. Through the use of restriction features within the software, a business can provide its supplier with data relevant to them, without sharing sensitive information like profit margins or the performance of other suppliers’ products.
On the other side, there is also value to be gained from sharing data with customers. One Phocas client in fact provided each of their top customers with their own Phocas log-in, which gave them access to a sales database. Because restrictions were in place, customers were able to analyse their own purchases within Phocas, but did not have access to data not relevant to them.
An essential part of good customer relations is delivering on SLA’s (service level agreements), and not over-promising and under-delivering. Ideally, each order will be delivered on time and in full. Many wholesale distributors and manufacturers however know this is not always the reality. For retailers the same applies; you can run out of stock on a particular item or product line before new stock has arrived.
With Phocas, however, you can easily forecast and plan your stock levels, and avoid under-stock as well as over-stock. With a few simple clicks you can notice overall increases or decreases in sales for any item or product group over any given time period of time. You can also identify and plan for seasonal fluctuations in sales, and even variances by geographical region or sales rep are easy to spot. By planning stock levels well, you ensure you can deliver on your promises, and keep customers happy.
Learn more about which key metrics successful businesses are measuring, and how easy it can be with Phocas. Download your copy of our eBook ‘The top 7 KPIs a CEO or executive should know and measure' by clicking here, or on the button below.