How much insight can supply chain staff get from data?

Data is important, but only if you know how to use it. While 67 per cent of CEOs surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers believe data and analytics are the best way of seeking better returns and engagement, many local organisations still aren't quite there when it comes to turning information into action.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the retail supply chain. At Cohesio Group, we've worked with countless businesses that were using disparate systems, or were capturing huge amounts of useful data without utilising it to the best of their ability.

The right data can enhance every step of the supply chain.The right data can enhance every step of the supply chain.

With our customised, data-driven solutions, any business can turn its information repositories into something with immeasurable value. Here's what that looks like.

1) Data helps retail service keep pace with online stores

Bricks and mortar retailers in Australia are under pressure from Amazon's entry into the local market. Further, Commonwealth Bank research shows that consumers are making fewer purchases, but spending more each time. It's getting harder to draw customers in, but retailers can use data to improve the customer experience and start growing their base.

For example, using the Ignito platform, retailers can get real-time updates on inventory levels across multiple stores or warehouses. This provides a level of visibility to both point-of-sale staff and consumers that they previously could only get online. Retailers can use data to identify stock locations, volumes and time frames to put it in the consumers hands. Additionally, Ignito can alert retailers to low stock of a particular item, and even automate the ordering of replacements.

It's a level of service and efficiency that just isn't possible without a big-picture view of your data.

Retail can enhance customer engagement through intelligent use of its data.Retail can enhance customer engagement through intelligent use of its data.

2) Data enables accurate stock levels

Does your organisation know the most commonly purchased pair of items in your stores? What about buyer history and behaviour, times that foot traffic spikes and specific parts of the store that people focus on?

You may have a vague idea, but properly utilising existing data can make this concrete, enabling high-end analysis and targeted campaigns. In a recent project, Cohesio Group enabled this idea through a Click and Collect system, where customers purchased online and secured the goods in-store.

Our solutions gave the client full visibility on the times customers made orders, when they picked them up and which stores sold the most of a particular item. This influences larger stock holdings in certain stores and targeted marketing at specific consumers, which in turns creates supply chain efficiencies and greater revenue.

3) Data creates new delivery options

Beyond the shop floor, data can help to streamline logistics and improve efficiency throughout the supply chain. We recently implemented a solution for a pharmaceutical retailer, which enables them to process consumer requests and instantaneously match them up with stock – not just in the store, but anywhere on the supply chain.

This enables the client to give customers a clear, concrete and instant answer as to when products will be available. Where previously customers wouldn't complete a sale as something wasn't in store, data now ensures that delivery can occur within a specific time frame, turning non-transactions into increased revenue and customer satisfaction.

Running low on stock? Data analysis can automate running orders.Running low on stock? Data analysis can automate running orders.

4) Data facilitates more upsells

The aforementioned customer analysis is critical for driving upsells in retail, particularly when used in conjunction with loyalty programmes. Cohesio Group's AI platform can analyse recorded information about previous purchases, and match this with customer behaviour in general.

From this analysis, the platform can make recommendations on potential upsells. It can identify shoes that people often buy with a specific jacket, or highlight how many customers are likely to impulse purchase items on display at the counter.

Further to this, you can leverage data to identify opportunities not taken. Items purchased in isolation are no longer just successful transactions – they become potential instances where you can increase revenue even more.

5) Data creates more efficient warehousing workflows

Too often, we work with companies that don't have full visibility or communication between storefront and the back-end warehouses. By utilising platforms like Ignito, you can leverage data to ensure that even at the very start of the supply chain, everything is happening with a distinct purpose.

With Cohesio Group, any business can get a fresh look at how it uses data.With Cohesio Group, any business can get a fresh look at how it uses data.

From in-store, our systems can notify warehouses when stock is running low well in advance, placing orders and ensuring the storefront is never long without critical products. Stock can be redirected from warehouses that have more on hold than others, while supplier receipt organisation and processing can be automated.

Are you getting the best out of your data?

From initial ordering to the final goodbye in a transaction, data can enhance the way your business operates. In most cases, retailers and suppliers have general ideas of the way their customers work, and will shape strategies around this. But without the hard data organised and processed in a meaningful way, you won't be maximising efficiency and revenue.

That's the difference Cohesio Group can make. We can bring together disparate systems, translate your records into actionable insight and improve processes across the board. In most cases, the data is already there – you just need the platform to transform it into insight. Ready to get started?