Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Point of Sale Data - Not used?

One point of discussion among distributors across all lines of trade comes under the heading of POS data. Distributors find themselves being muscled into providing POS data which is expensive (because every manufacturer wants it done differently) and distracting. In a recent informal poll conducted by this office, most distributor sales managers could think of just one or two suppliers who provided them with a reasonable clue that POS data was being used for anything worthwhile. A recent survey completed by Pembroke Consulting backs up this largely anecdotal story.

Distributors and their partners need to get together on this. Sending data "over the wall" where it is not properly used is only friction in the channel. AHTD, PTDA, NAED and a number of others have developed POS guideline models that need serious consideration.

A survey recently completed by Pembroke Consulting uncovered a "surprising number" of companies, still using manual systems for collection and analyse of sales data. They looked at the practices of more than 100 technology, manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies. Though these companies sell 80% of their business through distribution channels, more than half have yet to automated channel data.

The channel data automation study, asked managers and executives - their most common data management problems:
  • Receiving incomplete data from (their) indirect channel
  • Basing future sales plans on ‘best guess’ estimates”
On average, these companies have more than 165 distributor and other channel partners.

The study also found that, among companies who manually process data:

  • 72% frequently or very frequently discover discrepancies between internal sales data and the data collected from indirect channel partners
  • 72% said sales data is frequently or very frequently not ready quickly enough to be used for sales planning
  • 78% frequently or very frequently makes sales plans based on “best guess estimates” rather than actual sales data


Adam J. Fein said...

Thanks for taking note of my new study, Frank. I'll be talking more about it on my blog in September.

In the meantime, your readers can download the complete report for free: A Cross Industry Study of Channel Data Automation.

Adam J. Fein
Pembroke Consulting, Inc.

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