Plugging Out-of-Stock Gaps in Consumer Goods

Despite years of research to root out inventory problems, out-of-stock in the distribution centers and sales channels is still costing the consumer goods industry billions of dollars. While some of the causes are self-inflicted, others are out of control of the consumer brands. This sets a huge challenge for the brand to figure out agile strategies to plug the varied gaps in the sales and distribution channel so as to minimize loss owing to such out-of-stocks. The primer reviews and provides some fresh ideas to contain out-of-stock challenges that consumer brands continue to face. Download Full...

Analytics in Consumer Goods

Even as leaders such as P&G and Amazon (in Retail) further embed analytics into the very fiber of the enterprise, consumer goods companies in general have yet to consistently connect strategy and organization design with investments in analytical tools. The result is an insight-rich, outcome-poor industry that struggles to demonstrate ROI on analytics investments. EKN’s Analytics in Consumer Goods industry benchmark is based on a survey of 60+ executives across a variety of consumer goods categories and business functions. Key findings include manufacturers’ inability to build upon early analytics maturity due to lack of clarity of strategic direction. The report includes a detailed maturity framework manufacturers can use to assess where they stand as compared to industry leaders such as P&G, as well as a prescriptive action roadmap to direct strategic action. Download Full...

Big Data in Consumer Goods

You’ve heard it before. A convergence of consumer, economic and business trends have led to dynamic changes in the consumer goods industry. Consumers are socially active, mobile enabled, always on, information hungry and more value conscious than ever before. Manufacturers operate in an environment of rising input costs, tighter regulations, increased supply chain complexity, and questionable marketing ROI. One such trend supposedly causing seismic shifts in the industry is the explosion of consumer and enterprise data, and the associated assumption that the analysis of this “Big Data” is, in and of itself, a desirable pursuit for manufacturers. In Edgell Knowledge Network (EKN)’s view, the fundamentals of the consumer goods industry are sound, and at an over simplified level not much different from the traditional view of what a consumer goods manufacturer needs to do to succeed. Design products in response to rapidly changing consumer needs and preferences (innovation, product development) Manufacture products quicker and at a lower cost (sourcing, manufacturing) Optimize the cost of delivering the product to the consumer (logistics) Fulfill demand with increased certainty and reduced cost – reduce stock-outs, optimize inventory holding (inventory management, retail collaboration) Build a stronger emotional connection with the consumer (customer development, branding, sustainability) Increase the return on marketing investment, including optimizing trade promotions (marketing, trade promotion) Undeniably, consumers and enterprises produce more data today than ever before. This data not only resides in enterprise systems but in a multitude of new data sources that include: Email inboxes Machine logs & customer service call logs GPS logs of your truck fleet The thousands of “likes” on each of your product pages on...