Even though considering yet another solution for your company may bring about a sense of dread due to unfortunate experiences in the past, embracing change does not always have to be painful. While implementing an analytics solution may mean changes to the way you operate business, it also means that you will be taking steps in the right direction to gain the results you want. However, there is often a fear stemming from lack of transparency, challenges with fundamental practices and a history of past implementation being a drain of time and resources preventing analytics initiatives from reaching their full potential.
Going from having data to analytics functionality is not the primary problem that most people have, but incorporating it in operational practices poses ongoing challenges. In “Cracking the Operational Analytics Nut” featured in The Wall Street Journal, Tom Davenport of Deloitte reports business leaders as saying, “We have to get the analytics integrated with the process and the systems that support it.” It’s integration that is integral to achieving transparency.
Overall, building transparency is key to making sure that an analytics initiative can do its full job of improving processes and ultimately, ROI. Being open and clear about company goals and motivations, best practices and data, your company can create an environment of inclusion when it comes to managing apprehensions that will come if employees feel that analytics is something being forced on them. “They won’t employ analytical recommendations if they don’t trust them,” states the article. This is when a TPO solution comes into the picture because TPO encourages this transparency through accurate measurements and clear, objective results that can be used cross-functionally between sales, marketing and finance. Thus, you will experience a shift from justifying decisions based on undefined results to a data-driven collaboration maximizing your results and clearly defines them.
"Building transparency is key to making sure that an analytics initiative can do its full job
of improving processes and ultimately, ROI."
But while transparency is important, it cannot be reached without data integration because it’s the data integration that gives use the holistic view of our trade promotion effectiveness allowing for accurate, quantifiable results. When it comes to a TPO solution, transparency is built into the integration of POS, shipment and spending data. This in turn allows for accurate calculation of ROI and KPIs. Without this integration, you are limiting the understanding of your business and cannot analyze beyond the transactional level.
Furthermore, integration with existing systems is also key to promoting user adoption. It’s likely that there will be a rejection of systems that appear to add complexity and redundancy to existing workflows. However, a TPO solution should eliminate redundancy and simplifies practices through integration with an existing TPM or planning system. This not only affects the trade marketing department, but systematically improves processes cross-functionally for many departments. With the creation of one cohesive operation, a company can move its business forward to achieve the goals they set for themselves.
So, winning the analytics game is about the insights gained, the actions taken and the ability to manage the operational opportunities. The reason TPO is suitable for CPG adoption is because it facilitates integration, transparency and simplifies practices to get results. “But building an operational analytics system means integrating and changing existing architectures and behaviors, and that’s always the hard part. It’s well worth the trouble, however, to build applications in which analytics and smart decision-making are embedded in a company’s systems and processes.”
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