If you are selling products through a retail channel and your retail customers are willing to share POS data, you have a great opportunity to increase your sales and optimize inventory – if you can create an effective solution to manage a large amount of data and distill it into smart business decisions. This is where a dashboard can be a very effective tool.
In a recent article, Steve Pugh of Howard Products discusses how he is using dashboards to monitor sales at several thousand retail stores so he can direct buyers on the most effective purchasing strategies.
Here is an exerpt from the article…
Dashboards can be home-grown, using the graphing and charting capabilities of Excel spreadsheets, for example. There also are specialized software applications. Howard Products, a manufacturer of wood care products, recently contracted with Accelerated Analytics to install Accelerated Analytics, a Web-based dashboard application to monitor purchase order and sales data, in addition to inventories.
The process “allows us to quickly come up with exceptions reports showing when our customers’ inventory levels are too low,” said Steve Pugh, VP at Howard Products. Pugh said he can immediately identify quick-selling stores or regions, or even individual products.
“I did that just yesterday with a customer we rolled out nationwide,” Pugh said. “I can just hit a button and dump sales figures to a spreadsheet with colors, then direct it to the buyer saying we can do one blanket order to bring him up to speed.”
At Howard Products, there are different dashboards for different folks; generalized big-picture versions for top executives, team-oriented ones for regions, and job-specific ones for individual sales reps.