I sat down with an analyst at a consumer products company the other day, and had an in depth conversation with her about the process she goes through to export data from Retail Link and transform the data into reports for her management. I’ve been working with Walmart vendors for a long time, so I have a good awareness of the effort that it takes to go from raw data downloads to finished reports, but this detailed conversation was an eye opener. There were 17 unique steps to get from point A to point B and they consume about 13 hours per week. The process starts on Monday morning and reports are distributed to management before lunch on Tuesday morning. Management reviews the reports and then typically sends follow up questions and requests for detailed drill down as the week progresses. One weeks cycle runs into the next week’s, and on and on it goes. If you’re shaking your head and saying, “yep, that sounds just like my job”, maybe you can take some satisfaction in knowing you’re not alone. Keep up the good work, knowing what’s’ happening at the point of sale is critical and your efforts are making it happen.