Beyond the Awning
How Southport helped a major grocer modernize its analysis
Case Study: International Grocery Corporation
Project: A revamped business intelligence environment
Data: The bread and butter for grocery retailers
Few consumers realize the complexity of the system it takes to get food and groceries to their local store and how those items are priced once they hit the shelves. We simply make our list, grab the latest coupons, and assume everything we need will be there. But how do those products get in the store and what’s the strategy behind the discounts and deals and coupons?
The most successful grocers make all these decisions with the help of the best analytic tools on the market.
Old-fashioned tools mean analysis with a short shelf-life
Prior to engaging with Southport, our customer, a European grocery corporation, relied primarily on grid reports and spreadsheets. Gaps in the data forced representatives to rely more on relationships than concrete numbers to negotiate contracts. Antiquated systems were also responsible for poorly monitored loss of inventory and weak store operations. The company was having a hard time finding answers to questions like:
- How are core brands performing in my stores? In competitive stores?
- Are we running successful promotions that maximize our profit and deliver the right products to our customer base?
- Are we minimizing our waste and theft?
- Do our district managers have the right tools to use on-site?
An appetite for information
Our customer needed to find ways to maximize profits from their top product vendors by analyzing market share and reconciling it with their existing contracts. They needed to find ways to reduce “shrink” inventory losses. They needed to give managers the right tools to supervise store operations.
Previous attempts to implement business intelligence tools had been fruitless so the company suspended all efforts until they could figure out how to move forward. Then they found Southport.
Going to market with the right tools
We kicked off our project by launching a thorough business assessment to find out precisely which questions needed to be answered, where the data was weak, and what our customer’s dream scenario looked like. Then we delivered it.
- We built tools that measured sales for high volume “A brand” vendors and compared it against overall performance in the marketplace.
- We delivered the ability to monitor and minimize “shrink” – due to damage, spoilage, underpromotion, or theft.
- We streamlined reporting and designed useful dashboards to provide quick views to store managers
A recipe for results
Thanks to Southport, the company can negotiate better contracts with vendors who supply top products from companies like Kraft, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, Unilever, and others. They can make quick decisions to offer special pricing, coupons, or “buy-one-get-one” deals on their merchandise. Managers can see reliable, timely reports via easyto-read dashboards and can spend more time in their stores instead of at their desks.
And they realize that good data, strong tools, and capable partners are the key ingredients in building a business intelligence program that works.