In an industry rife with copious regulations, members of the food and beverage industry must carefully monitor quality and performance. “[L]aboratory data is mission critical inside any food manufacturer that relies on analytical testing for quality assurance, consistency, and compliance today, and profitable product innovation in the future,” writes Phocas customer Colin Thurston, the director of product strategy for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thurston further explains that real-time visibility is essential to operations, as early identification of problems within the supply chain, such as tainted raw materials, could save a company thousands or even millions of pounds. In this blog, we will discuss five ways Business Intelligence (BI) benefits companies in the food and beverage industry.
Benefit 1: Sales
BI allows your sales team to analyse customer buying patterns and market conditions to detect emerging sales trends quickly. With BI your team can create detailed customer profiles which identify their preferences, purchasing patterns, reactions to promotions, and more. With these insights, your team can leverage this data to make sales predictions, identify customers in decline, take action to retain those valuable customers, and take advantage of newly discovered sales opportunities. Having a clear picture of sales trends and opportunities allows more collaboration in marketing and management strategies.
Benefit 2: Marketing
By monitoring sales trends, your company can refine its strategic marketing decisions. With BI your marketing team can quickly identify your returns on promotional campaigns and analyse outcomes. By monitoring customer response, your team can customise your promotions and prioritise campaign efforts. Through refining your marketing strategies, your marketing department is now accountable for optimising strategies to produce the best ROI.
Benefit 3: Finance
Having a real-time view of your company’s financial picture enables your managers to get instant answers to income opportunities and cost concerns. Your executives and managers can view detailed information on your general ledger, profit and loss statement, and balance sheets. BI allows them to examine incoming and outgoing finances of the present and the past, break down revenue by location, and even drill down to individual transactions. This level of visibility enables executives to make fact-based decisions from an accurate picture of your company’s financial status. The ability to customise your dashboard enables you to track your key performance indicators for more effective financial oversight.
Benefit 4: Purchasing and inventory management
With better visibility, your purchasing department can drastically improve the efficiency of stock handling and reduce the loss of perishable stock. By identifying problem areas, you can make informed decisions on how much to order, when and at what price, enabling your managers to adjust pricing tiers to increase profit margins.
By isolating poor purchasing decisions, you can ensure your raw materials won’t become a wasted investment in dead stock. With BI your managers are able to monitor slow moving stock, inventory-to-purchase ratios, and stock turns, thereby refining your inventory management in the process. The result is a reduction in excess inventory and the costs to maintain it.
Benefit 5: Executives and Managers
BI dashboards provide your executives and managers with a comprehensive, holistic, and factual overview of your entire company. Armed with these facts, your executives use the data to guide crucial decision making. Your executives are also able to get a clear picture of each department’s productivity within the company. This insight enables your executives to set key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals and hold your teams accountable.
“We are now able to make decisions based on fact rather than intuition. We can drill down through the information to whatever we want and cross reference sales to customer, stock or sales rep. This is very valuable in terms of identifying opportunities or missed sales,” said our customer Doug Mateljan, Managing Director for Craven Foods,
After implementing BI, companies experience a new level of effectiveness in each area of their business. This translates to improved sales and profit margins, increased production efficiency, enhanced financial planning, and effective marketing strategies. With such overarching benefits, this is why food and beverage companies love BI.