For months, the world has unfortunately been experiencing an accumulation of unprecedented and simultaneous social, environmental, economical and human challenges. For retail players, and maybe even more for medium size and local players in developing markets, current concerns on top of the agenda today are practical: from how to get products on shelves to how to get customers to spend more.
It makes sense that Business Owners are much more concerned about how to solve the current, practical issues rather than reshaping their Merchandising or Category Management Teams.
Still, there are 3 reasons - with impact on both short and medium term - why the current period is actually a favorable time to plan how to leverage the power of data and analytics.
Difficult times always end. And when they end , all hands are on deck to capture growing trends: ordering, negotiating, recruiting, training…. Cutting trees when the fireplace requires wood is rarely a good timing.
As the activity is slowing down, this is actually the best time to map the changes we want to see happening. From data to team assessment to organizational design, from tool selection to criteria of success and ROI, these are the best times to do it. When the trends are back to growth, chances are that everyone will be too busy to satisfy customers to embark on a new project. On the contrary, a strengthened team, well equipped and well trained, will do miracles. And if the trends remain what they are, the gains in efficiency, margin and cash flow will create a better tomorrow.
Doing nothing might turn out to be costlier than a potential wrong choice.
This is often in difficult times that we can evaluate our strengths as well as our limitations. When limitations are acutely experienced, they also invite us to study them a bit more than usual, quantify how much they cost, and estimate how much further we could advance and progress if they were solved.
This process itself creates a positive dynamic that helps look forward. A limited ERP is the opportunity to move to the Cloud, a limited talent pool is the opportunity to give more space to capabilities development in the future and prioritize knowledge transfer, rising costs of data experts and Tech Specialist is the opportunity to investigate the benefits of expert solutions, etc.
Considering and working on the project will, by itself, create a few wins. Among them: A clearer understanding of the solution and the practical deliverables the organization requires, a mapping of the next organization capabilities improvement and prioritized alternatives to current limitations.
And as a few Team members will probably be associated with this project, the motivation’s "halo effect" it will generate is a real gift during challenging times.
Now is the right time to consider bringing Category Management to your next level for your Teams and Customers, and be ready for the next - and probably different - waves of growth.
Hypertrade is a category management solution provider that specializes in helping retail players Teams in developing economies make sense of their data. The value we deliver is as much in the tools we set up as in the knowledge and expertise we transfer to Teams throughout execution.