Distributors have used analytics in their businesses for decades, but the options available today are very different than they were 20 years ago. To paraphrase the old Oldsmobile ad campaign: These are not your father's analytics.
Today's analytics can provide a significant competitive advantage for distributors, according to Tom Gale, president of Industrial Market Information. "There is a gap that's been taking place over the last several years with companies that have really started to adopt analytics," he says.
Gale is featured in the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing.
Back in the early 1990s, analytics were primarily used to improve internal operations, according to Gale. Distributors would analyze inventory levels and turns or use data to obtain specific certifications. Over the last 10 years, there's been a shift toward more predictive analytics, focused on improving pricing and profitability for distributors.
"The final frontier of that is really in market analytics, which is our sweet spot," Gale says. "What you're seeing is more companies are starting to adopt a more holistic approach to analytics and predictive analytics and really getting more sophisticated."
This final frontier allows companies to identify where the best sales potential exists in the market using internal sales and customer data combined with external benchmarking data. In other words, it helps identify how and where distributors could best deploy limited resources to get the largest return.
Hear more on the role analytics can play for distributors in the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing.