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In the past, successful manufacturing meant spending months examining and testing every process to find innovative ideas and changes to implement.
Today, manufacturers can easily improve operations and efficiency using sales analytics. Research has shown that co-creation with sales analytics significantly impacts manufacturing practices.
Let’s take a look at how sales analytics can improve manufacturing processes.
This is the process of identifying, understanding and predicting sales trends and results while trying to find opportunities for improvement. Besides determining the success of a previous sales drive and forecast, sales analytics help determine how future sales will fare. Analyzing relevant data from different sources such as application transactions, surveys, and internal applications helps find relationships and opportunities the organization may use to forecast future sales.
How Sales Analytics Improve Manufacturing
Analyzing available sales data helps a company determine where it has missed opportunities and whether these opportunities can be reclaimed. Market research plays a vital role in this by comparing presented data. The field force also provides valuable assistance in informing the situation’s practicalities.
Analyzing the sales of own products, as well as those of competitors, is a crucial aspect of business. It is this analysis that gives insights into the market from a different perspective. This can help the company reach missed customers and grab missed opportunities by producing what may have been an overlooked product.
Sales analysis can also be referred to as customer analysis as it provides answers as to why a particular customer buys the product in a particular month. Knowing why a particular sales volume occurred during a specific time helps the companies anticipate inventory needs and production quotas can be allocated accordingly.
Foreseeing and meeting customer demand improves sales, burnishes the company’s reputation and creates repeat business as customers come to associate the company with ready fulfillment.
Analyzing sales data can also inform future decisions in terms of marketing activities, schemes to be rolled and inventory management, as well as changes in manufacturing processes. This analysis helps the management team make vital decisions when it comes maintaining or discontinuing product lines.
A company may decide to discontinue a product with immediate effect if its sales are not up to the mark. For example, with the increase in smartphone sales, pagers and other less capable personal communication devices were rendered obsolete. The most successful companies saw this coming redirected their efforts to smartphones. Those that did not (such as Motorola for example) were bumped from first-tier status and relegated to forever playing catch-up.
Sales analytics shows the current market trends of a company. After a certain activity, sales analytics may indicate a drastic sales increase of an earlier product, showing that it was not the product but rather a lack of awareness, which hindered sales realization. During festivals, sales of certain products may increase only to decrease seasonally. When production takes this into account, warehousing costs and the potential for obsolescence are mitigated.
Certain product sales may require one-time marketing support, multiple times, or seasonal support. Sales analytics helps in making such decisions. E.g., a cough syrup would require marketing just before and during winter, while airline services need constant marketing support.
Forward-thinking manufacturers are using sales and marketing data mining to uncover hidden relationships and trends within the data. These trends are then used to provide more accurate forecasts of customers’ needs and wants, which in turn can be employed to dictate production requirements.