Commercial teams within FMCG suppliers are facing an increasing challenge from retailers to make better use of EPOS sales data in order to make more informed, insight-driven business decisions.

But, says customer, category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne, the challenge is not made easier for many due to issues and obstacles that range from time-poor teams and a resource intensive challenge to there being simply too much data and not enough insight being drawn from it. Bridgethorne says that suppliers with between four and five account managers could be committing more than a week per month simply crunching numbers from different sources, when that data can now be provided in a fraction of the time and in a more easily understood visual format.

The company, which has launched a new Retail Analytics EPOS service, says retailers are craving insight-driven suppliers capable of making informed business decisions and offering added value thinking. Suppliers can now access EPOS data on all their own products in visual-led insight reports that will help their teams ask the right questions of themselves and of retailers.

“Retailers want access to suppliers that really understand mutual business performance and this new approach to EPOS data focuses on creating insight by interpreting data visually and highlighting performance trends,” explains John Nevens, Joint Managing Director, Bridgethorne.

“This will help suppliers optimise their resources and allow commercial teams time to focus on building sales opportunties. As teams will not need to spend time downloading disparate spreadsheets and trying to knit together data and draw insights from it, this will be a much more effective use of time.”

Through its new Retail Analytics EPOS Service, Bridgethorne can provide suppliers with the means to their turn data into actionable insight. A suppliers data is collated weekly from the top five grocery retailers and reports produced the moment EPOS data is available; users have the ability to drill down into the reports via user friendly easily understood interactive dashboards; access is available via a dedicated web portal, an offline desktop-based solution and a mobile platform, and reports can be easily exported into Powerpoint, PDF and Excel for account managers, category managers, brand managers and sales directors. Additional retailers and products can be added at any time making the service fully flexible to grow in line with sales

“Suppliers that turn data into insight can identify new range and distribution opportunities, evaluate promotions and sales trends, track price impacts, inform new product development, and improve forecasting and availability,” adds Nevens.

“This will deliver a better relationship between the supplier and the retailer, help suppliers better understand their own and the retailer’s business, make better business decisions, strengthen sales, improve business relationships and increase productivity.”

Bridgethorne works with FMCG and non-FMCG businesses to help them understand performance, opportunity and risk, fast through retail analytics. The company takes complex multi-dimensional data sets and through its powerful visual analytics software and intimate understanding of the supplier and retailer environment, it plays back information to users in powerful, and simple to understand reporting solutions.