MarketForce for FMCG: Improved reports for better decision-making
At MarketForce, we make market visibility for consumer goods providers companies one of our top priorities, and strive every day to improve the way we can provide real-time market data to our clients. This month, we want to introduce you to our improved Reports Module for faster and more accurate decision-making. The Module has been designed on the base of three imperatives: easy-to-read tabs, great data visualization, and flexible views.
MarketForce is born to solve the challenges that come with a fragmented and informal retail economy like the African one. We know that one of the main challenges brought by such an economy is that consumer goods manufacturers and distributors do not have visibility on their market, which means they cannot influence it. This makes their decision-making slow and sloppy, their marketing budgeting inefficient, and their product availability under-optimized.
That is why one of MarketForce’s core objectives is to provide FMCG manufacturers and distributors with real-time market data on their customers, products, sales teams, and distribution channels. We do this by providing the field sales agents of consumer goods companies with a simple mobile app that they can use to place orders, manage deliveries and payments, collect market intelligence, and gather customer feedback. All the data collected through the app are immediately synced into a web portal accessible to the company’s managers and executives. This already solves the challenge of lack of market visibility, since with a simple app plenty of valuable market data is collected, without the risk of getting lost.
However, data collection is not enough. If the data is not properly organized, consolidated, and visualized, it becomes very difficult and time-consuming to analyze it and extract useful insight from it. In other words, it becomes hard to make the data truly valuable. That is why we decided to move MarketForce 360 a step forward, developing a module for advanced reporting and analytics, where all the data on products, customers, and sales reps are consolidated and represented in the most relevant way, in order to make it as easy as possible for managers to find exactly the data they need.
The Reports Module focuses on analyzing the sales performance of the company by the three most important parameters: product, customer, and sales agent. The Module is designed following three principles, as explained in the sections below.
If you either want to look at your company’s sales performance by product, customer, or sales rep, you’ll find the reporting dashboard extremely easy to interpret. For example, in the report that shows the sales performance by customer, each row of the tab view represents a customer, and you will see already consolidated data on the total number of orders that customer made with you over time, as well as what is the total revenue collected against the total order value. If there is a difference between the two, the tab will report it showing you the outstanding balance, so that you can immediately see which of your customers you have credit with and how much is the credit. Another example, when you go to look at the performance by product, you’ll see similar consolidated data on the total number of orders for each product, the total and the average order value, the total and the average revenue value, and so on. All the tabs are comprehensive without being cumbersome, with the aim of providing the user with the most relevant data ready at first glance, without the need for data reconciliation or data cleaning.
Great data visualization
As much as clean and well-organized data tabs may be, there’s nothing like graphs to represent numbers in a clear and eye-appealing way. That is why we decided to provide all the sales performance reports in MarketForce 360 with both a tab and graph view, and to make it incredibly easy for the user to switch between the two options. Furthermore, all the reports come with two standard graph types, a bar graph, and a pie chart. But not only that. If you prefer to personalize the data visualization experience to make it more fit to the specific metrics you are looking at, you can create your own graphs by choosing from a wide range, including donut chart, scatter graph, line graph, and more. Finally, each graph view can support different parameters. For example, if you are looking at the sales performance by sales agent, on the y-axis you’ll always have the sales agent variable, while on the x-axis you’ll be able to change the metric, choosing amongst sales performance by the number of orders, by the total revenue generated, by the total value of orders, and so on. The graphs will adjust automatically.
Another important part of data analysis is being able to filter the data by different parameters, to be able to study the company’s performance across different contributing factors. In our Reports Module, we make data filtering simple and intuitive. All the reports can be filtered by time range and by region, both in the tab views and in the graph views. Moreover, the three main items of the reports – customers, products, and sales agents – can be interchangeably filtered. For instance, if I am looking at the product performance, I can filter by customer or by sales agent; if I am looking at the customers performance, I can filter by sales agent or product. In this way, it becomes very easy to analyze, for example, which products are most sold by a particular sales agent, and see if that is in line with what products the sales manager has requested to push most in the market.
We wanted to further develop our Reports Module because we know that functional and intuitive reports can make wonders for consumer goods manufacturers and distributors. By allowing for faster and data-driven decision-making, they help managers to better tailor their budget, optimize their product distribution, quickly adjust to market changes or to customer purchasing behavior, and in general to have a more streamlined and effective sales and distribution cycle. In the long term, this brings companies who use MarketForce to be ahead of competitors that are still using traditional manual methods to collect and analyze data, helping them to gain a larger market share. Do you want to learn more about our Reports Module? Book a demo here!