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We're living in an era of information overkill.
Nielsen, GFK, sales figures and indexes, consumer research, Internet, trade press, ECR, category management.
But a mountain of data does not always lead to sharper analysis. Or to more acceptance on retail level. Instead, the opposite seems to be the case. And despite the large quantity of available data, the sales/marketing organisation often lacks relevant and often qualitative retail information which is indispensable for a view on the category.
Bierman likes to work along the principle of "the minimum of information that's needed for the maximum performance in sales and account management". In this field, there's much left to be optimized. There's a massive information overkill and in consequence, a number of people gets unnecessarily sidetracked. And this inevitably has its detrimental effects on the efficiency in the organisation, on productivity of managers and on qualitative performance of account management and marketing.
Depth. These days, it's a dire necessity to have "less information, but better information."

The right information, the right analysis, the right tools
On the retail side we see the same overkill and the same problems caused by this overkill. Too much data on one side, not enough of it on the other side. Buyers/category managers - often youngsters and bright at that - assume they can manage their assortments from behind their computer charts and sheets and they hardly ever show up in their own shops anymore. This inevitably has its repercussions on the analysis and interpretation. An that's why we see so much going wrong in Food Retail as well as in Drug and in Out of Home. Which is good in a way, because where so much goes wrong, the industry is bound to find lots of interesting opportunities.

Through our category analysis at head offices and shopfloor we can list all that the manufacturer and his account management needs to know to perform well in the field. Subsequently, we translate the findings into tools which have proven their effectiveness in practice: category view, logistics view.
The right tools, no side tracks needed to escape from the avalanche of data, and the fastest road to results. And first and foremost: more time and attention for the more substantial aspects of Sales that would otherwise become lost in the daily turmoil of operational workload and turnover targets.

Transforming the meeting with buyers on head office into a ping pong session with Bierman's category view
There's another remarkable fact. Retailers have a wealth of data available to them, but this knowledge is not bundled on one specific point or with one single person in the organisation.
That's why we work with more people than just the buyer / category manager when we execute our research - we also meet business unit managers and logistics. And the shop floor of course. Because a smart shelf filling staff member who thinks about what he/she is doing out there, can provide you with some valuable information which is totally unavailable on head office level from Albert Heijn, Schuitema, Laurus or Superunie and Koopconsult.

Subsequently, account managers and Sales staff pass on the findings from research to their buyers, through their category view and logistics view. They do this with just one aim in mind: becoming a preferent supplier.
In view of this, Bierman support can be the right choice for presentations at Head Offices. The stakes are high. At the request of clients Bierman frequently participate in presentations for retailers like Albert Heijn and others.
Manufacturers get only one chance to convince major retailers that their [new] products deserve a place on their shelf. Just one shot at convincing the retailer that their activity should get that spot on the shop floor, even if this activity won't directly meet high turnover standards.
The categoryview that ensures acceptance from major retailers is an absolute necessity these days. A fundamental requirement in cooperation.

See: Ping pong sessions negotiating with major retailers in FMCG

The advice. The implementation
Bierman's consultancy doesn't stop at providing advice. Translating the findings into practice and supporting Sales and Marketing is part of our core activitities. At the request of our clients we frequently participate on head office level. And we have a view. Sometimes we have a dissenting view. Top management does not need yes men. Top management is looking for creative, innovative solutions for issues that can be complex.
E-mail or call us for an introductory assessment or send this page to a colleague.

FMCG-news "on line"
"Trends in Distribution and Food Marketing" is a publication of Bierman distributed free of charge via e-mail.
The newsletter is exclusively distributed to manufacturers in FMCG and it comes out infrequently: only when there's something to report.
Subscription is possible through an e-mail to josbierman@fmcg.nl with the text "free subscription" in the message header or message body.

Quality of information
determines the versatility of the sales organization.

Not quantity

P.J. Bierman
telefoon: 0315-243494
Email: (<josbierman@fmcg.nl>)