Archive for May, 2011

Improving Wal-Mart Retail Link Data Analysis

May 27, 2011

Wal-Mart’s Retail Link* web site is a rich tool providing vendors with a well of data for analyzing sales and inventory. The problem for many vendors is that Retail Link provides data but storing the data, calculating metrics and providing users with analytics and reports can be a time consuming chore. Just this week I have spoken to three Wal-Mart vendors who have dedicated staff to the task of running Retail Link reports and turning them into reports for other users. From our research working with many Wal-Mart vendors we have calculated data manipulation and reporting averages 18 hours per week for most Wal-Mart vendors. On an annual basis that is nearly 1,000 hours of administrative time spent just preparing data for analysis and reporting. In addition to the administrative time there is a data storage issue most vendors encounter. Since the data is UPC/store level data most vendors do not have the ability to store each weekly data file at the store detail level. As a result they lose critical detail as well as the ability to calculate key metrics like inventory weeks of supply on hand, or comp year performance comparisons. If your organization is spending administrative time preparing Retail Link data for analysis consider for a moment how much more efficient it would be to eliminate that work and instead focus your staff on data analysis. What stores are performing poorly, what stores are performing above average, do you have the correct amount of inventory at each store? These are all questions your analysts should be analyzing but instead they are spending half of their week preparing data. It’s a simple matter of efficiency and resource assignment.

*Retail Link is a Wal-Mart software application is not affiliated with the Rainmaker Group.

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Home Depot EDI 852

May 26, 2011

Home Depot vendors gain a critical advantage using Accelerated Analytics for point of sale data analysis. Home Depot vendors have the opportunity to use EDI 852 data to analyze their business and be very proactive in working with their merchants. A standard Home Depot EDI 852 document contains units sold, units on hand, and dollars sold for each SKU and store. By storing this data each week and cross referencing the Home Depot store list a vendor has the opportunity to understand store and SKU level selling trends and inventory consumption. The Home Depot EDI 852 data provides all the necessary ingredients to calculate key metrics like: inventory weeks of supply on hand, average rate of sale by store and SKU, and if you add your cost information you can arrive at GMROI as well. It has been our experience Home Depot merchants expect a high degree of data analysis from their vendors and it has also been our experience they are very supportive of vendors who use the data to make recommendations on how to improve the business. The key to success is selecting a service provider like Accelerated Analytics that can help you store the data each week, calculate key metrics, and make the analysis and reports available to your sales teams in a timely fashion. Accelerated Analytics also provides advanced analysis like GMROI by plan o gram which is critically important in working with your merchant. Armed with this data we have seen vendors dramatically increase sales and optimize inventory levels.