The volume of data handled by businesses has exploded. There is now information on customer behaviour, market characteristics, product inventory and more, all of which provide valuable business insights.
When used effectively, this data enables you to become incredibly agile because you can identify trends in real-time and make quick decisions. However, this is only possible the relevant data is accessible to all, particularly now as more people work from home.
In reality, most businesses use a collection of inappropriate tools, such as spreadsheets, to organise their business data because their legacy ERP or CRM systems are unsuitable. Unfortunately, the increasing amount of continuously changing data means that these ‘workaround’ spreadsheets are problematic.
Spreadsheets, although convenient, are difficult to collaborate on and provide little security or version control. This creates a lack of consistency and outdated information across your business. As a result, it is hard to get the right data, to the right person, at the right time. The recent government scandal over the Covid-19 tracking is testament to the precariousness of using spreadsheets as a data management solution.
Also, using spreadsheets is very time-consuming and labour intensive. Research conducted by Gartner found that basic data handling required the time of half a dedicated analytics team. Imagine how much time and effort your purchasing, sales and warehouse teams spend solely on data management.
Of course, these issues do not only affect your business. Your customers are also relying on you to provide accurate and relevant product and service information. Failure of which to provide can have dire consequences on your bottom line.
Therefore, it is critical for B2B businesses to undertake digital transformations by implementing suitable processes and applications that automate data management. Digital transformation is no longer about implementing disparate digital platforms to increase sales. It’s about digitising processes throughout your business to streamline operations and reduce overhead costs.
For wholesalers, this includes having a Product Information Management (PIM) system to support omnichannel trading. A PIM system centralises your product data to make it easier and more efficient to manage and distribute information, wherever it is needed.
To survive and thrive in today’s fast-paced digital world, effective data management is vital. So why not ditch the spreadsheets so you can gain better business insights and increase your resilience to supply chain disruption.