Today, more than ever, successful companies are using many pieces of information to make decisions that affect their businesses. This information can help a company with growth, cost and profitability.
It’s important to note that if you are not performing some form of data mining then you may be falling behind your competition, and faster than you might think. So, what data can you use to help your business be more profitable?
One of the most important pieces of information you have is your company’s sales history. When ‘mining’ this data, it is possible to identify revenue streams, see where sales are and are not being made, locate new customers, and provide better customer service. Let’s look at this a little closer.
Sales data can help you identify customer trends in your industry and markets. This is important when it comes to product development and engineering. Identifying trends in your industry can help you enter new technology segments on the front-end of the ‘profitability curve’ gaining more profit per sale.
But sales history, although extremely helpful, is not the only important set of data available to a company. If the company can analyze its past demand, procurement, and supply chain data, then the Purchasing and Supply Chain Management groups may be able to make important contributions as well.
Tracking domestic and international industry trends for raw materials and services helps this group better understand the supply and demand. This can help procurement plan for periods when supplies may loosen or tighten, as costs will change and they may need to adjust their sourcing plans. Likewise, using this data, the procurement group may be able to find opportunities allowing them to leverage their buying power. This kind of data also shows the historical costs of products by suppliers, etc.
Finally, the use of purchasing data can also identify areas of concern when planned spending exceeds budgets.
The Bottom Line. Most companies have a lot of data at hand and they should use this information to create optimal growth and maintain a competitive edge.
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