Through the Global Lens: Importance of expanding reporting horizons to understand regional markets, gain clear perspectives, and deliver actionable insights.

SOURCE: by Tina Hoang
Feb 01, 2023

As the economy attempts to balance on evident shaky ground, brands are finding it difficult to navigate within the uneven recovery trends across the globe. In this unstable environment, tracking and monitoring international business, along with reporting on market performance, is a strategic necessity for brands with worldwide presence. This plan of action will provide clear lens on consumer spending patterns, plus provide understanding on the economic potential of specific regions.

Challenged with uncertainty, brands must be cognizant of local variables affecting consumer confidence. Political unrest with the War in Ukraine is affecting rising fuel cost in Europe. Many retailers and brands have withdrawn business relations from Russia in protest. Climate impact is straining the supply chain, negatively affecting raw materials across the APAC region. Lastly, we can’t forget about the overarching economic dismay caused by inflation, as consumers tighten their purse strings. The importance of clear perspective and data driven insights is the guiding light for global brands to be able to react to these uncontrolled factors and fast-moving markets.  

For many companies, tracking their international business is a tedious task. The main challenge arises from data quantity versus data quality. Too many brands have poor supplier reporting, ranging from inconsistent cadence of reports, disparate reporting formats (ie., Excel, PDF, custom portals), language barriers, and incomplete measurements/metrics. When there is no defined frequency of reports and the data is not standardized, it’s difficult to examine the usability of the reports received.

Unreliable reporting, unfortunately, results in perplexed insights often leading to poor business decisions. Minimal information is captured, data integrity is questioned, and the lack of detail doesn’t provide much for a deep dive into the granular analytics. Confident decisions cannot be made when conclusions are ambiguous.

On top of that, many brands have downsized on employee resources. There’s simply not enough bandwidth and time in a work week to manually gather, consolidate, and analyze wholesale sell-through from international regions – Placing them on the lower reporting pole. Due to the time constraint, brands resort to analyzing on a monthly cadence, unlike the US region, who report selling consistently each week.

Regional teams are left last minute, scrambling and compiling sell-through data, just days prior to market and campaign periods. Inefficiencies and time consumption is spent having to hunt down reporting, then merging, and manipulating the data for usage. Consequently, international teams find themselves limited in analytical capacity to trust the information they are interpreting.

With mounting pressure to report accurate results and identify growth opportunities in each region, brands should invest in technologies that offer data-collection automation and self-serve reporting to manage the heavy lifting and target opportunities – Specifically an automated streamlined reporting platform, to do the heavy lifting and identify the pain points. Incorporating automation not only frees up the manual collection efforts from different sources, but also standardizes the data input, so the output results are scrubbed, validated, and prepped for analyzing.  Category managers can feel more confident knowing that the information they are reporting is complete and accurate – Resulting in being more proactive versus reactive, that also leads to improved retailer-vendor relationships and overall increase conversions.

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for companies to be vigilant on the global stage. Turn data to gold and create strategic value. Optimize automated reporting to assess all business regions, uncovering the pocket of profitable opportunities in each market to allocate sustainable investment, while also protecting the bottom line.