With the unique #ThinkSmart3 festival of tech, data, digital and innovation just around the corner, we offer you an insight into some of the solutions that you will be able to see this month.

With technology, data and insight set to play a massive role in shaping the future of the local retailing sector, SLR is helping retailers, wholesalers and suppliers across the UK embrace the new world order with the third in its series of annual festivals exclusively for the convenience channel.

#ThinkSmart3 will see a top-quality roster of speakers and exhibitors who will offer a glimpse into what will be happening in convenience stores of the future – and what is available right now in order to take the first steps into future-proofing your business.

TWC: insight-driven decision-making

With over 50 years’ experience spread across retail, wholesale, buying groups, convenience and foodservice, TWC (The Wholesale Company) is firmly focused on delivering transformative business results for clients. Critically, the business is all about harnessing the power of sales data, insights and smart technologies to drive sales and growth.

TWC aims to harness the power of customer data, enabling clients to adopt a “data-led” approach to their channel strategy. The key is putting sales facts at the heart of decision-making.

The company’s background is in merging disparate wholesale data to deliver cutting edge reporting. The rise of digital means that TWC has extended its reporting solution to bolt into customised products that create a digitally enabled enterprise.

The development team has expertise in digital innovation and delivery and its IT solutions for wholesalers, convenience retailers and suppliers are all underpinned by the principle that great digital execution is only achieved from excellent insight.

TWC is currently working with Unitas to create a sales data reporting initiative to help suppliers and members understand market influences and opportunities to facilitate faster commercial growth.

This gives members and suppliers visibility on Unitas’ sales to customers, (including sales by named members). The results furnish stakeholders with valuable insights, show previously unknown data and present a reliable read on what is happening across independent wholesale and individual categories therein.

Tools such as heat maps identify underperforming regions and depot scorecards highlight opportunity by branch. Suppliers also have access to reports that summarise 13-week, year-to-date, and moving-annual-totals.

“Never has data been so important in understanding market trends, insights and influences in order to ‘get ahead’,” says John Baines, Director of Trading for Unitas.