The summer recess is one of those periods when industry executives recharge their batteries and quietly reflect on where they’re at – personally and professionally. With everything going on, most people have needed downtime this summer. 

However, the average CEO reads 60 books a year – one every six days – and this probably peaks in the summer. Business continuity will be uppermost in their minds (naturally), and what tools are at their disposal for securing the safe onward passage of their organisation through the next 12 months.

Growth opportunities

Most business leaders recognise the importance of data. 63% of business leaders say data has helped them mitigate risks (source DNB 2019) and similar numbers of business leaders say data has helped them improve the service they provide to customers, and to identify new opportunities for growth. The last six months may have been more ‘hands on the pump’ than strategic planning….But, as we emerge (slowly) from the pandemic, data will likely play a more important role as businesses navigate their way through a shattered and nervous economy.

Inaccurate data = lost revenues

25% of businesses with over 500 employees have lost customers due to incomplete or inaccurate data, rising to a third of businesses with 250-500 employees. A fifth of businesses have lost money by offering too much credit – or discount – to a customer due to a lack of information. 

These figures are staggering and put huge strain on new customer acquisitions to plug the ‘leaky bucket’. No business can afford to lose customers via unenforced errors, to use a tennis pun.

We, at TWC, believe wholesalers who have the cleanest data will have one of the biggest competitive advantages over their peers. Having the cheapest prices is a race to the bottom.  Who knows more about their customers and delivers best against them will ultimately win. 

This view is echoed in the DNB research (2019) which shows that 78% of business leaders highlight the importance of data for the customer experience.  ‘Personalisation’ has been discussed hugely over the last few years….but true personalisation can only occur when wholesalers use their data effectively.

Some of the challenges for businesses using data effectively include ‘not having the right technology’ to take advantage of their data (46%) and that ‘data has been the concern of the IT department rather than the business’ – something Salih Sheikh discussed in his TWC Digital Leadership series, data and digital are a culture not a department in a business. 

TWC is delighted to have the best digital technology to bring data to life in the wholesale sector…but we also recently reported a whole year of 100% full service. Our digital platforms weren’t down for one minute in the last year.

 

Full service is important because the average business leader uses data in decision making 16 times a day on average, and up to 75 times a day for ‘power users’ (DNB). Why? Because 75% of business leaders recognise that effective data management can be a competitive advantage.  Every transaction and sale counts.  

Wholesalers will need to become forensic in their use of data, to spot out every sales opportunity which exists.  Competition was intense before CV19 – it’s going to get tougher.   

Now might be (no – is) a good time for you to review your data strategy…

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