At MSA, we have a long history of dealing with consumer packaged goods (CPGs), from candies to cosmetics. But in 2012, a CPG conglomerate spooned out a tasty opportunity for us to work in a CPG industry that was completely new to us – yogurt.
Our client wanted a daily data collection and analytical system to process in-store data by retail location for the entire yogurt category. The data was to include number of facings by SKU, pricing, feature pricing, display, shelf positioning, and category shelf space. Much of this data deviated from the volumetric type of data that we typically collect from distributors, and it required a completely different processing method.
True to our culture, our IMS division jumped at the yogurt challenge and worked in conjunction with our Business Analysis (BA) team to process and deliver this data. Within six weeks of contract execution, we developed the system, and presented our client with the first deliverable.
Our client had an on-going relationship with a third-party in-store collection agency that amassed this information, and IMS worked with the agency team to develop a system that enabled them to maintain their reporting methodology and data structure.
In partnership with the agency, we created a process for each day’s data to be received by IMS overnight for early morning processing. We also developed an automated analytical system to calculate a compliance measure on each store, based on the client’s recommended shelf/display/pricing objectives. Every night, the performance of each store is scored on several criteria that contribute to a 10-point overall score, which is assigned to each retail outlet.
Each morning, we then feed the store-level results into the client’s sales force automation system for the determination of sales priorities and communication to the client’s sales force and accounting teams. To further enhance the client’s experience, sales and marketing teams access IMS’s web-based user-interface portal, which provides targeted direction by highlighting problem stores or chains.
Our system has successfully improved the client’s in-store yogurt presence, resulted in significant sales improvements in monitored stores, and has been recognized by our client’s corporate management.