Jonah Uses Retail Analytics To Save The Day For His Employer!
Jonah sat at his workstation, gazing blankly at his computer screen. He had just come out of a meeting with Paula, the CIO at the Riverdale retail company, where Jonah worked as a Technology Consultant. The meeting hadn’t gone too well – Paula was not pleased with the fact that the management was laying the blame for last quarter’s dismal performance squarely on her department. Sales and marketing had identified obsolete legacy IT infrastructure to be the primary cause as to why they were not able to maximize the ROI on their investments. Paula demanded to know from Jonah, why they haven’t been able to procure and deploy solutions that would enable them to augment customer loyalty and provide the necessary impetus to drive repeat business. Jonah knew he was backed into a corner; the truth was that he had failed to pre-empt and proactively act on this evolving business need. All he could manage to say was – “I will look into this right away and have answers for you by the end of the month”, before he exited the room.
Over the next few weeks, Jonah pored over the company’s sales performance data, marketing investments and CRM dashboard reports, trying to figure out the missing piece in the puzzle. He knew there’s bound to be some explanation to why the company wasn’t able to improve upon its past performances…there had to be. Jonah had all but given up, when one day he had an epiphany, and in the most unlikeliest of places – the office cafeteria. He noticed his coworker Kathy fussing and fiddling around with her salad bowl. He jokingly enquired if she was finding the bowl of salad too filling. Kathy grinned and replied that she was trying to get all the cherry tomatoes out, because she couldn’t stand them. Jonah returned his attention to his own plate. A few moments later, he looked up, with what can only be explained as a eureka-like expression on his face. Jonah seemed visibly pleased as he got up and excused himself to get back to his workstation. It made sense – the company had to dig deeper into all the raw data that they have been hoarding, and separate the noise from the relevant insights….just like the cherry tomatoes. He cursed himself for not having thought of it before; but to be fair, the thought had crossed his mind earlier as well, but he had disregarded it at the time, thinking that a company of their size didn’t have the need to implement an analytics solution.
Over the next couple of months, Paula and Jonah spoke to various prospective partners who could help them implement an analytics solution that catered to their needs. Not too long after that, a partner was chosen, and the wheels of their analytics-driven business transformation journey were set in motion. In no time, the company was able to capture customer information from POS transactions, social media interactions, discussion forums, loyalty programs and other business resources. This helped them manage their customer relationships better. They gained access to consumer behavior and buying patterns, which enabled them to forecast demand and tailor their promotional strategies accordingly. They were able to use predictive models to optimize inventory, supply chain, pricing, staffing and productivity. They were also empowered to monitor revenues, profits and consequently increase cost savings. Needless to say that the sales and marketing teams were mighty pleased with the results – they had a stronger pipeline, cross-selling and up-selling improved, marketing campaigns garnered better responses and most importantly, they were able to surpass their sales targets by a considerable margin.
In an organization-wide appreciation e-mail, Paula acknowledged the key role Jonah played in making the turn-around possible. For Jonah, he hadn’t just accomplished what he had set out to do, but he also learnt an important lesson – It’s not the size of the company that should dictate which digital technology to adopt, rather, it’s the business need that should drive the IT transformation within the organization.
Have you ever found yourself in Jonah’s shoes? Share your story with us in the comments section below!
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