Retail is in the details — a typical supermarket chain manages 200 categories, 20K SKUs, and at least 30 stores. Millions of data points are generated every day and there’s limited human capital available for real-time analysis, leading supermarket chains to increasingly rely on a combination of targeted management consulting and powerful data and analytics platforms to manage data and uncover growth opportunities.
Erea Consulting is the answer for retailers across Latin America and Europe, with the EreaBI Analytics Platform for Retailers. The platform makes commercial insights available to the entire retail supply chain in a universal container, empowering both retailers and suppliers with real-time insights that inform business-critical decisions, increase profits, and highlight opportunities for retailers to monetize the vast amounts of commercial data generated daily in their stores. For Unisuper, a retail giant operating 100 supermarkets in the Latin American market and competing head-to-head with Walmart, implementing the product was key to driving swift and profitable digital transformation in the retail space.
Having Erea on our side to design, implement, and manage all aspects of the day-to-day operation of our Erea + Sisense Retail Platform was a highly strategic move. Normally, selecting a BI software is followed by very long implementation process. With EREA in control of the entire process, in 5 months we were able to start sharing and monetizing key information with our suppliers.
Freddy Gereda, CEO of Unisuper
The opportunity: solving legacy inefficiencies in retail data sharing
Historically, data sharing between retailers and suppliers hasn’t been great. Typically this information sharing hasn’t been efficient enough to provide timely insights to the supplier; and if the data isn’t timely, it’s worthless. Suppliers need real-time insights that inform stocking decisions, resource allocation, and most importantly — active promotional activities.
In many cases, data is shared on a monthly basis in enormous Excel files broken down by day. Incredibly outdated and inefficient.
The impact of a product promotion at the beginning of February can’t even be assessed until the data is delivered at the middle of the following month! Add in time for analysis and the supplier can’t even act on their insights until six weeks after the promotion has run. Retailers with access to advanced data analytics may be able to process this data to impact future promotions, but don’t have the data they need to run agile promotions and pivot in real-time.
We wanted to replace the dull and ineffective data sharing processes that retailers and FMCG companies were accustomed to. The market desperately needed access to a data and analytics platform that could revolutionize the way retailers and suppliers interact on a daily basis.
The challenge: access to data that suppliers will pay for
Erea Consulting knew that better access to data would empower suppliers to be more strategic with their resources and positively impact retailers’ bottom-lines as well. It was a win-win situation for the entire retail supply chain, but there was another major hurdle to overcome: enabling retailers to monetize supplier data and package it in a way suppliers would purchase.
“Digital transformation is on everyone’s mind,” says Michael. “Big companies are spending tens of millions of dollars on these programs, but we found that most of our retail clients didn’t have much to show for their current digital transformation initiatives. We wanted this solution to be an investment in digital transformation with immediate, concrete ROI.”
Unisuper white-labels the EreaBI Analytics Platform to create UNIBI
The UNIBI Platform for Retailers couples the Sisense data and analytics platform with Erea’s 25 years of expertise in the retail industry to meet every need of the retailer and supplier. The platform connects 250+ FMCG companies (500+ users) working with the supermarket and feeds them key information and analysis around sales, inventories, margins, and the impact of promotions for both their and their competitors’ businesses. Users get key insights into customer profiles and behavior based not on a population sample, but on the millions of clients affiliated with the retailer’s loyalty program — the holy grail for a supplier’s marketing department.
Hero Moments for Suppliers
The EreaBI Analytics Platform for Suppliers empowers supplier teams to track and better plan their inventories at an SKU-level per store by leveraging advanced forecasting models enabling agile inventory allocation never seen before in the industry. Stock can be transferred from one store to another where it’s flying off the shelves and customers experience fewer stock-outs on their supermarket trips.
Additionally, suppliers can monitor the performance of ongoing store promotions, allowing them to react in real time. They get visibility on brand switching events and the root cause analysis that helps them understand market share dynamics in real-time for both their brands and their competitor’s brands. Suppliers get to see how their competitor’s brands and products aﬀect their own. They even have visibility on how deep a discount has to be to maintain market share gains for a longer period, a critical insight!
Hero moments for retailers
Suppliers are shelling out for these insights; paying into the millions. When suppliers see the platform, they’ll part with 0.6% of their sell-in. For a $500 million supermarket, that means about $3 million (adjusted for COG).
Unisuper, a supermarket chain with an annual revenue of $0.5 billion generates close to $2 million annually by selling data back to suppliers via their white-labeled UNIBI platform.
It took 5 months to start monetizing our data. We don’t make it mandatory for our suppliers, but they know that if they don’t, they are at a disadvantage to competing brands at our supermarkets. Since implementing the solution, our revenue stream from selling data has gone up 75%. We are getting close to 0.6% of the sell-in from suppliers. And the best part is: monetization is straight forward. Suppliers want the platform, and our internal teams want it too.
Freddy Gedera, CEO of Unisuper
Over the first five months, the Erea team customizes the tool to each supermarket’s unique needs, then access to the platform is ready to be sold back to suppliers. This is where a retailer’s internal teams start to see direct value from the platform as well. On the retail side of the supply chain, the platform is turned over to category managers to analyze and improve the profitability of ongoing business relationships with suppliers.
On top of monetizing access to the platform, retailers gain from operating improvements that lead to quicker inventory turns, more effective negotiations with suppliers, and better marketing investments. With the power of Erea and Sisense, meaningful digital transformation in the retail market has finally arrived.