Blog > Business Analytics for the Foodservice Distributor

As reopens continue and mandates loosen, businesses large and small are emerging noticeably different from the way they were prior to the worst of the Covid-19 economic shutdown. In most cases, the rapid changes that swept through industries during this time, affected businesses on a large scale, but the question is where have they changed? How will those changes affect business now and in the future? What types of business analytics for foodservice distributors should be utilized moving forward, beyond 2021?

Some of the more noticeable changes include the spike in businesses going digital, the increased demand for direct-to-consumer brands, a larger focus on sustainable business growth, new delivery models and new ways of working.

Changes in the food and beverage industry for B2B and B2C

For foodservice distributors, the ability to rapidly adjust business models will be the difference between financial success and hardship as the restaurant industry and food and beverage industry continue to shift. Distributors must evaluate which models no longer serve them and what changes will help them evolve to remain relevant and desirable to evolving customers.

Much like restaurants, distributors are more aggressively going digital with their customers—but the future of the industry is going to depend heavily on what its customers do and what consumers do. While there are many businesses and organizations analyzing and predicting what customer and consumer trends could be, the future of the industry remains uncertain, especially as outbreaks of COVID-19 are increasing due to the Delta variant.

Currently, the number of customers dining in is on the rise, as mandates have been loosened and vaccinated individuals are eager for socializing as well as a change of food and scenery. According to new data from the business review site, Yelp, consumer interest in on-premise dining from March through May of 2021 recovered to 89% of where it was during the same period in 2019, pre-Pandemic. Simultaneously, even as people return to restaurants, Yelp data has found that interest in delivery remains at 189% of 2019 levels.

While it’s still too early to say for sure whether that dynamic will continue, this information proves now to be the ideal time for distributors to take actions to better situate themselves for more successful and busy times in the future.

Business Analytics Foodservice Distributors Need to Consider in 2021 and Beyond

Do you have easy access to critical key performance indicators? Can you see trends? Can you be alerted to new trends, both good and bad? Can you see who your most profitable customers are both pre-COVID 19 and post-COVID-19? Can you see how your product mix has changed? Are you able to see profitability from a drop size perspective? Do you have the tools to find those areas of critical account penetration opportunity? Can you determine the best scenarios in which to collaborate with a category leader to run a “new business limited time offer”?

These challenges and questions are met by many foodservice distributors today by using the Ignition G2 Analytics application that is purpose-built for food distributors. Easy to configure by our team of expert implementers, this application boasts actionable insights and answers, derived in just a few weeks. With visibility to the facts, you can now drive the right behavior of sales reps and customers that will increase profitability or decrease the cost of doing today’s business.

Find these opportunities and simply use the Ignition G2 Analytics “Management by Exception” feature to have the application notify you any times these guardrails are breeched with an email or link to the issues. Explore the Ignition G2 Analytics application to learn more in-depth details about its benefits.

The Role of a Distributor Sales Representative in a Post-Pandemic World

To have the ability to fix problems small and large, you need to have visibility to issues as they arise. With the new world of social distancing and rapidly changing business environments, could a DSR’s role change? It certainly will, but how? One way might be to take an easy-to-use purpose-built analytics tool like Ignition G2 Analytics and put it in the hands of your DSR’s. Who better to read the data and combine it with the knowledge of their customers to see trends, share trends, and find those opportunities in their customer base that can increase GP $’s per drop, add incremental cases, increase commissions, and analyze trends before trouble begins?

The combination of actionable data in the hands of those DSR’s that understand their customers in and out, could be a part of the next transformation of the foodservice DSR. This approach may be the biggest defense for foodservice distributors to fend off the likes of Amazon.

For more information and a quick demo of Ignition G2 Analytics please contact Ignition by TELUS.

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