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How commercial analytics can help consumer packaged goods companies

An integrated analytics operating model can help CPG companies focus resources on processes to grow market share and sustain profit margins.

Overview

Market and economic uncertainty is making it difficult for CPG companies to achieve sustainable growth. Value-driven consumers are more demanding than ever before, and retailers are increasingly pushing private labels and looking for ways to control the consumer relationship. Additionally, “big data” has left many marketing and sales organizations with an information overload, yielding little insight into how to win consumer loyalty. This uncertain environment requires CPG companies to make faster, better-informed commercial decisions and take concrete action to improve market performance.

In this point of view, Accenture outlines an approach that can help CPG companies improve their commercial analytics capability to generate significant value.

Background

CPG companies are struggling to develop—cost-effectively—strong analytics capabilities that can improve market performance. While many companies use analytics to compile data and conduct fragmented analysis, they do not follow a strategy that results in efficient decision making and clear actions.

Accenture is at the forefront of helping CPG companies make the best use of analytics solutions and tools. We have recently started a global research aimed at understanding how CPG companies are using analytics to make their organizations more analytics-driven.

Effective use of analytics is also important as companies try to wrestle the challenge and cost of ‘big data’ to the ground. The industry as a whole spends more than $10 billion a year on data from a variety of sources. At that price tag, CPG companies need to have the analytic capabilities and strategies in place to make the best use possible.

Analysis

Internal impediments are largely responsible for CPG companies’ inability to extract full benefits from their analytics investments. Some of the challenges Accenture found include;

  1. CPG companies’ inability to extract full value from their investments in analytics stem from a lack of sponsorship and governance of analytics at the enterprise level. This leads to analytic solutions residing in pockets across the organization with no strategic framework or principle to coordinate and prioritize them.

  2. Point solutions and data sets proliferate, but only generate incremental gains and no actionable insight.

  3. Insufficient analytics talent, lack of rigorous value realization processes and subpar technology enablers also undercut the impact of analytics.

  4. Companies need to respond to these internal challenges as they seek new avenues of growth and higher efficiency in their enterprise and commercial functions. This is particularly so because our research into high performance in the CPG industry has revealed that high performers in the sector possess strong commercial analytics capabilities that drive actionable insights.

Recommendations

Accenture recommends that CPG companies take a three-pronged approach to generate real value from investments in analytics by:

  1. Developing a cross-functional, integrated analytics vision: Enables consistent decisions throughout the company to maximize results. Cross-functional analytics help the organization to find the right balance among competing objectives and priorities to work toward an optimal result.

  2. Prioritizing analytics to create value: Supports market share growth by focusing on high-value commercial processes, specifically those related to sensing and satisfying demand.

  3. Operationalizing analytics throughout the enterprise: Embeds analytics throughout the enterprise and improves timeliness and accessibility of insights for decision makers. Analytics by themselves don’t generate value. It takes a governance structure, processes, metrics and technology support to facilitate wider use of analytics and expedite the movement from analysis to insights and ultimately growth.

Read the full report for detailed insights and recommendations.