A Concept-to-Delivery, Holistic Approach to Uncover Hidden Costs and Increase Compliance
By Steven Saura
Since 76% of all purchase decisions are made in-store and 68% of retail purchases are impulse driven, point-of-purchase (POP) displays represent one of the strongest Marketing vehicles to influence shopper behavior, sway brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales.
When displays are not optimally produced and fulfilled, the results are waste, lost sales, competitive weakness and lower marketing performance. Companies spend billions every year on displays and other forms of POP. Yet many do not know or realize the potential savings and operational improvements at every stage in the process. An end-to-end cross-functional approach, involving all company and vendor stakeholders, reveals hidden waste and inefficiencies, enabling higher optimization, greater control of merchandising programs and increased return on investment.
These are some often missed operational improvements:
Forecast Accuracy: Delivering the right quantities of the right POP to the right stores, at the right time, is critical to success. Missing the promotional windows and product launch dates lowers compliance and product sell-through. In addition to waste, poor forecasting reduces marketing impact. Products are coming to market more quickly, and in-store support along with it. With accelerating SKU proliferation and a volatile retail environment, order lead times are shortening and demanding sensing requires more complex real-time data analysis. New tools, performance metrics and visibility across the enterprise are necessary.
Waste Reduction: In addition to forecasting, there are many end-to-end operational improvement opportunities that can impact the bottom line, including lean manufacturing, material spend, inventory reduction, overrun elimination, transportation, and administration costs. Additionally, carbon footprint reduction and fuel conservation help sustainability cost.
Efficiency: Improvements inefficiencies can be found throughout the supply chain, including design, printing, packing, and shipping.
Design Standardization– the optimal mix of customized, standardized and dynamic elements can reduce costs while maximizing breakthrough communication and merchandising. A straight cost-cutting approach can reduce performance and ultimately, lower ROI.
Distribution Network Alignment and Models - increasingly complex omnichannel models require quicker and more efficient means to deliver at stores.
Operational Redundancy - elimination and reduction of excess touches
Transportation - route efficiency
Stakeholder Alignment: Marketing, sales, production and other stakeholders must be aligned on goals, plans, execution and performance metrics. How well are agencies, printers, shippers and other vendor partners collaborating and operating as an efficient and effective team?
Visibility: All stakeholders should clearly and quickly see waste, inefficiency, forecasting accuracy, bottlenecks and other issues. Performance measure tools and team-driven improvement processes need to be in place with accountability across all functions.
POP production optimization reduces marketing investment and increases return, resulting in improved ROI and high sales. Working in functional silos and cutting budgets will only provide short-term, limited savings and can reduce effectiveness. For a multiple-year, bottom line impact, a holistic approach looking at both savings and performance should be implemented. The result is more displays going up in store with a lower spend, stronger retailer relationships, higher consumer loyalty and ultimately, increased revenue.