Product Distribution Channel Monitoring
Product Distribution Channel Monitoring is an integral part of the overall Supply Chain Management process. It consists of the process of monitoring all available data points (internal but largely external) around the distribution of the product when it is available for sale to the general world.
Whether the product is available online or through channel partners only, whether is only available in brick and mortar store or if it is a digital product or available through all kinds of distribution channels, the amount of data may vary but it is always available to be gathered and monitored.
The data needs to be collected, cleaned and correlated (the toughest part) and analyzed for trends and markers and positively or negatively impacting factors.
Then the knowledge that is gained from all this analysis needs to be rapidly consumed by regional and upper management to use in their strategic or tactical decision making.
Kinds of data available online
The actual data that is valuable to a particular industry or company will vary, but generally the following types of data are a good starting point to start thinking about getting started
01 Product data
- Product Images (High resolution or grainy pictures depicting your product in bad light)
- Description (The officially approved version or a online retailer’s poorly written substitute)
- Video (Handheld nausea inducing video or a slick company production)
02 Product Reviews
- Formal reviews by the traditional or digital only media companies (Magazines, Newspapers, Online publications, Blogs)
- Semi-Formal reviews by online Influencers
- Informal reviews on social media or niche online boards
- Complaints on online support websites
- Complaints on social media
04 Success Stories
- Positive mentions about your products or brands
- Mentions in the academic community or research journals
- “Feel good” customer stories about product use
- Positive and Potentially viral interactions with the company
- Identifying counterfeits
- Separating Counterfeit reviews or complaints
- Effectiveness of counterfeit management processes
06 Marketing and Advertising
- Effectiveness of advertising – both online and traditional media
- Effectiveness of marketing strategy and budgets
- Adequacy of coverage in various regions of the globe
07 Inventory and Distribution
- Lack of Availability or too much availability
- Uneven online vs offline distribution
- Uneven regional demand and distribution
- Ignoring the potential “vitality” of a product globally or regionally
These data points are just the start which can be significantly enhanced and refined for your industry and company in consultation with us.
Vision for the future
The visionaries in various companies (large and small) have started to take notice of the value of this data available freely and publicly on the Internet as an essential part of the full supply chain data and management.
The naysayers still bury their heads in the sand either due to lack of understanding or excuses around the reliability of this data.
The data available on the Internet isn’t clean and most thought leaders are not going to argue otherwise, but it is valuable data and there is no doubt about that either. The challenge is to actually get started.