Here’s Why Your ERP System is Only Telling You Half the Story

How Sell Through Data Can Impact Your Bottom Line.

There\’s a lot that your accounting software can do, but unless you\’re selling directly to your end user, most ERP systems fall short of the data you need to make important business decisions. As a food manufacturer or distribution business, it\’s a normal business practice to sell to retail stores through a network of specialty distributors, like UNFI, KeHE, US Foods, and C&S. However, without tracking your sell through data with your distributors and retailers, you\’re missing out critical data that could lead to heightened business success.

Virtually any ERP system will record your organization\’s posted sales transactions to the distributors, but information about how your products are really performing in-store stops there, leaving your organization to make business decisions from incomplete data. Without a connection to the clients you direct to the distributor, you have no way to follow up on how your product is performing.


Why does your food business need sell through data?

Increasingly, food companies looking to grow must have a pulse on relevant data and insights in their marketplace. Data-driven operations and decision making have become even more crucial for companies with outside funding. However, making these choices from limited or outdated data can leave your business more stuck than before. This leads us to more questions than answers, like:

  • Is my product sitting on a store\’s shelf, expiring and waiting to be returned?
  • Are my products selling better in specific stores or regions?
  • Are stores selling my product utilizing promotions to increase sales?
  • Is my business getting the right distribution exposure?
  • How many stores are stocking my product in a particular area?
  • Are my distributors using up to date information to place product orders?

Armed with practical data for these questions and more, your sales and marketing teams are empowered to create a more impactful and insightful customer experience when talking to leads and onboarding new clients. Making data-driven decisions with the right information helps your business be innovative, agile, and proactive, ultimately helping you secure the right sales, drop stores or promotions that are not serving your business, and steady inventory and manufacturing numbers. While more data may seem like more headaches now, this information becomes a magic key to better understanding your clients, attracting more clients, and improving sales for your retailers.

How can sell through data result in more customers?

Sell through data helps your teams create contracts, promotions, pricing, and distribution plans that mutually benefit your organization, your distributors, and your retail partners. Knowing your sell through numbers can go a long way in increasing client confidence and improving your working relationship with retailers by showcasing that you truly understand each store\’s unique needs. Not only can your sell through data improve relationships with your current clients, but it can also help you turn more leads into new client relationships.

For example, knowing your sell through rate at current retail stores reassures new customers that your products will fly off their shelves, so you can spend more time onboarding new clients and less time convincing them to buy from you. This data is a lifesaver for sales and marketing teams, as it provides a better understanding of what products are purchased where and when. Just imagine the impact this data could have on your inventory management, when the correct number of units for the market are intelligently distributed to your retail partners based on each store\’s unique inventory demands!

This expanded knowledge of the unique challenges and strengths of retail branches offers you information to present to new clients with similar store locations or demographics. A stronger understanding of the people buying your products at specific stores helps retailers make an educated decision to work with your food business, and those retailers walk away from your onboarding conversation knowing that your product will ultimately increase their sales and ROI.

Simplifying the work for your sales team with sell through data helps you take a proactive stance in qualifying leads, increasing sales, and demonstrating the ROI of promotions by region or store type. Ultimately, this data empowers you to attract the right customers and ensure customer success with more impactful promotions and more predictable inventory needs — both of which can be easily managed with a custom ERP & CRM software solution from Goldfinch. Knowing your product\’s sell through data takes your product from a liability to a no-brainer for your retailers.


How does sell through data better inform your financial decisions?

Customer and store demographic information goes a long way in increasing your ROI, but does sell through data have any other insights that can inform your food business\’s financial choices? Of course!

Having this data available when creating your financial reports highlights your best and worst retail companies and locations clear, so you can have well-researched and data-backed conversations with your clients on what\’s working and what isn\’t in your partnership—ultimately saving both your company and their company time and money. Overlapping shipment data, Google Analytics, and Salesforce data offers a full picture of your organization\’s ROI and which actions, stores, promotions, and business decisions lead to more money for your business. You can use this data to make changes on the retailer level to increase the success of your product sales, including setting appropriate product prices per region or store, signing on additional stores in regions with your products are already selling well, and determining which stores could be using promotions more successfully.

Our customized system offers your sales and marketing teams a competitive edge by measuring:

  • Sales by retailer and location,
  • Time period filtering to evaluate MoM and YoY impact,
  • Total units purchased,
  • Base units,
  • Promotional uplift units,
  • Average price,
  • Stores scanning,
  • Velocity, or how well your product sells when it’s available to consumers on the shelf,
  • All Commodity Volume percentage,
  • Promo cost,
  • and more!

This additional data provides valuable insights to help your team prepare persuasive presentations for potential clients, develop and grow new marketing campaigns, and evaluate the success of your current partnerships and campaigns. At the end of the day, your bottom line is impacted both by creating new business and ensuring the success of your existing clients, so this information plays a crucial role in understanding your company\’s financial health and ultimately ensuring that your sales, marketing, and production campaigns in heading in the right direction to achieve your business goals.

As we developed the Micro DataNet\’s GoldFinch food business software solution to cover your business needs, we began by considering the ERP components necessary to successfully run your business, ensuring that every part of the system contributes to simplifying your financial decision making with extensive reporting, payroll management, inventory management, and more. From there, we implement the ideal ERP system—as determined by your business needs—on the Salesforce cloud and incorporate the Salesforce CRM for improved sales management and client relationships. Finally, we have expanded our solution with sell-through analytics capabilities, using data captured from external sources and real time ERP data. This information empowers your food business by simplifying business reporting, helping you to align the goals of your C-Suite with your marketing and sales leadership. All of these pieces create a scalable, all-in-one ERP & CRM software solution that is designed specifically with your food business\’s unique needs in mind. By including the necessary sell through data in our software, a Goldfinch software solution gives your team a substantial strategic advantage over other businesses in your industry, ultimately leading to measurable business growth.

Help your business thrive with the data you need to succeed. Request a demo today to see if GoldFinch is right for your food manufacturing or food distribution company.

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