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Midwest manufacturer uses data analytics to gain customer insights

July 1, 2021 Case Study 1 min read
Chris Moshier
A manufacturer with both consumer and professional customer segments, served through a direct sales model.
Photo of two business people working laptop together.

The challenge

The manufacturer collected a vast amount of data in the course of its daily customer service, sales, and marketing activities but wasn’t using the information to its fullest potential. Management expressed the need to improve the company’s data analytics capabilities to better understand customer needs and identify sales opportunities and was looking for guidance.

Our team tailored a data analytics assessment to the manufacturer’s situation. Based on the results, we identified three, near-term business questions that would put the company’s data to immediate use:

  1. How does the company prioritize sales activities by customer and geographic market?
  2. What trends contributed to its recent decline in professional sales?
  3. Where are the top geographic markets for future growth?

The solution

We also provided long-term direction for how to extract the most value from the data through analytics. We guided the manufacturer’s team through a repeatable process for making better, data-driven decisions, which included step-by-step activities to answer critical business questions. And, by blending disparate internal data sources with published and commercial third-party data, we helped the manufacturer glean new insights about customer geography and potential growth opportunities.

The manufacturer in turn used those insights to identify new strategies and approaches to efficiently target prospects and better serve its existing customers. As part of the project, we developed an overall implementation roadmap for the manufacturer to improve data management processes, increase the use of existing technology, identify and deploy new technologies, and resolve data-quality concerns identified by the assessment. The roadmap included a set of prioritized investments to strengthen the company’s internal data analytics capabilities including acquiring new analytics skills to foster a data-driven organizational culture.

The benefit

Management developed a deeper understanding of its key market segments and the value of future data analytics investments. Management also approved initial investments for future data analytics roadmap initiatives. The company now has new insights into its market segments, which can be used to support important decisions about geographic positioning of sales representatives as well as customers to target based on sales growth potential. By better understanding current sales trends and customer behaviors that contributed to recent declines in professional sales, the manufacturer gained a clearer focus on sales strategies to drive more value for its customers and create more opportunities for its sales organization.

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