ParsePort offers three levels of data processing to get the insight you want. Data Collection, Data Cleaning and Data Presentation. Normally they are offered in sequential order, but each level can be selected individually depending on your needs.
Initial and essential ParsePort guidelines:
- ParsePort is not a data analysis company and in no way comparable to GFK, IDG or others. We do not sell competitor data, nor do we perform market share analysis. ParsePort is a “closed circuit” system for sales tracking purposes – not for monitoring general market trends.
- ParsePort do not “own” any data. In our world, data always belong to the data supplier and only he can decide on who receives what. We do not evaluate any data – we merely process, sanity check and forward data to the right recipient.
- ParsePorts main source of income is not from tunneling “raw” data – most of this is actually done free of charge. But as soon as the data supplier or receiver wants to add extra features (such as product matching, format conversion or similar), a fee will be added.
If we try to examine the reporting scenario that is normally applied on vendor level, it will look like this:
The objectives of all parties are more or less the same: Keep sales high and inventory low at all times.
To monitor this:
- The distributor will typically request sales and inventory reports from his main resellers.
- The vendor will typically request sales and inventory reports from his distributors and main resellers. The vendor could request the reseller figures from the distributor, but this usually just induces one more level of possible delay and data pollution.
CHALLENGE 1: Stock and inventory figures are flowing heavily between all parties. A lot of the reports are done manually, creating 1) more workload and 2) increased chance of the wrong data going to the wrong partner.
To avoid a lot of data conversion, column moving, search/replace and VLOOKUP’s, the vendors usually utilize their market position to enforce fixed reporting templates. Main problem with this is, that the reporting template for Vendor 1 is unique and not the same as for Vendor 2 – and thus, the workload is basically just moved from vendor level onto distributor and/or resellers as they now have to comply with multiple reporting templates.
As the main resellers usually also hold a dominant market position, they will most likely refuse to report in any format but their own – which is then again unique for each reseller.
Multiple solutions to this problem has been seen – ranging from brute force (where the vendor refuses to be responsible for any overstock issues) to bonus plans where the distributor/reseller is awarded for doing the extra work. In our opinion, this is “friction spend” as the money is not used to generate more sales, but rather to support a non-efficient and outdated workload.
All in all, the sales channel is “overheated” with reports, which is also why vendors are often met with a negative response to reporting requests.
CHALLENGE 2: No common format is used
If we assume that all the sales and inventory figures is delivered to the vendor in a fixed format (whether this was done by the vendor, distributor or reseller), he now faces the next problem: If he utilizes multiple distributors and these offer the products to the same resellers, there is a chance that Distributor 1 will report selling 1 pc. “XX-YYYY” to “Reseller 1” at a price of 100 EUR and Distributor 2 will report selling 1 pc. “XXYYYY” to “Reseller_1” at a price of 745 DKK. It is exactly the same product going to the same customer at the same price – but there are small variances in how it is being reported (scenario enhanced for interpretation purposes, but nevertheless correct).
To accommodate for this, the vendor has to do manual customer and product mapping, just as he has to do currency conversion to avoid different distributors using different currency rates.
CHALLENGE 3: Even with fixed reporting templates (which only pushes the workload downwards), the vendor still maintains a HUGE workload in doing data cleaning. And as this process is done on vendor level, Vendor 2 will not benefit from any work done by Vendor 1. All vendors basically perform the same, tedious tasks over and over again.
Explanation: Within a typical sales channel, there can be multiple vendors, distributors and resellers. Vendors often utilize more than one distributor – and the distributors often fight for the same customer base. In the above scenario, “Vendor 1” could be selling products to both “Distributor 1” and “Distributor 2” – and both distributors could be offering the products to both resellers.
SOLUTION FOR CHALLENGE 1:
- Resellers and distributors are offered one point of reporting for some or all sales and inventory data. The data can be delivered in virtually any format (.csv, .txt, EDI, Excel etc.), and the data supplier instructs ParsePort on who should receive what data once for all. The reseller/distributor can then concentrate on his core business and route requests from vendors directly to ParsePort. In addition, ParsePort is able to deliver the data to the vendor in the exact format he requires without adding workload to the reseller or distributor.If the distributor/reseller changes his reporting system, the vendor will never be troubled or even notice as ParsePort will just change the import filter for that particular partner.
SOLUTION FOR CHALLENGE 2:
- ParsePorts core business is importing, processing and exporting data in various formats. Even if data is delivered in e.g. CSV format, we can easily pass them on as e.g. Excel – just as we can change columns and headlines to match the vendor preference.Should the vendor at some point want to change their reporting template, ParsePort will just change the export filter and no distributors/resellers will be troubled or affected in any way.ParsePort has a widespread customer base all over Europe. Chances are high that we are already working with some or more of the customers you would want to collect data from. While ParsePort will not be able to deliver any data before you have an agreement with the specific distributor/reseller, it is just a matter of flicking a switch – effectively minimizing workload for everyone.
SOLUTION FOR CHALLENGE 3:
- ParsePort already does conversions and mappings on products, customers, barcodes, currencies, postcodes and much more for a widespread customer base. This is done centralized before the data reaches vendor level – effectively enabling all vendors to benefit from work done only once.
- ParsePort enables you to outsource the task of collecting customer information. There is no hidden agenda to why this task should be outsourced – it is just plain more effective as tedious tasks can be performed centrally. Vendors, distributor and resellers should be able to focus on their core business: Sales. None of them has their own ISP, telephone company, cleaning or nightwatch (even if they are all vital and trusted tasks) – even office facilities are usually outsourced, just as the majority of companies lease their cars and IT equipment.One mobile telephone network with multiple users is more effective than a lot of users all building their own – this seems obvious. But the basic principle also applies to the reporting scenario above.All in all, ParsePort can perform the tasks you are most likely already doing – only cheaper, faster and more efficiently.
The ParsePort scenario: