The common approach to data collection is to lay out a reporting template and have your partners report in this.
Advantages: Less administration work on receiver side.
Disadvantage: More administration work on sender side.
Keep in mind that you are most likely not the only supplier of products to your sales channel. For too long, suppliers has been forcing different reporting templates onto the sales channel resulting in an overheated scenario where negative pushback from partners is more of a rule than an exception.
ParsePort has specialized in accepting virtually any data format (Excel, .txt/.csv, EDI, XML etc.). The sales channel can report through us any way their system is set up – as long as it holds key components like product numbers, dates, names etc.
In Data Collection, we:
– Collect sales and inventory data from the sales channel at given intervals (usually weekly or monthly)
– Enforce a reminder process so missing and/or flawed reports are retrieved and fixed (optional)
– Break down the data and pass it on in a unified format specified by the supplier.