Category market intelligence is the process of gaining crucial, fact-based insights into the various dynamics, trends, challenges, and other external factors impacting a particular product category or supply chain section. Category management has become a crucial step in the procurement, purchasing, and retailing processes within companies and led to the increasing need for strategic decision-making and data-driven approaches. As companies and supply chains grow and become increasingly complex, professionals often struggle to identify important, influential factors, make comprehensive decisions, and adopt well-informed strategies. This often leads to unnecessary costs, supply chain complexities, harmful business decisions, and a significant lack of efficiency. The need for market intelligence across departments has risen exponentially, and stakeholders are placing increasing weightage on the influence of data and analytics in decision-making. Similarly, category managers have witnessed a steady incline in the requirement for efficiently identified, organized, and manage categories, which has led to increasing reliance on category market intelligence.
What is the strategic benefit of category market intelligence?
Competitive Advantage: Market intelligence has proven to be the most effective, diverse, and helpful addition to companies’ decision-making and strategizing process. Leveraging crucial relevant data in companies and successfully navigating the impact of various market factors, changing demand, sourcing, and procurement dynamics, and preparing for upcoming industry developments can propel companies forward significantly. Additionally, category market intelligence includes relevant information regarding the category’s performance across the industry and helps professionals gain insight into their competitors’ business and performance. Implementing this data can be challenging, but if achieved, it can help companies establish and maintain an unparalleled competitive advantage in their market.
Better Resource Management: Handling multiple crucial tangents of business for their company, chief procurement officers are often faced with the responsibility of identifying, evaluating, and understanding a plethora of critical factors, strategies, and decisions daily. Relevant and effective data can help improve their understanding of the market, their product, suppliers and vendors, competitors’ strategies, and consumers’ needs, consequently enabling a more resilient and robust supply chain. With category market intelligence, professionals can also ensure that they source, produce, and deliver the ideal products, help improved sales, procure the highest quality from the best suppliers, manage inventory better, and provide other crucial branches with important and accurate information. Additionally, it helps efficiently automate repetitive tasks, improve focus on major decision-making, and foster better supplier relationships.
Reducing Spend: With clear insights into the market, demand, supply, competitors’ tactics, consumers’ demands, and external factors impacting each category and product, companies can identify and implement unsurpassable methods to reduce their overall spend. With a clear understanding, procurement officers and supplier relationship managers can negotiate improved and more valuable deals, adapt their sourcing and production strategies to reduce unnecessary expenses, and track all costs or losses through the chain, enabling significant improvement. As a company expands, the supply chain becomes increasingly complex, and prices rise substantially. Still, category market intelligence provides professionals with actionable strategies to maintain decent costs, improve profitability, and invest efficiently.
Performance Overview: Supply chains are constantly changing, evolving, and expanding, and businesses often fail to track their performance through these stages of expansion and growth. As the company grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to track changes, evaluate performance, and implement strategies to increase profitability, improve deliverables, and reduce costs. With category market intelligence, supply chain management teams can assess the performance of their departments, products, and categories with multiple metrics. The vast amount of data available enables evaluating performance compared to competitors, setting and following proper industry benchmarks, evaluating consumers’ responses to their products and services, and internally tracking performance regularly to avoid stagnant, ineffective, and unproductive strategies.
Understand the Category: When procuring, developing, producing, and delivering a particular category, companies must assess all potential internal and external factors impacting their business. The success, failure, stagnancy, or growth of a category is highly dependent on the awareness, understanding, and efficiency of professionals and teams managing the operations. The more aware professionals are of their category, the higher the chances of succeeding, surpassing competitors, overcoming market obstacles, and receiving positive reviews from consumers. While preparing to launch or grow a particular category, professionals and stakeholders can utilize category market intelligence to evaluate the upcoming changes, obstacles, growth drivers, and risks in the specific category and ensure a successful, risk-free, and robust promotion of their products or services.
Success Story – SpendEdge Advantage
A pharmaceutical retailer witnessed a sudden rise in demand for at-home oxygen, pulse, and blood pressure trackers due to the widespread impact of the COVID-19 virus and sought to enter the market with a strong, relevant, and novel category was unsure of the ideal approach. To ensure success, the company chose to partner with SpendEdge and utilize category market intelligence, to evaluate competitors, consumers, market dynamics, and appropriate strategies. With actionable insights from our experts, the company appropriately identified its target group, analyzed potential competitors, assessed and negotiated with the ideal suppliers, and developed a comprehensive procurement, production, and delivery strategy. SpendEdge helped the client evaluate the risks of a sudden drop in demand, identify the ideal geographical locations for their new category, and ensure inventory management was efficiently planned. The pharmaceutical retailer successfully established themselves as a leading provider for pulse oximeters and established strong partnerships in the medical device industry, opening avenues for various new categories in the future.
Identifying the benefits and importance of category market intelligence is critical for efficient category management for any business. Request a FREE proposal to understand how the solutions offered by the team of sourcing experts at SpendEdge can help you with a stellar growth and aligning your business objectives with procurement goals.