Case Studies

Velocity Successes

At Retail Velocity, we know it takes commitment and a thorough understanding of a client's business objectives to effectively meet expectations. That’s why we’ve developed successful relationships with so many companies of various sizes in industries around the world.

To discover what we’ve learned as a business partner and accomplished for our clients, read our success stories.


Exception Reporting Leads to 116% Increase in Incremental Sales

In brief: Velocity exception reporting revealed that Shopko stores had inconsistent inventory levels. Some carried only two weeks of supply while others were overstocked with 15 weeks of inventory. With the guidance of the supplier backed by Velocity's reports, the retailer and supplier together could clearly see the problem and store-specific orders (SSOs) were sent the very next day to fill the gaps. Two simple, standard Velocity reports resulted in a new SSO that was 116% over its usual weekly order size.


40% Sales Increase through Exception Analysis of Store-Level Opportunities

In brief: Most Kmart Workbench data users agree that the data is hard to manage and even harder to use in an effective and timely way. One sporting goods supplier believes that Velocity can be a valuable resource to manufacturers and distributors.

Our client explained that, "Velocity gives suppliers the tools they need to manage their data, perform trouble-shooting, and resolve problems quickly. We use the software to pull exception-based reports and use that information to work more effectively with service companies, buyers or even store managers. If I can identify negative or inaccurate counts and case packs that indicate a store-level problem, I can control my own success at the retail level – and that's a powerful advantage.

"In less than 3 months, we began to notice an increase in our sales figures. We believe that this is due primarily to increased effectiveness in inventory management through Velocity's exception reporting features. For the first time, we are able to capture and track historical store-level sales, so we can identify which stores are effectively maximizing their sales and which stores are not. This allows us to re-route our territories, so we can service our high-performing and high-maintenance stores more quickly and frequently. With Velocity, we can actually document and measure these sales increases and compare our performance levels with stores in which there is a lower level of service. We've been able to prove a day-to-day sales improvement of up to 40% in the stores we service – and we can trace these improvements to our ability to better manage inventory, increase sales and improve our category's ROI.

"Velocity has been a real strategic asset for us. In addition to bringing on additional revenues, we also credit Velocity with our ability to give our customers tangible proof of our impact on their bottom line – to prove our value to them over time. Our customers want to know how we can do all the things we do – how we provide the reporting no one else can. That's a huge competitive advantage. And we credit Velocity."


Fact-Based Selling Increases Promotional Item Sales

In brief: Velocity has given one supplier the ability to track the performance of promotional items, new products, and merchandising changes where it matters most: at the store-level. They can now slice and dice POS data at any level (store, distribution center, chain or across all customers), which has already proven helpful in new product rollouts and tests.

For analysis and reporting, they can look at actual sales data based on attributes such as region, state, household type, race, horticultural zone, market, etc. In addition, attributes can be grouped based on any defined criteria, such as brand, category, style, color, size and more.

In one retail chain, they had 14 weeks and 150 stores in which to pilot test a new outpost clip-strip program. Using Velocity, they were able to easily keep an eye on store-level sales and inventory activity and, at the end of the test period, achieved a sales increase of 47%. The program was quickly rolled out to the entire chain. They also had the facts they needed to approach other chains. Since then, the program has been implemented by 85% of their top retail customers.


Smarter Selling: Shifting from Reactive to Proactive Selling

In brief: Using Velocity, a home fashions supplier has been able to shift its focus from reactive to proactive selling. Timely, accurate forecasting and tracking tools have opened new windows of opportunity for selling. More importantly, they have given the company valid, actionable reasons to stay in touch with their customers' buyers and planners. There are no more calls to buyers for information; instead, they are the information resource on which buyers and planners depend. Universally, their customers have been impressed with the richness of their POS information, the quality of their analyses and the accuracy of their sales forecasting plans.

Before meeting with any buyer, their sales department generates a set of Velocity reports, which detail their products' POS activity and in-stock/out-of-stock conditions and sell-through results. This has enabled them to help its customers better manage their rate of sell, inventory levels and turns.

The ability to manage, analyze and improve retail customers' sell-through has given this proactive sales team greater insight into consumer trends. Coupled with full access to store-level or territory-level information, this has enabled them to be the 'go-to' source for sales reporting. By identifying each store's high turn items, as well as its slow moving products, and as a result, recommending needed changes in the product mix or inventory levels, they help themselves and their retail customers.

Many buyers consider this suppliers' Velocity Reports to be "better than their own"; and, in at least one buyer's opinion, their POS reporting, monitoring and forecasting capabilities are "light years ahead of the competition". While these capabilities help build sales and profitability both for the retailer and supplier, they are also helping to build stronger, more loyal customer relationships. In a highly competitive market, this is an invaluable strategic advantage.


Shifting from Shipment to Store-Level Based Forecasting and Planning

In brief: For years, one retail supplier had based its forecasts solely on shipments with adjustments here and there for gut instinct and guesstimates. No one was surprised that the results lacked accuracy.

Velocity has changed all that. Today, this same supplier sees exactly what is occurring at retail right down to the store-level. With a store-level perspective on every product, they have real insight into where products are sitting, what products are selling, and how that impacts order patterns. This has led to overnight improvements in the accuracy of sales forecasting.

With more dependable forecasts, actual shipment data and Velocity POS information in one universal database, they have been able to develop a continuous, overall picture of product movement, from start to cart. This has been a real eye opener for the company – particularly in the way it has impacted the efficiency of manufacturing and planning. The company is also enjoying greater control over what product actually gets shipped to each retailer. Using Velocity data to increase or decrease the flow of goods to each store, they have been able to drastically reduce end-of-season markdowns and returns while maintaining or even improving their rate of sale.


Sweetened Sales at Sam's Clubs

In brief: A summer candy promotion at Sam's Club might have gone sour if it were not for quick thinking and a bit of detective work using Velocity. A candy supplier had shipped hundreds of pallets of assorted candy into a distributor's warehouse. That was the easy part. Getting the candy back out to the Sam's Club stores across the country – on time – proved to be as sticky a problem as a wet sucker on a summer day.

The information the supplier received from the distributors indicated that all the candy had been shipped, but a Velocity report told a different story. Nearly $200,000 worth of candy was still sitting on the warehouse floor. The candy men worked with the buyer and used Velocity as a comparison check against what the distributor thought was on-hand. By providing the buyer with the specifics in a timely manner, this successful supplier was able to help develop a plan of action and get their candy shipped before it was marked down or written off.


Using Velocity to Cash in on their Christmas Stocking

In brief: When it comes to seasonal trends in retail sales, Service Associates believes that history can teach us plenty. This manufacturer's rep and in-store service company reps artwork from major manufacturers to a mega-retailer in the Midwest. In order to maximize sales for its customers, they ran a Velocity report containing eight weeks of sales and inventory data from the Christmas selling season. They noted that several items had been impossible to keep on store shelves while others remained overstocked even after the peak selling season had passed. The company used this valuable data to create a special Christmas back-up order, so they could increase or decrease inventory levels based, not on guesses or wishes, but on hard facts. As a result, they enjoyed their highest sales levels ever in those categories.

A second Velocity report was generated showing the previous year's sales by product category and by store. To the company's surprise, they found that the best-performing stores overall were not necessarily the best-selling stores during the peak holiday season. They quickly adjusted their orders to take advantage of this new information. Using the percentage of Christmas sales that each store had generated, they provided replenishment point recommendations by SKU and store to the retail planner. The better-performing stores received more product; the slower stores received less. Their manufacturer clients' ended up selling more and the retailer ended the holiday season with maximized sales and a minimum of clearance merchandise...at every store!


Speed to Information Leads to More Efficient Reorders

In brief: This supplier feels that the largest single improvement provided by Velocity is the ability to better manage their inventories and complete reorders faster.

Their account manager explains, "Velocity allows us to spot exceptions ten times faster than our old system. It lets us take a "snapshot" of every retail facility we serve across the country – at the store level – so we can instantly identify a low on-hand number or a high "phantom" number. For example, if there is a negative or erroneously high inventory count in the system, that product will not reorder. Because Velocity's exception-based reporting highlights these products for us, we can dig right into the data quickly and attack those numbers directly to determine specifically which SKU's and stores are problematic and then go in and provide a solution. And even though we have not added any new field sales staff, our service levels are much higher."

This supplier now completes store-specific orders (SSOs or reorders) in about one quarter the time they once spent using their old spreadsheet process and says, "We are effectively correcting and adjusting retailers' inventories every day and that has a huge impact on reorders and increased sales. With over thousands of stores, responsibility for more than 1,500 SKUs and a field sales staff, there is just no way we could provide this level of service without the timely, store-level data and analysis tools that Velocity provides."

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