At Bay Food Brokerage, we believe in re-investing in our company to offer best-in-class people, tools and processes to our food manufacturer clients. Therefore, we dedicate significant resources to ensuring we are a technology-savvy grocery broker.
Simply put, manufacturers that work with a tech-savvy grocery broker can realize a number of benefits. These benefits impact both the sales bottom-line and overall satisfaction with your broker partner.
To elaborate, here are six benefits a tech-savvy grocery broker can bring food manufacturer clients:
1. More frequent store visits by the retail team
A tech-savvy grocery broker can make more frequent visits to retailers on behalf of their clients. For example, our retail representatives use a software product called RW3. Among its many features is the ability for reps to view and plan driving routes according to store locations. This enables them to spend less time on the road and more time in stores, checking inventory and talking to store managers.
2. Assurance that products are on shelves
Tech-savvy grocery brokers can also more easily assure clients that their products are properly placed in stores. For example, because RW3 helps increase our retail reps’ store visits, we are more likely to quickly find voids. Reps can then discuss any issues with the store manager and report back to clients.
In addition, our retail reps use RW3 on iPads in stores. This allows them to collect data in real-time, as well as take photos of products on shelves. Then we include this information in client reports.
3. Confidence that in-store promotions are underway
There’s nothing worse than seeing a manufacturer invest the time and money into producing in-store promotions only to find out after the fact that the signage was never placed in the store.
Tech-savvy grocery brokers can help assure clients that in-store marketing programs are underway. For example, our retail team uses technology to identify planned in-store promotions. Then when they visit stores, they can confirm signage is placed and take photos for client reports.
4. Improved communication and better customer service
Many small and mid-sized grocery brokers still use Excel spreadsheets, snail mail and other old-school tools for client communications. This antiquated way of doing things means clients are often getting outdated information.
Tech-savvy grocery brokers are able to pull more timely reports and get clients answers faster. Our retail reps have access to internet, email and reports at all times through their tablets. When our clients have a question, our team is able to provide accurate information quickly.
5. Expert industry advice on category and product trends
A tech-savvy grocery broker understands the importance of investing in big data and analytics. The industry insight that brokers take away from this information helps them be a better partner to their food manufacturer clients.
For example, we partner with SPINS, a leading provider of big data and analytics for the natural, organic and specialty products industry. This data offers insight into how clients’ products are performing compared to competitors, up-and-coming categories and more. This information is not only educational for our team. It also makes us a better partner when our clients are developing products and formulating sales strategies.
6. Decreased administrative work
Lastly, a tech-savvy grocery broker can help decrease its clients’ administrative workload. For example, we have invested in Managed Computer Systems (MCS). By increasing efficiencies among our team, we are able to shoulder some of the administrative burden that otherwise would fall to the client, such as filling out forms.