Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have long realised the benefits of strong IT management systems in aiding the delivery of their products to the market place, but rapid changes in the technology market means that regularly updating IT systems is necessary to keep ahead of the competition. It is estimated that those FMCG companies who do keep up to date with new technologies could see a 10 to 20 percent increase in efficiency and production levels. However funding these could cost up 10 to 15 percent of net profits, so purchasing the right technology for the job is essential.
FMCG companies need to consider their whole business plan when considering the right technology to move their company forward. Examining the the way the whole organisation operates from product conception to supermarket shelf is essential, as well as considering the capabilities of the different networks used across the whole company. Keeping the business successfully linked together is one area many FMCG companies are now strategically targeting in order to give themselves the competitive advantage. I.T investment in better connectivity through enterprise portals, wi-fi enabled offices and unified communications will aid the business to keep connected and contribute to enhanced business practice.
Sales teams could also benefit from using enhanced Push Technology, which is an intergrated system providing all the details of the stock requirements and sales figures of any particular sales territory. Using this technology the sales team will be able to save considerable time by down loading all the necessary data directly to their laptop rather than having to access the company portal.
Those working within the distribution and warehouse departments, should consider enhanced IT infrastructure to bar code products at the warehouse stage enabling a system of first in first out to be operated. This means that products are not languishing lost in the supply chain. Automation of workflows like write offs, insurance claims and media spend management portals, are also pushing FMCG companies forward, by reducing manual labour and decreasing error rate. Further more some FMCG companies are looking at cutting edge systems to improve the way budgeting, planning and reviews are carried out. These programs should lead to significant time and cost savings which will further push these companies ahead of their competition.
The future of FMCG companies is definitely bright with new technologies aimed at streamlining the business continually arriving on the the market. With all these enhanced I.T systems, FMCG companies can really make the most of their business and with successful planning and implementation moving forward past the competition could become a reality.