Channel data management (CDM) specialist Zyme’s latest research shows increased pressure on UK hardware companies to accurately measure channel performance. The report, entitled ‘The UK Channel Data Management Barometer’, shows that a staggering 93% of respondents feel that they are now under pressure from the business and its stakeholders to provide accurate, real time, data on channel performance in order to improve decision making. In parallel, 71% also commented that such stakeholder demands will mean existing ways of managing channel relationships, and setting sales strategies, must change.
In addition, 95% of those surveyed reported challenges with existing data accuracy and quality, despite 61% stating that they have in some way reviewed their approach to channel data management in the last 12 months. The key areas that UK hardware companies struggle with in particular are disparate data sources (90%), timeliness with getting data from partners (70%) and the different formats that such data is submitted in (67%).
Unfortunately these also lead to further challenges such as concerns with meeting regulatory and compliance requirements (83%), gaining a single view across all channels (74%), scalability issues (73%) and challenges with creating actionable insights from channel data (72%)
“There is without doubt still a lot of room for improvement in the channel data management area,” said Nick Andrews, general manager, EMEA and India at Zyme. “The statistics show that companies have so far taken a relatively relaxed approach to managing this information but as investors have taken another look at ways to improve profitability gaps have been identified in this intelligence and these need to be closed quickly.”
“Just 20% of the individuals questioned said that they were extremely satisfied that their current approach to channel data management could keep pace with the demands from the business. The other 80% should be very concerned,” he added.
Whilst there is an obviously urgent need for things to change, the good news is that UK manufacturers are open to embracing such new processes and 63% already see it as part of their responsibility to their stakeholders to optimise the channel for business success and the perceived benefits certainly outweigh the short-term challenges of addressing this such as a lack of analytics skills (46%), limited budget to invest in channel data management solutions (38%) and a lack of time (32%). 19% also expect to be hindered by legacy data management processes and systems which include spreadsheets or solutions they have built themselves.
Zyme commissioned an independent study among UK hardware companies in September 2015. The study was conducted by Loudhouse, an independent research agency in London. A total of 100 decision makers responsible for channel data management were surveyed from companies with an annual turnover of at least £65m (US$98.2m). Respondents were sourced across a variety of sectors, including industrial automation, enterprise networking and consumer technology and hardware.