Not all Channel Data Management (CDM) vendors are created equal. If you happen to be looking for a CDM vendor, either to replace an internal process that’s grown too slow and cumbersome to manage, or to replace a current vendor that’s not performing to expectations, take heed. We have some tips that will help you make the right choice for your organization.
1. Patented Technology
There are hundreds of channel data management solution providers around the globe. What separates top-tier CDM providers from the also-rans is the technology platform on which they operate. Collecting, cleansing, and standardizing millions of point-of-sale (POS), inventory and sales-in/sales-out (SISO) transactions in real time from a global multi-tier channel organization is a complex challenge. You’ll want to choose a vendor with a cloud-based SaaS solution designed specifically for the task.
2. Automated Data Collection
Distributors and resellers use dozens of different computer languages, file formats, and networking protocols to house and report their own data, including XML, CSV, XLS, GSX, AS2, EDI, just to name a few. Unscrambling and standardizing data from all these disparate sources is a monumental task if attempted manually. You’ll want to choose a vendor with specialized CDM software that can translate and standardize all this data automatically on the fly to ensure that you have an accurate, dependable database from which to operate.
3. Around the Clock Support
Global enterprises don’t operate in a single time zone; they operate in all time zones. One thing to ask your prospective vendor is who will be there to take the urgent call from London, Mumbai, or Tokyo, or even the desperate 4:00 a.m. call from Omaha.
4. Managed Services
It’s one thing to have a process to cleanse data; it’s another to have a CDM vendor that can help you collect it in the first place. Channel partners are frequently reluctant to give up their information, which can make onboarding a real challenge. You’ll want to choose a vendor who can help you send out and follow up on requests for partner information, and then ensure the data’s timely collection and completeness.
5. Business Intelligence
There’s no point in collecting channel data if it can’t provide business insight to guide your decision-making. The foundation for data analysis is a back-end process that automatically collects, cleans, standardizes, and enhances POS, Inventory, and SISO data from multiple tiers of the channel. To turn this data into business intelligence, you’ll want a CDM solution that also offers channel KPIs, analytic dashboards, alerts, flash reports, and workflow notifications about the business and the market as a whole.
Choosing the right channel data management vendor is critical for manufacturers in all industries who want to capitalize on the value inherent in their channel data. Watch the following customer testimonial and take it from someone who knows.