How to use Stibo STEP to unlock value in the CPG sector

February 7, 2023
7 mins.
Martin Kjeldsen

How to use Stibo STEP to unlock value in the CPG sector

Responding to changes in customer behaviour

Looking back at 2022 it has been a year of CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies responding to the changes in how their end-consumer demand has evolved post the COVID pandemic

We have all seen the change in consumer buying behaviour, that continues to see more of us shopping online, a trend that is growing rather than slowing down.

And particularly with consumers within the grocery and the home essentials categories, we see a trend for larger “family pack” or multiple items purchased for stocking up, whether from online or physical stores.

CPGs have therefore had to adapt to a new omnichannel business model, where brands now utilise multiple channels, such as physical stores, e-commerce, and social media, to reach out and engage with their target audience.

Along with the proliferation of digital devices facilitating the increase in online shopping, the change in shopping patterns is fueling not just the usual e-commerce retailers but also segments such as the Direct to Consumer (D2C) sector.

Also, with more of a focus now on health and wellness, consumers have been more concerned about maintaining their physical and mental well-being. The CPG brands have responded with new product development, adding new packaging, sizes and healthy options.

Preparing for new product development

So, as consumers change their traditional buying habits CPG companies must be in a position to be able to respond, developing and launching new products that meet the new preferences of their customers.

The ability for companies to quickly adapt to new market conditions must be built into their organisational structure. They must be primed, ready to react before knowing what those changes may be.

A lot of moving parts go into the launch of a new product - even if it’s just a slight variation of an existing product range. The change must cascade through multiple chains in the organisation, the common denominator is the data about the new product.

So the critical question is: How quickly can an organisation:

  • Gather the logistical data about the product and share it with the whole organisation and deliver to logistics partners, wholesalers and retailers?
  • Prepare new product packaging with the correct data and updated artwork?
  • Provide documentation for and ensure compliance with local laws and certifications?
  • Develop new marketing materials and messaging, supporting images and documents as well as material for ads and marketing campaigns?
  • Deliver rich, accurate, approved product content to retailers and other sellers for their Product Information Management (PIM), Master Data Management (MDM) and ecommerce solutions?

It’s all about speed and an organisation having the agility to respond to these changes by being prepared in advance.

How a MDM system like Stibo STEP can make a real difference

Having a single source of truth for your product data available at your fingertips coupled with workflows ensures that all necessary steps in the launch of a new product are taken as fast as possible. It also automates everything that can be automated.

Read more about 7 ways To Advance Your Business with Stibo STEP Workflows.

Being tightly integrated with both back-end / upstream systems ensures that data from ERP, production planning, supply chain systems etc. flows directly to the Stibo STEP system as soon as it’s available.

And as soon as the last step in the workflow is completed, the relevant data is shared with partners, retailers, websites etc.

By streamlining the new product onboarding processes with Stibo STEP, you create a launchpad for your new products that will remove many manual tasks and time waste due to communication gaps between departments and ensure that all necessary processes and procedures are followed.

That’s the kind of agility you need to be able to respond quickly to changes.

What is Stibo STEP?

STEP (Stibo Systems Enterprise Platform) is the most comprehensive software solution for creating, consolidating, managing, and publishing accurate and consistent master data across an enterprise organisation.

It helps companies organise and manage their product, customer, and other types of data.

By enabling CPG companies to gain deeper insights into data they can make more informed decisions to optimise their operations, marketing and sales activities.

CPGs are able with STEP to take their products to market faster; be more customer focused; start earning revenue sooner; streamline processes; reduce supply costs; gain visibility into global operations, and increase profitability.

What are the typical CPG challenges?

CPGs have to manage and analyse a huge amount of product, supplier and customer data, which can be scattered across different systems and channels.

If CPGs are going to launch new products or more effectively manage their supply chain, they are at a competitive disadvantage without a single source of truth of information. STEP has the ability to manage all the data through its lifecycle from creation to publication across different formats for a CPG brand.

Plus, there are a plethora of regulations and standards that must be complied with. Especially as CPG brand owners collect more data on their customers, they need to be aware of their obligations under data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

By using an omnichannel business model, CPG companies can use data from online and offline sales to gain a better understanding of customer preferences and their likely behaviour.

Using data insights, CPGs can tailor their marketing and product offerings to better meet the needs of their customers. Additionally, an omnichannel approach can help CPG companies to reach a wider audience, as customers can purchase products through more channels.

Best practices with Stibo STEP

To unlock the value in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, we have provided below our best practices of using STEP to address many of the CPG business challenges:

Improving data quality and insights

With STEP, CPG companies can ensure that the product information they use is accurate, comprehensive and kept up-to-date by centralising and standardising the data across all the brand systems and channels.

STEP makes it easy to create, manage, publish and access the product information that is needed on a timely, accurate and consistent basis.

With greater data accuracy, it should lead to improved customer satisfaction, less product returns and increased sales if prospective customers have all the information they need to make a purchase.

Plus strategically, access to better data insights will improve decision-making, lessen the risk of errors and reduce the costs associated with fragmented data management.

Increase business efficiency and speed to market

By automating data-related tasks and processes, STEP can help CPG companies save time and reduce the likelihood of manual data input errors.

Using STEP’s flexible workflow engine, CPGs can automate repetitive tasks, make rule-based decisions and streamline business processes. It uses a centralised database as well as an extensible set of APIs that can be used to create custom interfaces for any legacy or third-party system.

Streamlining product information can also reduce the time and cost associated with launching new products, improving their time-to-market and increase the competitiveness and agility of a CPG brand owner to respond to market changes.

Enhanced customer and supplier data management

STEP can be used to more effectively manage customer and supplier data, helping CPG companies to build stronger relationships and increase efficiency in how they manage their supply chain.

Improved supplier performance can directly lead to cost savings, increased revenue and a better bottom line.

By integrating data from multiple sources, STEP can provide a more comprehensive view of customer behaviour, market trends, and product performance, helping CPGs identify new opportunities and improve their marketing and sales efforts.

Improved data governance

By providing a single source of truth and ensuring data quality, STEP can improve data governance and compliance, avoiding any financial penalties and protecting a CPG brand from any reputational damage.

Better customer experience - no matter the channel

By having accurate and updated product information across all systems and channels, CPG companies can improve the customer experience by providing the right product information to the right customer at the right time.

STEP also integrates with marketing automation tools, POS and e-commerce applications to ensure consistent messaging and product information on any sales channel on or offline.

Consumers are increasingly demanding products that are tailored to their individual preferences, and CPG brand owners need to be able to offer personalisation and customisation options in order to remain competitive.

STEP product content can be seamlessly exported into any format required for online or mobile channels as well as print catalogues or brochures.

Unit of Measure, experts in STEP

Overall STEP can help CPG companies to improve their data quality and governance, increase efficiency and revenue, and gain valuable insights for decision making.

At Unit of Measure we have more than 20 years of experience in implementing STEP for large global enterprises with complex requirements.

Read more about Unit of Measure becoming a Stibo partner.

To unlock the full value of your master data, you must first address the complexities that are inherent in your organisational setup and business model.

Typical drivers of complexity for large global enterprises are e.g.:

  • Many countries and languages to be supported by the MDM solution - must be able to handle translations or localisation of content
  • Many different user roles involved in gathering, refining and approving master data with different views and privileges required
  • Tight integration required to multiple back-end systems to ensure a consolidation of data in one place and a smooth value chain of master data.
  • Managing and publishing content to multiple channels like brand websites, ecommerce solutions, partner channels, data pools, online marketplaces etc.
  • Multiple data domains managed in the same solution such as e.g. product and customer records can bring new insights and tremendous value, but also drive complexity. 

Stibo STEP was designed from the ground up to address all these inherent complexities and to allow organisations to gain control of their own data. At Unit of Measure we can help to realise this potential for your organisation.

Book a free consultation call with us today to learn more about how we can help.

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