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Insourcing vs Outsourcing Field Merchandiser Services


Insourcing has many advantages, with the obvious one being the ability to maintain full control of your business activity.  Companies experiencing rapid growth often choose to insource, investing heavily in sales and marketing, utilising network strategy to develop strong business relationships. Bringing processes handled by third-party firms in-house can also be accomplished by vertical integration through the supply chain.

However, there is a global trend towards outsourcing, with agility and cost effectiveness named as core considerations when companies review their go-to-market strategy. Increasing trading costs and erosion of retail prices mean more companies are looking to outsource their brand management, merchandising and key account management functions. Sales and Merchandising agencies (SMA’s) represent around 20% of grocery scanned sales for Australia and around 6% for New Zealand. Outsourcing enables a brand owner to focus on core competencies and strategy, while employing specialist skills.

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Over 40% of brokers in New Zealand use Opmetrix to collect data and provide detailed report analysis to their principals. With seamless sharing, organisation and management of customer information and near real-time data, Opmetrix can segment data and report separately by principal has seen it become dominant for SMA’s.

SMA’s offer significant advantages including the ability to cater to a wider national coverage with increased call frequency, allowing smaller firms to leverage existing sales infrastructure, consolidation across several brands for in-store managers, and enhanced flexibility of resources to contract extra specialist services as required.

Analysis of buyer behaviour and competitor activity also assists with promotional or distribution drive activities and leads to insights for marketing campaigns and new products.

Recently SMA – CS Brokers selected Opmetrix for their field team. Stephen Hay, Managing Director of CS Brokers says SMA’s “have an absolute focus on retail and the nuances of the FMCG market with their core competency managing the sales channel, whether grocery, route, pharmacy, mass merchants or food service. Focusing on this single aspect of supply to the market, SMAs deliver a level of expertise that a manufacturer or importer would find costly to replicate.”

Whether you insource or outsource, the ability to provide excellent service is the key to success. The influence to increase sales based on distribution, shelf and in-store accuracy is paramount. Make sure you have the field and analytical tools you need to deliver.

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