POS POTENTIAL, born in Barcelona in 2010, is a unique company founded by Gilles Dallest who previously held positions in sales and general management at Unilever for nearly 15 years.
Gilles, why POS POTENTIAL?
POS Potential was born out of frustration. At the time, I was Commercial Director at Unilever Spain, and I wasn’t able to make effective use of the checkout or ‘sell-out’ data which was provided by retailers to their suppliers within the framework of trade agreements. As I wasn’t able to find a partner who could help me, I thought that this would definitely be an interesting niche to develop! Being in Spain at the time, that’s where we started, but we now have clients in many different countries and our team is multicultural.
‘POS Potential’ means ‘point of sale potential’ because that’s exactly the goal that we’ve set for ourselves: to help retailers and suppliers seek out hidden growth by improving operational excellence at store level.
Having started my career as a salesperson in consumer goods, and having subsequently held positions in marketing, category management, retail management and general management, I’ve always believed that if we don’t understand what is happening (or not happening…) at the level of the customer and the point of sale, we cannot improve sales.
And how do you do this?
Since the introduction of warehouse-based supply chain systems in the 90’s, retailers have lost the visibility of shop sales and tend to give their field sales forces targets only related to product and promotional placement, rather than ones related to a higher growth in turnover of the shops visited. For me, this means putting aside the main goal of commercial actions, which is to sell better and sell more while satisfying the shopper.
However, there are ways of finding out point of sale performance as a number of retailers offer their suppliers access to checkout data for each shop within the framework of partnership agreements. The problem is that the use of this raw material is very complex and expensive, not to mention what’s required to transform this information into indicators of sales tools such as market share, promotional effectiveness and disruption levels. This is what we propose to do for retailers at a fraction of the cost and time that it would take for them to implement in-house solutions.
What is your added value compared to a company that specialises in databases?
POS Potential obviously has a great deal of technical capabilities, and our developers are on par with those working for the biggest names in the sector. What sets us apart first and foremost is that we are specialists in the world of consumer goods, not generalists. Our team members profiles include seasoned sales development and category management professionals who know exactly what our clients’ teams need in order to be as effective as possible.
Also, our offerings feature a great deal of flexibility in terms of service and adaptation to our clients’ specifications, and we work at a speed that keeps up with the rapid pace of the world of consumer goods.
The combination of our technical capabilities and our consultants’ expertise in commercial development has enabled us to convince some of the biggest names in the sector, such as Danone, L’Oréal, Diageo or Ferrero, who have been our clients for many years.
Do you only process point of sale data?
For us, ‘checkout’ data is the most important of all. It is basically the purpose and the result of all the efforts put forth by suppliers and retailers in order to satisfy the customer. Knowing, understanding and explaining this information improves the performance of the entire supply chain.
In order to better define the ‘why’ behind a sales result, it is very interesting to integrate other data with POS data: promotional plans, market share and turnover from IRI or Nielsen-type panels, product or promotional presence, as well as ‘sell-in’ sales to distribution platforms that evaluate stock levels in warehouses and shops. All these elements put ‘sell-out’ sales into perspective, and using a series of ‘benchmark’ comparisons, we are able to define the causes and potential for improvement in order to define action plans. ‘POS Potential’ in summary…
At the request of our clients, we are working more and more on the implementation of integrated solutions that allow for communication and interaction between the data that are generally hosted on different bases and whose cross-use requires considerable effort, often to a point that makes it impractical and prevents it from becoming a process. POS Potential enables this revolution.
The future of POS Potential?
Our goal is to provide the best service on the market in terms of data evaluation and growth tools. We want to become the benchmark in terms of support for the collaboration between consumer goods retailers and suppliers, thus participating in the development of the sector.
Without revealing any secrets, we are working to integrate even more ‘intelligence’ to our solutions in order to fulfill our mission as efficiently as possible at the European level and beyond. In particular, this includes the development of trend identification capabilities for the purpose of improving forecasts.
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