I read a great article in the McKinsey Quarterly today entitled Inside P&G’s Digital Revolution, about how Procter and Gamble is using digital technology and advanced analytics to revolutionize its business.
I encourage you to read the entire article (note: you may have to register), but in case you’re pressed for time, the first paragraph sums things up nicely:
“Robert McDonald is a CEO on a mission: to make Procter & Gamble the most technologically enabled business in the world… [He is] overseeing the large-scale application of digital technology and advanced analytics across every aspect of P&G’s operations and activities—from the way the consumer goods giant creates molecules in its R&D labs to how it maintains relationships with retailers, manufactures products, builds brands, and interacts with customers. The prize: better innovation, higher productivity, lower costs, and the promise of faster growth.”
A few of P&G’s keys to success:
- Enable better decision-making through real time information (or as close to real time as possible)
- Apply advanced modeling & simulation tools to test new product concepts and new manufacturing & supply chain strategies in the virtual world before spending money in the real world.
- Hire people with great analytical skills, then continually train them & develop those skills at all levels of the organization
I’ll add a couple of thoughts of my own. First, it starts at the top. P&G’s CEO, Robert McDonald, is not just bought into the strategy, he understands the details and is an active champion for using technology and advanced analytics to drive his business.
Second, the competition is moving fast so there’s no time to waste. Get started now. Don’t wait for perfect data – use what you have today, BUT… do your best to build in data integrity from the beginning so poor data integrity doesn’t come back to bite you later.
Few companies have the resources and capabilities to be like P&G. But almost any company can use P&G as an aspirational ideal – an example to shoot for as you develop your own analytics strategy.
Ask yourself a few questions about your business:
- How are you using advanced analytics to drive your business?
- Do you know what parts of your business offer the greatest opportunity?
- What information do you have today that you can leverage for greater insights and improved business results?
- What information that you don’t have today would have the most value? What’s the next step to getting that data (or at least getting closer to it)?
Until next time…
Rob Ende is Founder and President of REanalyze Inc., a Supply Chain, Inventory Management and Analytics consultancy based on Long Island, New York. Rob can be reached at 631-807-2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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