Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

"Retailers overhaul business as consumers pull back?" Sounds like they need an information agenda

OK, so the headline sounds a bit like a commercial, but this is exactly the type of scenario for which we're building out industry-specific Information Agenda guides, workshops and solutions.

From the Associated Press today:

Retailers overhaul business as consumers pull back
NEW YORK (AP) -- For years, retailers could afford to be sloppy about running their businesses because customers kept buying.

No more.

Stung by the worry that shoppers -- who cut spending by the most dramatic amount in at least 39 years this the holiday season -- may not start spending again for a long time, stores are making drastic changes. They are cutting out marginal suppliers, hiring outside experts to keep inventory lean, holding special events for those who are still buying and making extraordinary efforts to gauge customer satisfaction.
But it's just not about slashing how much merchandise they carry. Companies like Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. are turning to outside specialists in areas like sourcing and currency hedging to reduce the impact of volatile foreign exchange rates. They're working with suppliers to reduce the time it takes to produce an item. And they're trying to understand the new mindset of shoppers, scrutinizing the products they offer to see whether the prices and quality meet the new standards from consumers who are questioning the real value of things.

The Information Agenda approach can help companies like those featured in the article - or yours - take the massive quantity of data and information you likely have spread out over multiple data repositories to create a single trusted version of the truth; create a single view of the customer, and integrate data from your supply chain, to name just a few of the things we can help you accomplish.

We've got a lot more information over on the Information Agenda for Retail website, not to mention the overall Information Agenda home on