IBM has announced that magazine distribution specialist, Gordon and Gotch Australia, has successfully deployed IBM’s Predictive Analytics technology.
Gordon and Gotch distributes in excess of 130 million copies of over 3,000 mass media and special interest publications each year. By using IBM analytics tools, Gordon and Gotch can now provide its clients with more accurate allocations and print recommendations, together with greater insights into sales performance.
With five Gordon and Gotch products selling every second across Australia, the allocations process quickly decides how many copies of each title and issue should be allocated to each retail outlet. With data driving more accurate demand planning and forecasting, the IBM technology is helping Gordon and Gotch analyse and work with its clients to make the correct operational decisions to boost sales and increase profitability.
These analytics tools provide a much more powerful, flexible and automated method of forecasting sales and allocating copies with analysts now only needing to intervene by exception. With approximately 65 per cent of titles/issues automatically allocated, Gordon and Gotch have more time and the capability to analyse sales performance, measure marketing activity effectiveness and make recommendations to clients for future growth.
“Distribution is not just about efficient logistics, it’s about being smarter about the magazines that publishers print and where retailers sell them. We wanted to show our clients that we could use the goldmine of data we had to change the way distributors are perceived in the industry and optimise sales with more intelligent allocations,” said Gordon and Gotch’s general manager David Hogan.
Addressing the lack of scalability and flexibility in current systems, IBM Business Partner Cornerstone helped Gordon and Gotch design, develop and implement a fully integrated solution for forecasting, allocations and reporting, using a combination of IBM analytics solutions. The technology uses predictive modelling, incorporating data from multiple sources, to produce base forecasts –estimating the number of copies that each issue of each title is likely to sell in each store and the optimum supply to achieve that sale.
Previously analysts had to manually assess information which was very time consuming. Poppy Stamateas, head of IT and business systems at Gordon and Gotch said, “We decided to build a solution that would integrate with modern analytics tools to provide a much more powerful and flexible way of forecasting sales and allocating copies. When we first launched the new allocations solution, we were hoping for at least 50 per cent of titles/issues to have their allocations automatically finalised. In fact, the actual result was 65 to 70 per cent.”