M+E Daily

B2Boost’s Sales Reporting Solution Helps Entertainment Suppliers Manage Inventory

By Mel Lambert

B2Boost, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions for European retailers and distributors, recently unveiled a new enterprise-level package designed to dramatically streamline the capture of sales data and the preparation of time-critical reports.

The company’s Customer Business Intelligence Center, or CUBIC, “is configured on a shared Internet platform that is already connected to most European retailers,” states Gilles Collet, B2Boost’s general manager. “On our end we can ingest, clean and analyze the data to deliver a range of customer-specific reports in real-time, rather than days or weeks — enabling marketing strategies to be refined and adjusted as necessary.”

Brussels-based B2Boost became a MESA Advisory Board Member in December 2010.

Effectively-implemented sales and inventory management, Collet says, should provide “a constantly updated environment that can facilitate a range of end-to-end category management needs for suppliers,” thereby enabling manufacturers and retailers to simplify and maximize their business interactions.

“We specifically designed CUBIC as a cloud-based service,” he continues. “We wanted to use existing network infrastructures and reporting tools with which our customers and the clients were already familiar. Since we can handle sales data in existing EDI format, as well as Excel, email and PDF documents, our new solution reduces the time and effort required for a retailer or distributor to capture the data. We add the computational power to analyze and reformat the raw data for relevant, actionable reports.”

The first customer for CUBIC is Sony Computer Entertainment. “B2Boost’s CUBIC solution was needed by our management team to ease and improve day-to-day decision making,” says Christian Bellone, director of business development with Sony Computer Entertainment France. “It will also benefit our field team by removing time-consuming data entry activities and enhancing commercial interactions. It is truly a tool for all.”

Gilles Collet, B2Boost general manager

The rapid delivery of sale results means that users can analyze market behavior for both physical and digital media across large territories and respond quickly. “CUBIC delivers results in a variety of business intelligent formats, to immediately identify areas that need attention, such as low inventories, so that sales teams can focus their resources where they are needed,” Collet notes.

Inventory control is a major factor for an efficient and cost-effective sales channel. “We can help reduce day-one shipments by 15 percent,” Collet says. “If you ship too much inventory for Day One, you encounter costly returns; ship too little and you end up with customer frustration. Because inventory reports are available so quickly, we can reduce return requests by 50 percent.” Unlike the North American sales model, European retailers expect refunds for unsold stock — an expense source that can be reduced dramatically with access to accurate sales-trend metrics. “Also,” Collet says, “we can significantly identify and prevent out-of-stock shortages.”

“Overall, we estimate that CUBIC can increase sales between 5 percent and 10 percent through accurate inventory control, and cover its costs almost immediately,” Collet concludes. “There is no license cost, nor is there an installation required at the customer end. We charge a small one-time activation cost and a monthly pay-as-you-use fee. The shared, cloud-based approach enables B2Boost to deliver the service at only a fraction of the cost of carrying out such analysis internally.”

Mel Lambert is principal of Content-Creators.com, a Los Angeles-based consulting service.