The daily sales flash provides the most actionable, statistically significant data to circulation managers and top management. It tells how the catalog business’s top line sales are doing in relation to the budget and business plan; as well as last year’s sales; last day, last week and last month’s sales; and sales by channel.
Today’s sales can be amazingly accurate tool for predicting the immediate future of the catalog’s sales. Historical order curves are stable and can be used to project and predict future sales.
The daily sales flash is the primary metric for circulation managers, top management, finance and operations to keep the pulse of the business and plan, analyze and control the business.
The sales flash shows the upticks and downticks, telling how individual campaigns are performing. It reveals how the season is going, if channels are shifting, if your order curve is changing, and if margin is increasing, decreasing, or staying constant.
The sales data is cumulative, showing sales by day, by week, and for the past quarter. Current sales data is compared against last year’s data and compared against budget. The cumulative sales by campaign should also be included and compared with the sales plan campaign by campaign showing the projected results for each “live” catalog currently producing significant sales.
The daily sales flash contains key data: daily sales, sales by ordering channel, and margin.
What can you do based on the information from the daily flash?
- Adjust your purchasing.
- Plan staffing for your call center and pick, pack, and ship order fulfillment.
- Project sales to catalog end for the live catalogs currently delivering orders.
- Project sales for the week, the month, and the season and measure how you are doing and what you should do for campaigns being planned.
- Measure and plan promotions in progress.
- Respond to the budget pressures of being under or over budget.
- Stay on top of the thousands of details of analysis, planning, and control of your catalog business.
Knowledge is power, and knowing how your catalog campaigns are doing allows you to manage your business effectively.
Jim Coogan is president of Santa Fe, NM-based consultancy Catalog Marketing Economics.