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Dairy & Milk Industry Business Consulting

Dairy & Milk Industry Business Consulting

Dairy & Milk Industry

Dairy is an essential part of our life. Sometimes it is used as a product of final consumption or sometimes as an ingredient or raw input to produce another dairy product. It represents a group of commodities used everywhere in the world. This explains the massive size of the dairy industry at global, domestic and local levels making it a high-demand product category in any given market or region.

Coming to the business space, the collective power of local brands is emerging to be a big competitive threat to the big brands. These smaller brands are able to better comprehend customer behaviour at their respective local levels and thus, are able to better address customer needs and expectations from a dairy brand. Ecommerce, omnichannel and hybrid business models have significantly aided businesses in attracting the urban customer base. With the factor of ease of doing business getting prominence in the developing economies, market entry and market capture have become even easier for businesses doing their bit right.

As new business models in the retail dairy sector are more emphasised on urban markets by leveraging eCommerce, it has become critical for businesses to reassess and redefine their understanding of the urban customer base living in cities and metros. Customer and user experience have become as important as product quality. And with increasing competition, building brand loyalty remains a prerogative.

Challenges in the Dairy and Milk Industry with a focus on eCommerce

 

Inability to Fulfil Orders due to Operational Problems

Most of the challenges for retail dairy brands emanate from their operations. Customers often complain of delayed deliveries, order rescheduling, incorrect updates about order fulfilment, imposing of additional delivery charges for no fault of customers, etc. These are the broad indicators businesses cannot afford to ignore as something temporary. If these complaints are coming to the fore, it means that poor operations have begun to hit customer experience. However, poor order fulfilment is often traced back to unchecked issues with the eCommerce platform, inaccurate demand forecasting, absence of informed purchase planning, undefined working systems, poor process design, supplier and vendor management, etc.

Non-transparency and Incorrect Updates about Delivery

A frustrating experience for eCommerce customers is not being informed about their account and order status. The problem could be IT-related or incorrect or false manual updating. However sincere the mistake might be, it is appearing as non-transparency to customers. It is a terrible thing to happen in customer experience. Once statuses are not reflected as customers would expect, it leaves a huge window of doubt and confusion in their minds. And if it goes unaddressed for too long, the brand will take the beating. In contrast to positive word of mouth marketing, dissatisfied customers are capable of repelling potential customers.

Payment and Refund Issues

When customers make payments for their orders or subscriptions, they expect that the transaction process happening at the payment gateway will be easy and successful at the first attempt. That is the standard nowadays. Anything less than that would be a source of dissatisfaction to customers. There could be many reasons for failure or deviation in the online payment process. But that should not include poor back-end technical and UX issues. Also, payments are a sensitive issue. Firstly, retail dairy businesses should be careful about the correctness of their billing. Secondly, they should not force customers to place the refunds in the app wallet.

Poor Customer Support

Things do go wrong sometimes and it is normal. But it is important that customers are listened to whether it is a complaint or feedback. That is basic and calls for a customer support system that remains active and responsive. Ironically, even many established businesses fail to see the significance of it. In phone support, customers should not be having a harrowing time reaching to hear a voice on the other end. In text support also, customers often are made to go through a series of ‘tap here and tap there’ to be able to even start typing their issue. And some dairy brands continue to remain insensitive to the essence of customer care. Customer care and support is not just the exchange of information but sharing of empathy to the professionally possible extent. A major issue in this regard is the standard replies and responses sent by customer support agents over chats. That takes away the aspect of personalization from communication.

Quality of Products

Dairy products have a short shelf life. They are meant for early consumption or refrigeration. It is a challenge for eCommerce dairy brands to implement comprehensive QA measures and QC processes for routine operations. But that does lessen the need for maintaining the necessary quality standards. The first requirement is to have a professional and qualified team for product quality management.

Many businesses are too eager to quickly build a network of suppliers and expand their operational areas. That stings back bad in no time. Businesses need to examine the conditions of the production or farming areas, the levels of cleanliness and hygiene maintained, the use of scientifically proven methods and processes, etc. Maintaining the quality standards should not be left to the promise of mouth alone but also be made bound by relevant agreements.

Product Returns

Returns are a major issue in retail dairy. Given the shorter shelf life of dairy products, product returns straight away register as sunken inventory. Because of unfavourable weather conditions, storage and logistical mishandling, or faulty produce, it is common for many raw or semi-processed dairy products to become unusable for consumption or further use. Again, the emphasis goes back to quality assurance and quality control, strict adherence to SOPs, and the use of scientific tools and methods.

Poor Purchase Planning

Many retail dairy businesses struggle when it comes to accuracy in demand forecasting. In the absence of accurate demand estimates, purchase planning becomes an uphill task. Then there is spoilage of inventory that often goes unplanned and becomes a burden on the running order volumes. These aspects are uncontrollable in a running state of operations. Therefore, dairy businesses need to take demand forecasting seriously and take into account any threat in the supply chain that could put stress on their ability to successfully and consistently fulfil customer orders.

How YRC can help: in a glimpse

Having more than eight-plus years of experience in retail and eCommerce, we cater to more than twenty verticals. We offer a wide range of dairy & milk industry business consulting services to retail dairy brands across channels. Our team comprises experienced professionals from diversified backgrounds. Our dairy & milk industry business consultants go beyond addressing the known and manageable challenges. We help clients build a robust and competitive business enterprise. Here’s a glimpse of our dairy business consulting services.

Market Research

In market research, we help clients gain better market insights. The inputs help them in planning, strategy formulation, and decision-making. The areas where our market analysis proves helpful to clients include identification of market segments, estimation of market size, assessment of competition, location feasibility study, demand and price analysis, etc. Based on the studies and analyses, our team of dairy & milk industry business consulting experts also provide recommendations and CTAs unique to the business of each client.

Business Model Development

In business model development, we help clients develop a strong, UVP based business model. A unique value helps in customer acquisition and customer retention. But with an increase in competition and homogeneity of products and services, it is no longer easy to create a UVP. In delivering our online dairy business consulting services, our teams go to the details in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of clients in their respective markets vis-à-vis that of the competitors. After all the due considerations are taken into account and the necessary questions have been answered, our team of dairy & milk industry business consultants start working on business model development. We also define and map the network of the value chain and internal capabilities required to deliver the intended offering.

CX Strategy and ECommerce Personalization

Customer experience is a deciding factor for success in retail and eCommerce. Even a minor deviation in the core services could create a spiralling negative effect on the overall customer experience. In this age of the internet, social media, and information, the proliferation of poor experiences of customers does not take much time to come to public attention in large. And on top of that, some businesses resort to grey tactics like hiding critical reviews or trying to promote inauthentic views. Instead, businesses should focus on building systems and strategies that live up to the customers’ expectations of customers in their shopping journey.

At YRC, our team of dairy & milk industry business consulting experts first seek to understand and establish the priorities and expectations of the customers. Then, we define the CX goals and strategies to achieve them. We map customer experience covering all the important physical and digital touchpoints that customers go through. This helps in formulating strong CX strategies that are based on practical realities and not just fancy visioning.

SOP Development

Robust operational planning is a necessity for all organizations. From purchase decisions to home delivery of orders, every process and operation involved need to be identified, defined and mapped in definite terms. And the operational roadmaps also have to be designed as per the requirements of the business model and the functional strategies.

In SOP development, which is one of our flagship services, we help clients build a strong operational platform for carrying out their business operations. Our bigger goal in SOP development and operational planning is to help clients become process-oriented enterprises with optimal exposure to human-induced errors and mistakes.

Financial Assessments

Financial projections and planning are two core requirements to test the validity of a business idea or project. In business plan development, our team of dairy & milk industry business consultants carry out a detailed assessment of all the required financial aspects that go into starting and managing a retail dairy brand. We follow a methodical, comprehensive, and rigorous set of procedures and standards in preparing these financial projections and assessments. If the financial perspectives are not in favour, we ask clients to rework their business ideas and business models. The goal is to ensure that clients do not embark on a project that is not financially attractive or feasible.

Organizational Structure and Design

The style and grandeur of a building or a house would be a hollow attraction if the architecture is not sound. Organization structure and design to a business enterprise is what architecture is to a building. The organization represents the internal structure of a business enterprise in terms of roles and positions, departments and functions, formal communication routes, authority-responsibility relationships, teams and span of control, etc. Our team of dairy & milk industry business consultants and HR consulting experts offer professional assistance in conceptualizing and designing the required organizational framework for clients’ business enterprise.

We are a boutique retail and eCommerce consulting firm. To know more about our dairy & milk industry business consulting services or if you have any queries for our expert consultants, drop us a message and we will be happy to get back to you.

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We work only for Visionaries.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

Photography includes the following steps:

  • Cataloguing your products
  • Cataloguing your images
  • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
  • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

IT INTEGRATION

Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

  • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
  • Where should your Warehouse be located?
  • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
  • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
  • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
  • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
  • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
  • How much space do I require for warehouse?
  • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

 

At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

UI & UX DESIGNING

This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

Part 2: UX Designing:

“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

Part 3: UI Designing:

UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

  • In-house Design Team
  • Freelance Designers
  • Outsourced Design Team
  • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

BRANDING

Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

CRITICAL PATHWAY

Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

MARKET RESEARCH

Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.