Impacts and benefits of Retail Audit to maximize market share, product availability and visibility
of MGI products in Dhaka Wing
Brands are reflection of the spirit or soul of an organization. It is considered a very important in the consumer market as it is what interconnects consumers with the company. A brand can be a name, logo, trademark or symbol. The purpose of a brand is to distinguish a company’s product from another in order for loyalty to take position in the consumer mind for that particular brand.
Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is one of the largest and fastest growing sector in the economy of Bangladesh. Fast Moving Consumer Goods are defined as low involvement products which are among convenient everyday goods. Products like salt, flour, edible oil, sugar etc. fall under this category.
In recent years, the FMCG industry is happening to experience a rather difficult market condition. In some cases, former popular brands have either been gone out of business or surviving as the middle entity among the market leaders and low cost competitors, partly because it is very difficult to track consumer’s brand preference. Sometimes after deciding on one brand, consumer may change their decision at the time of actual purchase. This is where brand trust and brand loyalty come to play.
To build consumer loyalty, a company must focus on building and maintaining trust in the consumer brand relationship. Unlike interpersonal trust that is built on person to person relationship, brand trust is different as brand is a symbol and is unable to respond to the consumer. This study focuses on examining how some factors like brand reputation, company reputation, brand predictability etc, is affecting the development if trust in brand of consumer goods in Bangladesh FMCG industry.
Meghna Group of Industries (MGI) is one of the biggest and leading conglomerates of Bangladesh. With a turnover of USD 2 billion and asset of USD 1 billion, MGI is currently operating in 32 companies, 30 industries with more than 15000 employees, 3000 distributors and 1000 suppliers across the country The history of Meghna Group of Industries dates back to 1976 when its predecessor Kamal Trading Company was born, the group’s humble debut occurred with the inception of Meghna Vegetable Oil Industries Ltd. in 1989 on a small chunk of land at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj. Now the group is running 30 industrial units on more than 350 acres of land. Meghna Group of Industries has been marketing cement, commodities, chemical, fish and poultry feeds, power plant, other bulk and industrial product under the brand name ‘Fresh’, ‘Number One’, and ‘Pure’.
The group also owns ship building dockyards, shipping company, securities, general insurance, media, aviation company and many other businesses, The group has more than 35 years of national and global experience. In Bangladesh, one in every three households use MGI brands and products, MGI has started to spread its footprints outside Bangladesh, especially in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe , North and South America through exporting its various products.
MGI has been very aggressive in its expansion plans and emerged as one of the largest investors in industrial development of Bangladesh. Meghna Group’s presence in this ambitious business expansion plans is designed and driven by a visionary and very humble person Mr. Mostofa Kamal, who is not only a far sighted entrepreneur but also known for his patriotism, contribution towards development of industrial, health , education ,sports, social welfare as well as various other sectors. His philanthropy, honesty, sincerity and dedication fetched the group today’s lofty achievements.
Meghna Group has already invested USD 1 billion for setting up new lines of business and great expansion programs such as chemical complex, power, salt, cement and media. Meghna group has contributed almost 75 million US Dollars as tax to the state exchequers in fiscal year 2012-2013. This is undoubtedly a glaring example of passionate initiative and a pioneer leadership role by a private sector investor in country’s economic and industrial development.
Description of the Project
From the year 2013 Meghna Group of Industries launched a project which is known as “Retail Audit” . They prepare this project report every month and on the basis of this valuable report they prepare actions to maximize market share, product availability and improving skills of sales force as well. The main concern about this project is to calculate the stock of (FMCG) products and measure the stock as well. In Bangladesh Fresh distributed and sales its fast moving consumer goods on the basis of six divisional segmentation. However, they want to measure the stock and product depth in Dhaka Wing and they are running Retail Audit Project in this wing only and main reason behind several factors they consider here which is given below:
The main purpose of this project is to maximize market share and also maximize product availability in the Dhaka Wing. This firm has more than 12000 outlets in this Wing and MGI has very good opportunity to maximize sales of Fresh products and also can increase product wise market growth as well.
- The first reason is the density and the population of Dhaka wing. In Dhaka division we have large number of consumers who are purchasing fast moving goods such as milk powder, Tea and sugar every day. We have less market share and product availability in the Dhaka wing if we consider the total population, market size and the competitors position. This project aims to deliver a complete scenario about the total market share and Fresh position in the market. If we look at the previous Retail Audit report of different month we found that currently some products market share and market growth is satisfactory but if we consider other products the total sales and total growth is not that much satisfactory. From this valuable project the firm can see the true market picture and take some valuable action as well.
- Second Purpose is we get some firsthand information from this project and that is we get all the outlet information in Dhaka Wing. This outlet information helps us in several ways such as we can easily communicate with the outlet owner. Secondly we structured this project in this way that we can track the outlets which are not selling Fresh Products. Moreover, we found our sales force positioning gap and we can evaluate sales force performance as well.
- Third purpose is the firm can easily get some valuable information about its competition, competitors position and total market share they are capturing in every month in product wise. To maximize sales of ‘Fresh’ (FMCG) products we need to consider and we have to concern about competitors products as well. This project helps us to get some information about the competitors products, which product they are selling more.
Impacts and benefits of Retail Audit project
Outlet Detail and Market Scenario
Before 2013 Meghna Group of Industries Fresh division found difficulties and faced lot of problems to manage the total outlet database and problems to deal with the retailers. They had to go through the indirect approach to communicate with the retailers. However, from the year 2013 they started Retail Audit project and got lot of benefits from it. Firstly, they are able to manage a complete database and from this database they easily get outlet detail information. Today Fresh is dealing with more than 12000 outlets in Dhaka wing under 4 different consumer products line A, B, C and D. This project also helps to get clear idea about the current market scenario.
Moreover, they get information directly from this report. In the below illustration shows that from Retail Audit project they get detail information about the retailers, their contact information and location position they are situated not only in market wise but also territory wise. As discussed earlier that today in Dhaka wing they have more than 12000 outlets and every single month they find some new retailers and they upgrade their database according with the change.
Here I am going to discuss about how Retail Audit project helps Meghna Group of Industries to understand the market scenario clearly and broadly.
Understanding total sample size: This project helps to understand the total sample size of different line consumer food products territory and divisional wise. Moreover, MGI can evaluate the changing nature of Dhaka wing in individual month wise in every line and products as well. This project also helps to identify the availability and percentage of availability of MGI consumer food products product wise in the Dhaka wing.
From the month of July the firm knows the total sample size in individual line. The above table shows that the divisional and regional wise how MGI delivers food products for the consumer of Dhaka wing. From July 2013 they are serving food products under 3 different divisions in Dhaka wing. They also have 7 different regions and 19 different territories under 3 different divisions in Dhaka wing. Retail Audit monthly report helps to find out the changing nature and covering areas of Dhaka wing. When they started this project in July 2013 they have only 2655 outlets available to sale their consumer products [see the universe of survey 01(S-1)] but the latest report says that they have 3046 outlet in the market and see the monthly change of the table. From Retail Audit Project it helps to understand that from month to month they get some new outlets from the market and with this information they are able to update their database.
Moreover, it helps to target and sale their food products in the new outlets as well. This project report also shows that the firm is concern and only sales products in the consumer fast moving food outlets and similarity between the outlets is very high.
As discussed in the above part MGI has 4 different products line and each line consists of different products. Each line has its own distinctive features, areas and regions to target and serve the market in Dhaka region. In the above I discussed only the sample size in product line A but MGI has three more products line and they are B, C and D.
The above table shows that like product line A MGI has some similarity in product line B. Moreover the shop similarity is also higher in this line. As I discussed above that Retail Audit project report helps to find out the changing nature of outlets in Dhaka wing and it also helps MGI to add new outlets and update their database as well. The above table also shows the similar way MGI divided the total wing into 3 divisional segmentation and under this segmentation they have different territories and markets to sale and deliver their food products to the consumer.
The product line A and Product line B has some similarity and sample size is also close to each other but product line C and D has some dissimilarity and has some difference. The main reason behind this is product line C and D deals with the different consumer food products and the total sample size is also different. Retail Audit report helps to identify the difference and customer segmentation in the market. The below table shows that MGI has 5 division and under this 5 division they have territories and markets to sale their food products.
Product wise and SKU wise availability information:
From Retail Audit project MGI gets the valuable information like they can understand the SKU wise availability of consumer food products in outlets in Dhaka wing. Every month from this report they can identify that which SKU availability is higher in the market in Dhaka wing. This project report also helps to forecast the future demand of food products in the markets. The main concern of Retail Audit is getting the right information at the end of every month and it deals with every single product in every single line. Here from this report they are not only getting the information about their product availability but also they get the information about the numeric distribution of food products as well. As I discussed earlier that each individual line has different products and offerings for the consumer so MGI needs to know the individual growth and market share and product availability of each product in the Dhaka wing and this project helps this firm in the right way. In the product line A MGI has 5 food products and these are Fresh milk powder, Super pure milk powder, Fresh sugar, Fresh premium Tea, Fresh Danedar Tea and Super Fresh Drinking Water. The table actually illustrated below and it shows some valuable information that MGI get from Retail Audit Report.
The table shows that Fresh Milk Powder has 7 SKU and it also shows that MGI included different SKU to increase the maximum profit and market share from the market. However, this report also shows that the total demand on per SKU of Fresh Milk Powder in the market. If the individual SKU product availability is high that also indicates the demand level of the market.
This is simple understanding that if the availability of product in the outlets is very high then the demand must be higher of that specific product SKU. Moreover this project report also helps to take the corrective action to increase the demand of the Fresh Milk Powder in the market. MGI takes action and promotes the less selling SKU on the basis of availability report of this Retail Audit project.
Product Line B deals and offers with the different kinds of food products in the market for the customers. The product line B includes Super Fresh Soyaben Oil, Super Pure Vegetable oil and Fresh Atta Moida and Suji. Like product line A Retail Audit Project report also helps in the similar way. This line products also has different SKUs and targeting and selling food products for the customer. If the availability of products is higher than it indicates the demand for the particular product individual SKUs in the market. Moreover, Not only product line A and B but also they have get same type of information from this project report in every month for the product line C and D. There are some tables which are given below and these are the examples that how this project report helps MGI to maximize the product availability, market share and SKU wise market growth in the Dhaka Wing.
Like product line A and B, product line C deals with the different food products and it has also specific SKUs as well. The products are Number one con. Milk, Number one Drinking Water, Number one tea and Fresh Dust Tea and Fresh Semai. Product line D also deals with different kinds of food products for the customer and the product line has Mustard oil, Fresh Premium Salt, Number One Premium Salt, Fresh Turmeric Powder, Fresh Chili Powder, Fresh Chicken Masala, Fresh Beef Masala and Vegetable Masala. The below table also indicates that the demand is continuously rising in one particular product and it is Number 1 Condensed Milk. This project report also helps to forecast the demand of the demand as well. Moreover, MGI gets the idea that which product brings the maximum profit and also product brings the less profit from the Dhaka wing as well.
Information about the Numeric Distribution of products
Numeric Distribution is actually based on the number of outlets that carry a product. In numeric distribution we can understand the outlets which are dealing and keeping at least one of the products stock keeping units. From numeric distribution MGI can understand and measure the ability to carry a product to its customer in terms of total number of outlets it has in different product line. Retail Audit project report helps MGI to measure this ability and this firm also gets broad information about the Dhaka wing. Before 2013 this was very difficult task to do for Meghna Group Of Industries but from middle of the year 2013 they managed to get this type of valuable information from Retail Audit project report. Moreover, they are getting month wise and product wise numeric distribution information. MGI has 4 specific line and each line has different food products in the market and through Retail Audit project report this firm actually understand that how many outlets are carrying their food products SKUs wise from the total number of outlets available in the Dhaka wing. The below tables are examples of numeric distribution of products stock keeping units wise in 4 food products line.
Fresh Milk powder belongs to Product line A. The above table shows the numeric distribution of this product stock keeping units wise. The above information actually indicates the carrying percentage of fresh milk powder of outlets in terms of total number of outlets in Dhaka wing.
Moreover, they use this information to evaluate the products availability in stock keeping units wise in the Dhaka wing. The above table illustrates the changing results of conveying outlets from month to month. This information is also necessary and useful to forecast the upcoming demand of products in the market and also useful to determine the current demand and selling condition. Moreover, from this information MGI can evaluate the rising and undergoing demand and availability of products as well. The above table is the illustration of only one products from product line A and from Retail Audit project they get all products numeric distribution of other lines as well. This report is really helpful for the firm product wise and stock keeping unit wise to evaluate the ability to carry its products in the outlets in the Dhaka wing.
Competition and Competitors Scenario
Competition is the rivalry between the two or more firms to achieve maximum profit through increasing sales volume in the market. For every fast moving consumer goods selling firm this is very important to understand the competition and current positioning and offerings in the market. Like other firms MGI has its specific structural way to find out this major factor. Retail Audit project helps the firm to understand the competition and current situation in the market.
Before 2013 MGI faced problems to identify and compare the true scenario and condition of the competitors in the Dhaka Wing with other divisional wing in Bangladesh. Today Fresh has almost 3 and sometimes more than 3 competitors in the market in every single product line. Every single month MGI gets the information about the major competitors in the market.
The above table is the illustration and information that how MGI understand the competitors scenario through Retail Audit project. Here S7 means Retail Audit report 7 and S6 means Retail Audit report 6. In the Dhaka wing the total number of outlets for the product line A is about 3046 and competitors product availability almost same in the market and if the total number of outlet is changed in the market from Retail Audit every month report MGI gets the information about the market change and competitors availability and covering percentage in the market. This illustration shows only Fresh milk powder availability in the market and the competitors milk powder availability and covering percentage in the Dhaka wing. From this information MGI concerns about that how many outlets has its milk powder. The above table also indicates that MGI has the opportunity to increase milk powder product availability in the outlets which are not keeping the milk powder currently. Moreover, in the product line A MGI has Tea, Water and Sugar and they also offer and sales these products for the consumer as well. However, competition and competitors scenario is different in comparison with the different products.
In the above table it shows some difference and availability percentage. In this table total availability and visibility of Fresh Sugar is in better position and Fresh is covering more outlets in the market. This is the true picture and competitors scenario in the market. Competitors scenario understanding is so important and When MGI started Retail Audit project in the middle of the year 2013 they found only 2655 outlets in the Dhaka wing and today they have total 3046 outlets and Retail Audit report helps them to get and add new outlets in the Dhaka wing.
For firms which are offering fast moving consumer goods in the current market it is very difficult to track down the information about the competitors and their products availability, new promotional offer, market share and market growth in the market. Moreover, most of the firms keep records about their own products availability and market they are covering and their growth rate. However, from Retail Audit project MGI can easily inform about these important things and they also use these information for maximize more sales, market share and product availability in Dhaka wing.
The two above tables show that MGI products covering and increasing profit for the firm and individually it is growing in the market with the direct comparison of competitors products. Moreover, MGI gets clear idea about the availability of products in the outlets as well. The firm also get information and indication of the opportunities it has currently in the market to maximize market share but the growth and availability comparison table is not same for all fast moving consumer products MGI is offering in the market.
The above table is the example that MGI has not the same product availability and market share in the market for different products in the market. This is the way how Retail Audit actually gives proper information of products availability, total market share with the comparison with the competitors. The above table shows that MGI needs to consider the current availability condition and market situation of mustard oil in Dhaka wing. Competitor is actually covering and selling more in comparison with MGI in Dhaka wing. It indicates that MGI badly need to consider the situation and to increase product sales, market share as well. This is the example that through Retail Audit report firm is able to get two valuable information. Firstly, firm is getting the information which products are more selling and availability is higher in the market and by this they can understand the market share and current position in comparison with the competitors. Secondly the firm also gets the true information about the consumer products which are less selling and availability and covering area is very low in the market.
Field force performance assessment and Evaluating management action
On the basis of every month Retail Audit project report MGI can identify the maximum performing area and the less performing area because this reports indicates the product availability of different territory outlets. By using the report results management takes action to increase the consumer products availability and market share and from the next month project report they understand and evaluate the action which is taken by the management in the previous month. Management also evaluate the performance of the field sales force at a time from this valuable project report.
The main purpose of retail Audit project is to increase product availability and market share from Dhaka wing. Meghna Group of industries successfully implements this project in the market and gets several benefits from it. The total sales report of every month shows that the other wing sales is satisfactory in comparison with Dhaka wing. So it decided to increase availability in the Dhaka wing of consumer food products as per management decision to fulfill some important purpose. Firstly the population of Dhaka wing is huge in comparison with other wing and if MGI sales more consumer products in this wing then it can be very profitable. MGI started Retail Audit project and they were able to see the true market picture about their product positioning, total selling condition and product availability condition in the Dhaka wing. Moreover, the firm also use this results to identify the positioning gap in the market as well. MGI also understand the true scenario of its consumer products in comparison with the competitors and also gets idea about the competitors product, total market share and total sales in the Dhaka wing. This project also helps to manage the complete database of retailing outlets in the Dhaka wing. The firm also get idea about its total outlets in the Dhaka wing and easily communicate with the retailers as well. This project completely primary data oriented where secondary sources of data is not useful. The data collection process takes time and sales manpower and this results less productivity of manpower in the market. As I discussed earlier that data collection procedure requires direct involvement of the sales force and firm is not relaying any kind of secondary sources of information this project confirms the reliability of data collection and results at a time.
Company is also getting first hand information about the market. The most significant benefit the firm is getting is the information about the major competitors, their product availability and product wise market share in the Dhaka wing. The report creates difference between the maximum selling products and the less selling products in the market. It enables the firm to think and build strategy to maximize the profitability of less selling and less available products. MGI also gets message for the new opportunities it has in the market from this report as well.
Moreover, on the basis of results of project report MGI ensures and evaluate the performance of the field force of different product line, employees capability to compete with the competitors in the Dhaka wing.
Today Meghna Group of Industries deals with 12000 outlets in the Dhaka wing. However the firm is not covering and selling its consumer products to all the outlets and a less portion of outlets remain untreated. The Retail Audit report shows the opportunity to target and sale consumer products to these outlets. Moreover, all the line products selling and availability performance is not satisfactory in different territory and market wise project report highlights the less productive area and new opportunities as well.
Meghna group of industries is holding one of the leading position among all other firms in Bangladesh. From Retail Audit project MGI is getting valuable information of their consumer products in Dhaka wing. This project helps and gives benefits for the firm in many ways as I discussed briefly in the above parts in different segments. However, this project also some limitations and drawbacks as well. Here the below part I have discussed some of the areas that MGI needs to consider to achieve more product availability, more profit and more sales force performance.
- As I discussed earlier that Retail Audit project requires primary data and this project report does not require any kind of secondary data and collecting primary data from the field it needs direct involvement of the sales force. This creates problem for the sales productivity of the sales personnel in the market because this project needs huge time and direct involvement of the sales force. To achieve more sales and profit from market sales field force need to focus on the sales monthly target achievement and sometimes this project hampers the performance of sales force in the market. To ensure the reliability MGI uses its own sales force for this project but the firm also can ensure the reliability by other ways too. For data collection purpose they can go for the indirect approach and can hire the third party firm. Many reputed other organization and firms are using third party firms to collect data of the retailers and retailing outlets. Moreover the reliability of the third party firm is satisfactory. As per benefit of hiring third party firm is the field force performance will be increase because they will get more times to increase their sales and maximize the profit as well.
- Second important issue that MGI needs to consider is the main purpose of this project report is to maximize the product availability and market share in the Dhaka wing but there are some territories which are kept untreated and the firm is overlooking it. The firm needs to set more control over its sales personnel to minimize this problem.
So this are the important points where MGI needs more concentration, managing and controlling ability to minimize problems and if the firms able to fix these types of issues then the firm can able to ensure more market share, more product availability and market growth from this project.
Meghna Group of Industries FMCG division is one of the leading companies in the market. This report has provided some interesting insight into what kind of benefits the company is getting from Retail Audit project and issues should be taken into consideration in order to increase the product availability and increase more market share. Recently, the company has changed the label for their ‘Fresh’ branded soybean oil. But the previous label also exists in the market beside the new label which is very confusing for the consumers. Company should address this type of detailed problems in order to contribute in a better brand image which will increase consumers trust in the brand and as a result increase brand loyalty as well as increase sales.
Meghna Group of Industries has come a long way and has leaped through the time with excellent expertise. The sales and marketing team of ‘Fresh’ would find it helpful if they can stay updated to the consumer reactions to the different marketing activities and take the steps accordingly. Choosing proper and suitable marketing programs not only gain consumer trust but also will reel in market share which Meghna Group of Industries needs to become a giant.