Our benchmarking although in early days is now just starts churning out data and we can see that soon we will have a global perspective of many newsagents. It will be an extremely powerful tool. It will be extremely exciting as it will be the first time ever newsagents have had the ability to do what majors can do now with benchmarking.
In magazines the critical issue has always been the range. There are just too many magazines in the system. Over the last few days I have been looking at computer reports trying to see about how we can help to automate the selection procedure.
But it is difficult to figure out what needs doing. So today I decided to check with other retailers. If they have done it why reinvent the wheel? So I booked a meeting in a few weeks with our benchmarking expert (Andrew) and me at Coles Myer to check out their systems. From what I understand they use consultant company software which they don’t know the formula. No doubt we will have to make our own formula but we need to know an overall sense of what is needed first before. Meanwhile I found out that one of my clients in a former life worked in that department at Coles Myer so I am going next week to be talking with him about how it worked.
So much time and effort is being spent on magazines now and the recent evidence is a real worry as it suggests that it is on a decline. This means that people will not be able to justify the work they put into it now. We have to get smarter here and automation is one important tool.