Channel strategies among hardware makers ‘under pressure’

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Hardware execs struggling to provide real time data on channel performance in order to improve decision making

Existing channel strategies and resulting communications among UK hardware manufacturers will “be under increased scrutiny” from business stakeholders in 2016, according to research.

A report, The UK Channel Data Management Barometer, shows that 93 percent of hardware executives feel they are now “under pressure” from the business and its stakeholders to provide accurate, real time data on channel performance in order to improve decision making.

In parallel, 71 percent also said stakeholder demands will mean existing ways of managing channel relationships and setting sales strategies “must change”.

Data analyticsThe key areas that UK hardware companies struggle with in particular are disparate data sources (90 percent), timeliness with getting data from partners (70 percent) and the different formats that such data is submitted in (67 percent). These problems lead to further challenges such as concerns with meeting regulatory and/or compliance requirements (83 percent), gaining a single view across all channels (74 percent), scalability issues (73 percent) and challenges with creating actionable insights from channel data (72 percent).

There is without doubt still a lot of room for improvement in the channel data management area,” said Nick Andrews, general manager, EMEA and India at channel data management solutions firm Zyme. “The statistics show that companies have so far taken a relatively relaxed approach to managing information, but as investors have taken another look at ways to improve profitability gaps have been identified in this intelligence and these need to be closed quickly.”

Just 20 percent of the individuals questioned said they were “extremely satisfied” that their current approach to channel data management could keep pace with the demands from the business.

Zyme commissioned an independent study among UK hardware companies. A total of 100 decision makers responsible for channel data management were surveyed from companies with an annual turnover of at least £65 million. Respondents were sourced across a variety of sectors, including industrial automation, enterprise networking and consumer technology/hardware.