Helping Retailers use Data Science to improve Sales Results

Episode 51

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This episode of Pharmacy View Podcast features Jeff Vassel as he and host Scott Carpenter, EVBC have an insightful conversation about how data can be used to facilitate better business decision making and thereby achieve improved sales performance. Jeff is the Global Business Development Manager at Geotech Information Services, a company which offers cutting edge strategic planning solutions to Australian retail businesses and the government. 

Born and raised in Canada, Jeff travelled to Australia in the early 1990s for a 6-month stint. Little did he know at that time that Australia would become home to a family he’d soon have. Jeff went on to have quite a career in Australia: from owning franchise businesses to leading business development for major companies. In his own words, he thoroughly enjoys what he does at Geotech Information Services and given his career history no other work would have been as perfect — helping businesses understand how to improve their sales performance.

Jeff says that there are some key considerations and characteristics that underpin store performance. Irrespective of whether someone has an emerging business, a mid-sized business or even a successful multi-chain business, the fundamental question that everyone wants to be answered is how can they perform better by predicting sales for the new stores that they want to open. Geotech helps such clients through the use of data and science. The list of services they provide includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Sales Prediction Modelling
  2. Market Share Analysis
  3. Location Planning Strategy
  4. International Network Planning
  5. Sales Cannibalization
  6. Performance Reporting
  7. Sales Analysis & Strategy

Jeff then goes on to talk about how location plays an important role in the sales performance of Pharmacies. Different data sets, he adds, help a Pharmacy owner understand how the performance can be optimized because that often comes from understanding the types of people that live and work around the Pharmacy.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to Geotech Information Services
  • Different considerations for Pharmacies based on their location
  • Understanding how locations determine sales performance
  • Consultation and product category analysis
  • Use of different data sets to optimize sales

Key Quotes (Time Stamps)

  • “I’ve been with Geotech just over five years and thoroughly enjoy what I am doing. If I could, I guess, write the perfect script in terms of what I really enjoy doing in business, Geotech would certainly fit that bill.” (4:17 – 4:30)
  • “Geotech is a consulting business founded in 2004. We work across a number of retail industries including the Pharmaceutical, of course; food, fashion, big box, health and the fuel industry. So, essentially when somebody asks me what is Geotech or who is Geotech, it’s really all about helping them better understand why some locations or stores perform better than others.” (5:31 – 5:58)
  • “One of the critical considerations to network planning is understanding how destination or impulse-driven your brand is.” (16:20 – 16:29)
  • “Bunnings are substantially a destination-based business and if you open too close to another store then of course that new store might cannibalize sales of the existing store. So, companies like Bunnings or other big-box retailers that are quite destination-based would put a lot of research into understanding how large their catchment areas around the stores need to be; and of course, how much of an impact opening that new store would have on their existing network as well.” (16:48 – 17:18)
  • “Pharmacies have to be 100% certain about the types of people that are coming in to use their services. Their prescription will bring customers in the door but a Pharmacy is like any other business, it has to generate sales and those sales typically come from ancillary services or the products that they stock. So, one of the things that we are doing, with Todd for example (My Pharmacy Appraisal), is we built a GIS mapping tool to help his customers better understand inner areas that they might be looking to acquire a Pharmacy. So, it’s putting a little bit of data behind the decision-making process for them so that they can better understand, well, if I buy this Pharmacy, what is the upside in terms of where can I take this: is it in the right location, is it servicing the types of people that live and work around that Pharmacy.” (18:27 – 19:24)
  • “So, quite often it is about optimizing the performance of the Pharmacy—how can we get better at it, how can we make more money; and that often comes from understanding the types of people that live and work around the Pharmacy.” (19:46 – 19:57)
  • “In addition to our normal consulting services, we also provide what we call product category analysis. So, what that would mean is that we would undertake an analysis of the types of products a Pharmacy would sell and we would align that with the types of people that live and work around the Pharmacy. So, they get a better understanding of the types of people and the products they are likely to buy. And when they are looking at acquiring a Pharmacy then they could use that information to optimize the Pharmacy to make sure the products that they have on the shelves are the products that the customers want to buy.” (19:59 – 20:30)
  • “It is important for somebody that’s either looking to acquire a Pharmacy or potentially move a Pharmacy into a new location to understand who is it that lives and works around that Pharmacy that I am acquiring or I am moving and therefore what brand out of my stable of four or five different brands that I might have under the one banner, which is that brand that is more likely to generate or resonate with those customers that are around that Pharmacy.” (21:53 – 22:19)

Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)

  • About Geotech Information Services (5:31 – 7:37)
  • Pharmacies and their locations: shopping centres Vs strip malls (8:55 – 10:29)
  • Use of demographic data (11:54 – 13:31) 
  • Understanding how locations determine sales (16:20 – 17:35)
  • Consultation and product category analysis (18:18 – 20:30)
  • Use of different data sets: mobile data and merchants’ data (23:27 – 25:38)

Useful Links

Jeff VASSEL | LinkedIn

Geotech Information Services: Overview | LinkedIn

Strategic Planning Solutions | Geotech Information

Home – My Pharmacy Appraisal

Scott Carpenter, EVBC | LinkedIn

Shopfront Solutions: Overview | LinkedIn

Shopfront Solutions

Aerion Technologies: Overview | LinkedIn

Aerion Technologies | Helping Non Techs Build Better Tech

Pharmacy View Podcast: Overview | LinkedIn

Pharmacy View

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