I predominantly support the marketing and business development teams, with anything they need market information about. So if we get an opportunity with a potential new customer, for example, I will need to look at their company profile and history, their locations and the like.
I am also involved in a lot of sector research; in CPG, for example, we are working on a project to value the market, see who the major players are and build a target list of customers who could benefit from our expertise for the next year from that. I also work with external agencies on the bespoke research we commission.
Our key objective is growth through consistently adding value to our customers’ business. Each of our sectors has some aggressive growth targets, but by allowing our customers to do what they do best – and Wincanton doing what we do best – there are plenty of opportunities in the market for us.
That is where Mintel is very useful for us with their market forecasting.
This has been our first year of subscribing to Mintel Reports, but I have used them in a previous role in the telecoms sector, which is why I wanted to bring them over to Wincanton with me. We don’t subscribe to any particular sector but pick and choose reports from across the wide range of areas they cover.
Our main focus is transport and warehousing and we have a huge presence in retail, especially grocery, home and DIY. We are also an important player in the manufacturing industry and have a large footprint in construction, CPG, and the defence industry; anything you can possibly buy or use we have potentially had some contact with that product at some point in its lifecycle.
In comparison to other industries, the logistics industry in general is quite new to research, and to consumer research in particular, but it is getting the message that consumers ultimately drive everything we do.
The economy and changing consumer behaviours are the two biggest challenges we face.
With online consumer spending reaching in excess of £100 billion in 2014, we are seeing delivery becoming a major battleground for retailers as changing consumer expectations place greater emphasis on speed, enabled by mobile technologies supporting faster and more reactive purchasing decisions.
The speed at which consumer behaviours and expectations have developed has led the logistics industry to review its own processes to ensure that it is able to best serve the needs of retailers.
Having access to high-quality research is crucial to helping us respond to that.
While there is also a lot of strong competition in the marketplace, our insight and expertise sets us apart and adds significant value to what we bring to our customers’ operations.
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