Can Analytics Help a Sari Sari Store?

I had this interesting conversation earlier about analytics while at a BNI meeting.

I started explaining to the person I was sitting next to what I do and he asked can analytics really help any business?

Of course I said yes.

He asked even a Sari Sari store?

For those of you who don’t know much about Sari Sari stores, let me tell you a bit about them.

By far the most common form of self-employment in the Philippines are small, family operated convenience stores. Called Sari-Sari stores, there are an estimated 1 million Sari Sari stores across the Philippines. Per wikipedia, this counts for an estimated 30% of all retail sales in the Philippines.

Sari-Sari, which is Tagalog for variety, are an important economic and social pieces of just about every Filipino community. Most are privately run, family owned and are operated from the front of the owners house.

Commodities are displayed behind a large mesh screen to both allow customers to see what is available and to prevent shoplifting. The most common goods sold are candy, snacks and other non-perishable food items. Cigarettes and mobile phone cards are also popular items for sale. Household needs like soap, detergent and cleaning supplies are also common. Some stores have small refrigerators to offer cold drinks like soda and beer.

Sari-sari stores generally have higher prices when compared to supermarkets which is a tradeoff for proximity to their customers. It is also common to buy single units of a product versus an entire package as paying more to meet a quick need is valued over planning and budgeting bulk purchase over the long term.

Some Sari Sari stores also offer credit to neighbors. Micro lending of this scale is wide spread and generally done under the rule that if the credit is not repaid, the store owner will report this to the local government officials.

Some Sari Sari stores barter goods and services with farmer, fishermen and other businesses.

Most Sari Sari store proprietors buy their goods at supermarkets then mark up the prices for resale (on the average 20%). In some areas, businessmen make act a middle man offering bulk products to the Sari Sari store.

It is my belief that most Sari Sari stores can benefit from a simple strategic business plan and some very basic analytics.

My understanding is that Sari Sari stores operate on a very tactical level with little long term planning and operate with little market awareness.

If I ever to consult with the owner of a Sari Sari store, my initial approach would be to develop a business strategy plan and build a basic analytics process to gather data and provide a proof of concept.

This approach would be broken into the following steps:

  1. Business Strategy Assessment — How do they conduct business?
  2. Competitive Landscape — Who do they compete with?
  3. Demographic Profile — Who are their customers?
  4. Market Assessment — How much upside is in their market?
  5. Inventory Analysis — How to they optimize inventory?
  6. Facilities Assessment — Are they getting the most of their location?
  7. Risk & Security Assessment — What risks do they face?

I will flesh out each of these steps in upcoming blog posts.

Once I have complied data from these 7 steps, I can develop a business strategy plan unique to the individual Sari Sari store.

After my presentation of the business plan, I can make a determination if they Sari Sari store will enter Phase Two of the plan.

I would work with the proprietor store for a set period of time in a consulting role to determine viability of operations and if they meet our program standards (detailed later in this document).

In addition to offering a consulting solution, through my company, I can also offer additional services including cash management, accounting, marketing, inventory and fulfillment assistance, and other solutions as they arise.

Its my experience that the busiest Sari Sari stores offer something unique. Some might have an ice cream maker, or a special dish they prepare, or some have home baked goods. Regardless, they generally have something that sets them apart from a store that just offers traditional goods.

So, the final piece of my involvement would be cross selling our unique products to Sari Sari stores in need of a unique product to build their business around.

After that consultation, I would expect that three things would happen:

  1. the Sari Sari store proprietor would have a better grasp of a strategic business strategy.
  2. the Sari Sari store would increase profits and
  3. the Sari Sari store would expand its customer base and build up loyalty with existing customers.

So, to get back to the question… how can analytics help a Sari Sari store?

By applying some lessons from the corporate world.

Analytics in the Philippines — The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions.

Daniel Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics firm with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and offers big data coaching and analytics training seminars on both sides of the Pacific. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in STEAM 2020 Conference.

This I Why I Do What I Do…

This is why I do what I do…

Ron: Hi Mr. Dan Meyer, I have attended Data Science Philippines Meetup last February 22. And listened to your talk. I am a graduating student, and a former Data Scientist Intern. I want to be a Data Scientist, but Companies need an experienced person to be their data scientist. I just want to ask, what job should I take first to become a Data Scientist soon? Thank you for reading my message, hope you’ll answer me.

Dan: Data Analyst. IT Staff. Development Staff. Anything where you get to use data everyday. This will give you some hands on experience that you can use to more towards data science. Basically you need to get practical experience coding and managing data. Hope that helps. SQL is probably the most versatile language to learn, but any of the ones you see listed in a data science job posting will help.

Ron: Thank you for the response Mr. Dan Meyer, I’ll keep it in my mind, that really helps. I am hoping to be just like you soon.

Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

When They Go Low, We Go High

When They Go Low, We Go High

Michelle Obama’s quote from the recent Democratic convention will go down as one of the greatest quotes ever.

And I’ve been thinking about what that quote means for me as an American in the Philippines.

I often talk about why I love the Philippines and how I have so much faith in the Filipino people.

My passion comes from way down deep and is has been unshakeable during my 5+ years of living in the Philippines. Talking about analytics in the Philippines has been the time of my life.

Although there have been bad times. Burned by bad partners, taken advantage of by greedy individuals and flustered by arcane bureaucracy. But they haven’t stopped me.

Because when others go low, I keep going high.

Trying as much as possible to do the right thing. Valuing integrity and accountability over success and profit. These things are the high road.

As a guest in the Philippines, I strive to show appreciation and gratitude whenever possible for the once in a life time opportunity to chase my dream of empowering Filipinos with analytics.

There have been and will be detractors. Roadblocks and hurdles will continue to be a burden. Perhaps even a rift between the governments of my home county and my adopted country may cause more challenges.

But as long as I keep going high when things go low, I will survive.

My faith in the Filipino people has not diminished.

In fact, it has only gotten stronger.

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.

Why I’m Sticking with the Philippines

The past few months have seen a lot of negativity from President Duterte and his leadership team in their  comments about the state of U.S.-Philippines relations. Add to this the uncertainty around President Trump and his vision that suppresses globalization and threatens outsourcing.

The comments are sometimes a challenge for me to listen to as my connection to the Filipino people runs deep.

I grew up in Vallejo, California which has one of the largest and most vibrant Filipino communities outside of the Philippines.

The majority of my friends from elementary through high school are either Filipino immigrants or the children of Filipino immigrants.

My first crush was a Filipina. My junior prom data was a Filipina. I ended up marrying a Filipina. My brother married a Filipina. My son spent a year going to high school in the Philippines.

I not only love eating Caldereta and Adobo, but I can cook them really well.

I’m a huge fan of Jennylyn Mercardo and English Only Please is one of my all time favorite movies.

I have no problem riding in a Jeepney.

When I was working as an Analyst at Wells Fargo, I was deeply invested in making our remittance product the best in the business. I also volunteered to engage the Filipino community of almost 4 million at numerous events and promotions.

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When I finally had the chance to move to the Philippines to set up my analytics business, I did so to fulfil my destiny… to empower Filipinos to use more analytics in their business decision-making.

To date I have hired over 200 Filipinos, have spoken at dozens of schools in the Philippines and have provided analytics training to thousands of Filipinos.

Like just about any American who spends quality time in the Philippines, I love the Philippines.

No matter what happens between my government by birth and my government by choice, I will always feel that deep down inside my place is in the Philippines.

Because the heart of the Filipino is truly special in this world.

And that is why I am sticking with the Philippines.

My Analytics Story – My passion is solving problems by bringing together the best talent, cutting edge technology and tried and true methodologies. DMAIPH is all about empowering people towards better Decision-Making through the use Analytics and business Intelligence. This is what I do best. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly for a free consultation about getting more analytics into your career and your business.

Reinforcing Positive Behavior By Influencing Team Members

When you work with DMAIPH, you will be working with people who care because they constantly study, learn and evolve. No one wants to be stuck in a place where every day is the same and you never get a sense of what you are part of.

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Here’s one reason why Going DMAIPH is different!

https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=B._F._Skinner#Behaviorism

Been thinking a lot about how to motivate people. Sometimes I think we might have it all wrong.

We get so busy doing things that we forget to say thanks and we avoid saying you can do better.

Per Wikipedia, “Reinforcement, a key concept of behaviorism, is the primary process that shapes and controls behavior, and occurs in two ways, “positive” and “negative”.

Both types of reinforcement strengthen behavior, or increase the probability of a behavior reoccurring; the difference is in whether the reinforcing event is something applied (positive reinforcement) or something removed or avoided (negative reinforcement). Punishment is the application of an aversive stimulus/event (positive punishment or punishment by contingent stimulation) or the removal of a desirable stimulus (negative punishment or punishment by contingent withdrawal).

So I know that is nosebleed inducing for some of you, so let’s break it down.

Say we have a challenge in our business with attendance. So we can try to find ways to reinforce good behavior using positives like perfect attendance rewards or offering additional incentives to come to work like food and allowances. But we also have to find ways to limit the negative behavior through coaching, warnings and potentially termination.

If you dont have a clearly defined model of rewarding both positive and negative behavior then team members will get lost and generally gravitate towards negative behavior. Having a clear and consistent attendance policy that is upheld from top to the bottom in an organization will give you that balance of behavior.

DMAIPH specializes in helping businesses in both the U.S. and the Philippines optimize processes and procedures including how to positively influence team member behavior.

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Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.