The consumer world is awash in information, a subject mentioned all around the place. Lifestreaming seeks to manage the data stream faced by consumers but what about the mountain of information that business users face?
There is a real market for solutions that do the hard work on business data and serve up nice, easily acted upon bite sized chunks of information – enter RPM.
RPM is a company that provides personalised, plain-English advice to retailers. Their advice is obtained through an rules-engine based analysis of the retailers Point of Sale (POS) data and a comparison with benchmark data from other stores within the group.
Their solution is a valuable tool – benchmarking is an important aspect of business health, but one that is often difficult to implement. RPM's "secret sauce" is to deliver plain English "action bulletins". These action bulletins are phrased in a friendly and casual way and are intended to provide ideas to retail staff that provide quick results to improve store performance.
In essence RPM takes the screeds of raw data already available from the POS system and, rather than provide yet another analysis of the data, it takes the next stage and converts the analysis into action points, small plain-English steps the retailer can take to improve their performance. They also produce their "scorecard" which depicts benchmarking data under a number of metrics such as, sales, stock and staff – all obtained from a comparison with other stores within the group.
RPM is ideally suited to retail groups with 10 or more stores – at this level meaningful comparative statistics can be obtained from the data. RPM have already rolled out their solution to a number of retail chains such as Kodak Express, Hardy's and PaperPlus – they're now in the process of engineering for scale and obtaining funding to build their customer base.
It'll be interesting to see where RPM takes this, one can imagine their tool proving useful in larger business chains but that requires a lot of investment both in engineering and sales – the next year or so will show how far they take their product.