In Valvoline’s words: The human side of digital transformation

Partnering across supply chain and sales to power retail results

We talk a lot about supply chain and sales alignment, but Katlyn Davis brings one-of-a-kind real-world experience to the topic. She joined Valvoline as the Supply Chain Analyst on the Walmart account “only,” and gradually expanded to cover Amazon, Dollar General and a few other channels as well. More recently, she transitioned into a role as Sales and Operations Analyst. 

That’s why it was such a privilege to join Katlyn on a recent Supply Chain Now livestream on partnering across supply chain and sales to power retail results. Following a lighthearted discussion about waffles (it was National Waffle Day), the group covered digital transformation, working with retailers and of course, cross-functional collaboration.

Watch the full session here, or keep scrolling for some video highlights.

Cross-functional collaboration

With perspective from both supply chain and sales, Katlyn spoke to the power of connection across traditional team silos. Not only does it demonstrate to customers they really know their business and engender trust, it also enables them to maximize revenue opportunities, like promotions, and continually improve.

I think it's huge being able to have all those cross-functional teams because every analyst has a little bit different information or is at least in a certain specific niche part of the data a little bit more.
-Katlyn Davis, Analyst at Valvoline

 

 

The journey

Stepping back, it’s been remarkable to watch Katlyn’s growth as her journey at Valvoline has been closely intertwined with ours. Alloy was also focused on Walmart “only” to start and has since expanded to integrating and supporting many more accounts, as well as use cases across supply chain, sales and marketing. 

In fact, Katlyn’s first big project at the leading supplier of car motor oil was onboarding Alloy.

 

Replacing a legacy tool and driving adoption of a new platform is never easy. Although people want to move forward and modernize, change is often scary. It’s also hard to trust something new – especially when you’ve had so much success before, and it’s something as integral to your business as data and analytics. 

However, there’s a lot that can help make the process smoother and less intimidating. These learnings came through as Katlyn shared her experience working with Alloy:

  • Demonstrate early wins that impact business priorities
  • Work with a partner that empowers your team and delivers on promises
  • Focus on the new opportunities transformation opens up

 

Demonstrating early wins

Katlyn reflected happily on a time when data-driven storytelling changed the conversation with a Walmart buyer. As a result, Walmart handed Valvoline the reins to manage orders for a new product. They quickly turned around an out-of-stock issue that was costing lost sales every week.

We were letting them know how we're performing and how we're tracking and how we're able to forecast demand for this pilot that we're running right now. Instead of letting Walmart take on that other burden, we said, “Hey, we'll do it. We'll take it on if you let us.”
-Katlyn Davis, Analyst at Valvoline

 

 

A true partnership

Katlyn made us blush when she said our Client Solutions is “almost like a part of our team.” Empowering users and building that level of trust is always what we’re striving for, whether sharing industry best practices based on our experience working with a breadth of customers or simply circling back to make sure no question goes unanswered.

 

 

Focusing on opportunities to become proactive

A smart commenter during the livestream said, “I have seen the most successful solutions become those which promote creativity and enable innovation – helping users cultivate new ideas for business capability – going beyond simply improving operating efficiencies by connecting data.”

This is the exciting part of technology! It automates the mundane, freeing up bright minds like Katlyn to develop strategies to improve KPIs and proactively respond to demand shifts.

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