Janet Dorenkott

VP & Co-owner, Relational Solutions, Inc.

Janet Dorenkott is co-founder and Vice President of Relational Solutions, Inc. (RSI). Founded in January of 1996, Relational Solutions specializes in helping CPG Manufacturers increase profits by gleaning insights from data. RSI has helped over 200 companies increase ROI and improve business intelligence. This is done by streamline the data integration process and presenting information back to management so they can immediately see sales performance, improve joint business planning sessions with retailers, identify issues in the supply chain, determine where their promotion dollars are most effective and more. By streamlining the data integration process, customers are able to improve internal productivity and eliminate the cumbersome process of piecing together data from many sources into spreadsheets that are prone to human error.

Relational Solutions POSmart application automates the integration, cleansing and harmonization of point of sale data with internal master data. The underlying architecture can be leveraged for years so that as new retailers are added and new data becomes available. Retail reporting becomes seamless by leveraging both the manufacturer and retailer calendars. POSmart turns data into actionable information and insights.

BlueSky is a Suite of end user products that presents key performance indicators back to management and allows analysts to delve in and query for more information. Steven Sawyer, head of Microsoft’s User group calls BlueSky the industries “best kept secret.”

RSI also gives customers a competitive edge with TradeSmart and PromoPro. TradeSmart & PromoPro leverage the consumer data along with shipments, COGS, promotion plans and forecasts to determine promotion effectiveness and to help CPG companies better understand sales, promotions, ROI and what’s impacting them.

Janet is responsible for all of the sales and marketing efforts of Relational Solutions and also various partner agreements. Prior to founding RSI, Janet worked on the data warehousing/business intelligence team of a database vendor. She has developed and conducted many business intelligence training programs for companies and organizations.

Janet and her company are members of several professional organizations including TDWI, CGT, IPDA, IBF, NEOSA, NRF, FMI and NACDS. On a personal level, she is the mother of three and active in a local charity called Friends Helping Friends, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and The Blessing House.

  • Posted on: 06/06/2016

    Will shoppers want to interact with AI ads?

    Google has been doing this for years. It's the reason I own a Droid. My phone can literally be in my purse and I can say "OK Google, find me a coupon for Macy's," and it will. When I lose my phone I say "OK Google, give me the definition of liberty." By the time it's done giving me the definition, I have it in hand.However, I'm not sure how that will work with ads that weren't requested. They tend to be annoying. I view ads much like advice. Unsolicited advice is rarely welcome. Neither are unsolicited ads in most cases. I think it will be all about timing and circumstance. If I walk into my local drug store and a coupon for Tums pops up, I might be interested. That same ad if I'm watching a game or at a graduation party will annoy me.Watson is an extremely cool technology. I'm looking forward to seeing what more IBM will do with it!
  • Posted on: 04/11/2016

    Should retailers work with Amazon Payments?

    It depends on the customer and demand. My guess is more and more customers are demanding it. But it also depends on the retailer and what they are selling. If they don't compete much with Amazon, then I think they are safe. If I was a small grocer, I might consider it because it could be a competitive advantage to them. However, if I sold products that could be easily purchased on Amazon, I would have concern.

    Today, Amazon might say they are not using that data internally. However, how long will that last? Amazon could easily analyze that transaction data and start actively sending personalized marketing messages to your customers for items they wouldn't have thought to buy on Amazon today.

  • Posted on: 04/11/2016

    Will pop-up fever withstand a rent hike?

    I think we will continue to see pop-ups. As far as landlords preferring long-term renters, that is obvious. However, better to have a pop-up than an empty location for a month.

    Consumers like to see what's new. Any store in a location where there was nothing or even some retailer that went out of business will get the consumer's attention. Especially at a music venue or festival where people are milling about looking for a day of entertainment.

  • Posted on: 02/28/2016

    What Apple’s privacy battle means for retail

    Had the FBI contacted Apple before attempting to log in 10 times without success, we would already have the information. I was originally unsure how I felt about this until i learned about the failed attempts.

    Apple intentionally made sure there was no back door BEYOND the first 10 attempts. To develop a back door beyond the 10 attempts would expose all Apple customers to hackers. The FBI is not simply asking Apple to help them get into the phone. Apple has done this for them in the past. But because the FBI tried to hack in, without Apples help during those first 10 attempts, what they are asking Apple to do is change their business practice, develop a new program that will expose all customers to hackers and and remove a competitive edge.

    I've never been an Apple fan. I'm a Droid fan. But I think the FBI is going beyond what is a reasonable request. And the media is not fully explaining it because I don't think they fully understand the real issue.

    Retailers should stay out of this.

  • Posted on: 01/25/2016

    New browser promises to fix what’s wrong with the web

    I'm skeptical. Chrome AdBlocker is supposed to do the same thing. Unfortunately, one wrong click voids that idea. If Brave manages to get it right, I'm still skeptical. It's like cable that was supposed to be free of ads if you paid for it. Roku is supposed to be free of ads, but every newscast I log into has an auto ad. My skepticism says they will get it right initially, then sell out, just like the rest have.

  • Posted on: 09/09/2015

    Best Buy to open shops inside of Macy’s stores

    I don't see this working. People buy electronics online. Best Buy has an old business model that hasn't worked for years. I can see why they are trying something new but I don't think it's going to work. I don't go to a department store for electronics. I go online like everyone else.

    Years ago I suggested Best Buy scale back store sizes and negotiate deals with manufacturers to showcase their products and get a commission since their stores have basically been showrooms for years. People go in, test products, then order them from home, online. If Best Buy could position the products and offer an internet cafe which would allow further browsing then they could negotiate a commission for anything purchased through their computers.

    Selling at Macy's will only increase costs, because I'm guessing space is more expensive in a department store than it is in the strip area of the mall. This should be interesting.

    By the way, this survey question assumes someone will benefit. I think that's a bad assumption.

  • Posted on: 08/31/2015

    Amazon exploring public transit delivery

    Interesting concept, but have you ever been to a bus station? Delivery is one thing, but inventorying the items to place on certain buses will be a nightmare. Does Amazon expect the bus station to protect their items? I've been to the one in downtown Cleveland and I'm telling you, those items won't leave the station.

    Hey Amazon, here's an idea ... partner with Uber. They are already on the road, they are cheap and if they can drop off a package for a small fee while in the neighborhood they like to drive in, it seems like a much more safe and distributed model where you know exactly who is in possession of those items. Just give me a nickel for each item delivered and I'm happy to give you the patent rights!

  • Posted on: 08/31/2015

    Macy’s new off-price format launches

    These young moms grew up with stores like Forever 21 and Charlotte Rouse. I think it's wise for Macy's to explore this avenue. I'm not sure it will work, but it makes sense that it would.

    My kids grew up going to Macy's. This is still where they go when looking for slim and tall clothing that fits nicely. But for the most part, they are shopping at less expensive clothing stores or online. Macy's already has a great online presence. They executed that very well. I'm sure they'll do the same with their Backstage concept.

  • Posted on: 08/31/2015

    China’s currency devaluation: Good for consumers?

    I don't think consumers will see a thing. Prices on Chinese products will remain cheap. The average consumer doesn't even know what's going on in the U.S., let alone China.

    As for margins, if CPG companies make more margin I expect they will keep it. Just like when gas prices sky rocketed and CPG companies increased prices. When gas prices came down, prices to the consumer didn't adjust back downward to reflect the same savings.

    Our stock market dropped due to uncertainty. But the fact is that the stock market has been rising for seven years, due in great part to quantitative easing. There will be a correction. The question is, what event will trigger it? Eventually, all the U.S. debt from the "stimulus" will need to be paid down.

  • Posted on: 08/10/2015

    Target gets cheers and jeers for gender-neutral signage

    This is a total "knee-jerk reaction" by a company who is so afraid of political correctness that they let one person's post change the course of their company. When I was raising my kids, it was fashionable for Pampers and Huggies to come out with boys and girls diapers. I'm sure there were valid financial reasons for making that decision.

    Today, companies are so afraid of social media that they are making decisions that could financially impact them negatively. I for one, will stop shopping at Target just to prove the point, that boys and girls are different. I agree with David Livingston and Tom Redd's comments.

    As a mom who has both sons and daughters, I'm pretty fed up with the constant attempt to prove there is no difference. There are many differences. Those differences should be celebrated, not dismissed. And as a woman, I'm sick of the media acting like all women think alike. I have my own views on every topic and most are much different than Hollywood's or the rest of media.

  • Posted on: 05/27/2015

    Walmart puts new focus on animal welfare, antibiotic use

    I think Walmart is being a great example. I respect that it is a recommendation and not a requirement since they can't control the farms and obviously more regulation and requirements would force new practices that will increase costs. I think implementing this as a recommendation is smart. It will allow the suppliers to do their best to comply while making necessary changes over time. This should help improve the treatment of animals while pacing expenses associated with it. Nice job Walmart!

  • Posted on: 04/10/2015

    Amazon sues over fake reviews

    I'm not sure how I feel about this. Yes, reviews matter and yes, people count on them. Maybe it's because these services are blatantly advertising that they will give good, paid-for reviews. But there are many similar situations that aren't as obvious.

    Do technology review companies give more favorable reviews to vendors and include their solutions in their articles and quadrants if they are paying for their analysts? Do industry experts talk about your product more if you are paying for their services? Do you get awards at trade shows because you spend more on booths and ads?

    It's not as blatant, but I have often felt there was an association and I'm sure other small vendors have noticed it as well. How do major IT vendors get awards for products that are just being announced? I don't think there is ever going to be a fair way to control it. Money talks and when people are paying, whether outright or in a round-about way, they will get acknowledged. Buyer beware.

  • Posted on: 01/28/2015

    Retailers to get pumped up with Super Bowl sales

    I think the biggest winners will be Walmart, Target and Dick's Sporting Goods. Walmart and Target for those people who have a few extra bucks in their pockets due to lower gas prices. Also because they have everything you need to attend or plan a party. If you're buying a TV but also need snacks for your guests, it's a one stop shop. On the other hand, if you want a nice jersey, you'll go to Dick's Sporting Goods. Especially females who have more selection at shops like Dick's than they do at other stores.

  • Posted on: 10/20/2014

    Starbucks’ mobile app lets customers order and pay ahead

    Finally! This technology has been available for so long I can't believe restaurants have taken this long to roll it out. I hope they are also smart enough to put the right "flow" in place at the stores for the pick-up process. It would be a shame if people who ordered in advance were stuck in a line longer than the people ordering.

  • Posted on: 10/20/2014

    Online continues to replace in-store browsing

    Most marketing directors believe that marketing has changed more in the past two years than it has in the past 50, per a survey by CGT!

    In a webinar I gave on big data the statistics I researched on some of the popular social media sites showed Facebook having 1.2 billion members, Google+ having 300 million members, Groupon having 43 million users, Instagram having 200 million users and Pinterest having 70 million users. These numbers have only grown since then.

    Anyone who doesn't embrace the fact that social media is highly influential is way out of touch. Not only should retailers and CPG manufacturers be advertising on these sites, they need to be ACTIVE on these sites. I'm still amazed at the number of retailers and CPG companies who don't have Facebook pages that allow comments. You should WANT your consumers' feedback (good or bad) so that you can address concerns and neutralize negative sentiment. Good or bad, you should be aware of your potential buyers' experiences. Monitoring the sites, managing your reputation, advertising where you'll get the most impact and leveraging the data available is all key to understanding how to maximize profits.

    Of course time of day matters, but that is one of dozens of things that matter. The key to understanding what the shoppers are doing and where they are going is to leverage that data. Being able to understand how that social media data is impacting sales requires retailers and CPG manufacturers to integrate the data with internal master data as well as consumption and marketing. This will help companies not only understand how social media is influencing sales, but it will help them understand the ROI on marketing investments.

Contact Janet