Retailer data-sharing harnesses 30+ benefits

Articles
October 02, 2009

Retailer data-sharing harnesses 30+ benefits

The supply and demand data sent by retailers directly to suppliers has grown richer and more frequent in recent years, and has been shown to help produce more than 30 tangible business benefits for both trading partners.

The supply and demand data sent by retailers directly to suppliers has grown richer and more frequent in recent years, and has been shown to help produce more than 30 tangible business benefits for both trading partners.

Although Walmart remains the undisputed king of shared data through its Retail Link system—and is the typical first choice for suppliers learning to work with such data for business planning and forecasting—it has become more common for supermarket chains to share their data as well. How could they not, when mass merchants have taken such a significant share of food and beverage sales?

The demand data shared most routinely by top retailers include: sales by store/item/week; sales by store/item/day; inventory at the retailer store; retailer DC ships and receipts; price; and item details. The supply data include:  inventory at the retailer DC; inventory at the retailer store; retailer DC ships and receipts; retailer DC on-hand and on-order.

Part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s Retailer-Direct Data Report, researched and written by Vision Chain Inc., Crossmark, and Teradata Corp., the data in the 51-page report portray a retail industry that has awakened to the possibilities of smart, strategic collaboration made possible by data sharing. “The industry must more readily and freely share information, embracing the concept that the best way to manage increasing complexity is through transparency,” said Jose Luis Doran, chairman of the management board, Carrefour Group, and A.G. Lafley, chairman, president and chief executive, Procter & Gamble, in a joint statement.

The full report can be accessed at http://www.gmaonline.org/publications/WP-Retailer-DDR09-6.pdf.  

Among the principal supply chain and merchandising benefits:
•    Reduced out-of-stocks
•    Strengthened forecast accuracy
•    Reduced inventory in channel
•    Improved perfect order performance
•    Advanced price and promotion optimizations
•    More accurate SKU rationalization
•    Lessened cost of retail execution
•    Better supplier position to benefit from end cap opportunities, more shelf facings, or status as category captain.

“The retailer-direct data initiative gives suppliers greater visibility down the supply chain, allowing them to not only see specific geographic, segment and price performances for a specific SKU, but also to act on that information speedily,” noted the report, which further suggested that suppliers appoint a “data czar” to provide a single point of contact for retailers, and share data appropriately across the CPG company’s departmental structure.