16th January 2012
In last weekâ€™s newsletter I wrote about some of the key elements of retail ie Retail Excellence Takes Attitude, Innovation, LeadershipÂ©
This week, and over coming weeks we will also focus on Supply Chain as well as Strategic Collaboration â€“ two areas which were identified in our â€˜Convenience Leaders Summitâ€™ last year as being important issues for our industry to address.
An introduction into why supply chain is critical for the future of the convenience industry follows. We will be looking to coordinate workshops on this in coming months.
Strategic Collaboration and how retailers and suppliers should go about this, and in fact what it actually means differs wildly across all parties. A good definition of Strategic Collaboration and business planning comes from Winston Weber and Assoc Inc which says:
â€œApproach by which manufacturers-retailers align strategies, with a specific focus on the shopper and the enhancement of the shopping experience, leading to sustainable and mutually beneficial results longer termâ€
With increased aggressive competition there is no doubt that business as usual will not succeed. We need to adopt the principles and processes of best in class retailers and suppliers from around the world. Sure, some are moving down this path however the need for retailers to be more customer focused has never been greater, and the need for supplier support in terms of innovative products and solutions for the industry has similarly never been greater.
Strategic collaboration and planning can assist the process, but requires a strong commitment, disciplined approach and to be practised as â€˜the way we do things around hereâ€™
What are some of the elements of Strategic collaboration?
We will publish articles on this topic from time to time, and if you require specific information or assistance in this area, please do not hesitate to contact me. To read more on the topic please see the paper â€œItâ€™s time for the turtle to flyâ€ by Win Weber in our Members Section â€“ very relevant and timely.
A brief quote:
â€œMEANWHILE, IN MY VIEW, ITâ€™S TIME TO RETIRE CATEGORY MANAGEMENT. Every retailer we speak with today agrees with this key statement: â€œCategorymanagement has done a great job of bringingdiscipline and objectivity to the business, andhelping us grow it. It has also helped usbecome great analysts â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦...BUT WHERE ARE MOST RETAILERS AS MERCHANTS?
The industry has backslid in terms of being good merchants. The majority of people sitting today at the category management desks are excellent analysts. But most are not good merchants. So, a key question for all of us is: Howcan the industry move forward in an environmentthat is now top-line-sales focused, that isnow striving to focus on the shopping experience- while the people making the decisionson a day-to-day basis, and who interfacewith suppliers, do not have fully developedmerchandising skills?â€