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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) yesterday released a white paper that identified more than 30 business benefits that grow specifically from using retailer-direct data in business planning and forecasting.
Called “The Retailer-Direct Data Report,” the white paper provides a current view of sales, inventory and other data that retailers are sharing directly with their trading partners, and identifies successful practices for sharing and using this data and the benefits that result.
“In this increasingly complex business environment, collaboration and transparency will be a key to efficiency and growth for CPG retailers and manufacturers,” said Jeanne Iglesias, GMA senior director of supply chain and technology. “Many large mass merchandisers and grocery retailers are realizing the benefits of retailer data-sharing initiatives, and this paper identifies ways in which trading partners, whether experienced or new to the game of retailer-direct data, can extend these collaborative efforts for mutual success.”
According to GMA, standard practice in the CPG industry for decades has been for retailers to hire outside firms to analyze store-item-week sales and inventory data to guide companies planning and forecasting. At the same time, manufacturers purchased syndicated retail data from third parties to direct their business planning. Today, a growing number of retailers and manufacturers are sharing data directly with their trading partners and teaming up to analyze it themselves, saving money and enhancing performance through collaboration.
The report reveals that among the supply chain and merchandising benefits trading partners are reaping with the use of retailer-direct data are reduced out-of-stocks, improved forecast accuracy and reduced merchandising costs at retail.
“One key learning that we identified in terms of successful practices for direct data-sharing programs is that the data must be shared throughout the company -- not restricted to one department or team,” noted CROSSMARKS’S Hollie Gonzales, one of the report authors and a member of the GMA Information Systems Committee. “Wide distribution ensures that all departments are applying the data to their work streams and maximizing the benefits for suppliers and retailers.”
“The Retailer-Direct Data Report” is based on first-hand knowledge and experience of experts in retailer-based data programs, ranging from CPG supplier and retailers to third-party providers, IT and sales agency professionals. The report is available for download at www.gmaonline.org/publications/WP-Retailer-DDR09-6.pdf.