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Lunch and Learn: Improving Retailer Collaboration

Corinna Walker, Head of Marketing

Representatives from a mix of supermarket suppliers joined Atheon Analytics to discuss how using SKUtrak can aid the retailer and supplier relationship.

Working together to get the right product, to the right place, at the right time is a win-win for retailers and suppliers alike. It means there is stock where it needs to be in order to meet consumer demand.

It sounds obvious. Yet, it can be harder than you think to make sure the right depots have the right stock to fulfil store demand. It needs careful management of the Flow-of-Goods.

Supply Chain Managers and Buyers at retailers have thousands of products they are looking after. Each day they are fire fighting the ‘big’ product out of stocks, and not always getting the time to look at what other products require their attention.

Using insights help retailers make decisions

Suppliers have the ability, and arguably, the responsibility to help their retailer counterparts achieve on-shelf availability and to grow the category. 

“There is a willingness to be collaborative”  one supplier commented. “When you are using data, they soften and understand you have visibility into the same data and become more engaged.”

A further supplier added “it does vary by retailer, but you go on a journey using the data to build credibility. SKUtrak has enabled us to get broader contacts across some retailers' businesses.”

It can be time consuming to go into each retailer system. They are all different and display the information differently. SKUtrak saves you time by collecting and processing data for you, and combines it with visualisation tools to allow for faster and deeper analysis.  

One supplier commented “SKUtrak is a common base of information, it is a simple way to interpret the data and it is refreshed every 24 hours”.

During the conversation a supplier shared an example of how SKUtrak enabled them to have a discussion with a retailer around an increase in distribution “We had a NPD launch. The retailer was a little unsure and put it into 200 stores. We could see it was getting traction and after 4 weeks of providing them with weekly updates, they doubled the distribution” They continued to say that they didn’t have to wait for their buyer to spot it, they could show them.

One supplier shared with the group how they have tasked their national account managers to have daily conversations with the retailers supply chain managers. They talk directly to the regional distribution centres. They are able to provide them with a view of the level of stock, and if needed work with the replenishment team to correct it.

Demonstrating you’re a valuable supplier

Retailers expect suppliers to be armed with facts, and using available data to make better informed decisions. They want to work with suppliers who can help to grow their categories.

We were able to show we are a valuable supplier as we were hitting all the KPIs being set” commented one supplier.

Ian Hall, COO at Atheon adds “Building a collaborative relationship is about building trust. Through being data driven and sharing genuine insights with your retailer fosters that relationship.

Using data to bring unique insights, alternative perspectives and ideas as well as timely interventions is a key point of difference for a supplier.

One supplier ended the discussion with the perfect conclusion “SKUtrak is a tool that gives us great conversations with knowledge. It takes the emotion out of those retailer conversations.

If you want to find out more about how SKUtrak can help you improve retailer collaboration, please contact us at info@skutrak.com , or watch our video.

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