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May 29, 2024
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Nestlé USA boosts visibility and efficiency with UNFI Insights™ powered by Crisp

Explore how Nestlé USA transformed UNFI data management, navigated complex distribution, and boosted its $300M business segment with actionable insights.

Nestlé USA, a major food and beverage player in the global Nestlé enterprise, relies on distribution through partners like United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) to deliver its vast portfolio to key retailers nationwide. In overseeing the daily flow of over 1,500 SKUs, the organization ensures consumers can consistently find their favorite brands on shelves.

To navigate this complex distribution network, Nestlé USA requires precise and actionable data. That’s why the UNFI Insights™ platform, powered by Crisp, has proven so beneficial. Crisp, Inc. leader in retail data reporting across 40+ retailers and distributors, provides Nestlé USA with enhanced operational visibility, empowering them to confidently make data-driven decisions supporting the overall success of their $300M UNFI business segment.

Wrestling with legacy limitations

Before implementing the UNFI Insights platform, managing Nestlé USA’s expansive product portfolio across multiple categories and brands presented challenges. While an automated system pulled UNFI reports into an enterprise data repository and Power BI, the siloed information required additional modeling to extract key insights. The loss of access to EDI 852 data, which provided crucial sales and inventory information, further compounded these issues, leaving gaps in the team’s reporting capabilities.

An additional hurdle, Nestlé’s UNFI vendor number encompasses data from other Nestlé organizations, like Nestlé Coffee Partners and Nestlé Health Sciences. This meant the team had to sift through hundreds of additional brands and product SKUs to locate the insights specific to their division.

In overseeing the daily flow of over 1,500 SKUs, the organization ensures consumers can consistently find their favorite brands on shelves.

Mastering data management

Nestlé USA’s adoption of UNFI Insights in the summer of 2023 marks a shift in its data management approach. An immediate win was the ability to rectify long-standing issues with incomplete store-level information, including addresses. UNFI Insights filled these gaps, enhancing data accuracy, and laying the groundwork for deeper analysis. The addition of this key information also helped align reporting to Nestlé USA’s organizational structure, empowering individual sales teams with tailored insights and reducing ad-hoc requests.

As the platform evolved, Hugo Lopez, Director of Nestlé USA for UNFI, credits Pat Lynch with spearheading the Master Data Management (MDM) process with Crisp. This critical step, simplified within the platform, involved aligning UNFI’s broad data with Nestlé USA’s internal reporting structure – allowing the filtering of irrelevant products (like those from Nestlé Coffee Partners and Nestlé Health Sciences). 

“Aligning the UNFI data with our product hierarchy is one of the greatest enhancements we’ve made recently. It’s really set our team up for success,” emphasizes Hugo.

The streamlined data, updated daily within UNFI Insights’ intuitive interface, has proven invaluable to the Nestlé USA team. The platform provides clean, easy-to-understand reports on each of the 1,500 SKUs. Key reports include:

  • Weeks of supply on hand: This report gives a granular view of product availability by SKU at each distribution center, empowering the team to proactively manage inventory levels and avoid out-of-stocks.
  • Year-over-year distribution: Demonstrating growth across time periods (month, quarter, year), this report is crucial for executive reporting, showcasing the UNFI team’s top-line contributions to the organization.
  • Visual heat maps: Breaking down insights by retailer and individual SKU, these visual representations are highly valued by Hugo for their clarity and utility.

“This product has shown to be very effective, very turnkey for our reporting,” Hugo notes.

The platform’s implementation has also been instrumental in supporting Nestlé USA’s “Bulletproof the Core” initiative. By focusing on the 20% of products that drive the majority of sales, the team ensures that top-selling items – including 32 oz. Coffee-Mate French Vanilla Creamer in the #1 spot – are consistently available on shelves everywhere.

“Aligning the UNFI data with our product hierarchy is one of the greatest enhancements we’ve made recently. It’s really set our team up for success.”

Hugo Lopez, Director of Nestlé USA for UNFI

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