When you work in grocery retail, you have a lot on your plate. When I was on the Vendor Performance team at Target, I oversaw hundreds of suppliers, and was responsible for making sure POs arrived On-Time and In-Full to maintain in-stock rates, sales velocity, and profit margins. If your job is anything like this, there isn’t much time to spend digging into every brand’s data for missed opportunities or new ideas.
Sharing up-to-date, actionable data with brands helps you partner across your supplier network to work more efficiently and drive sales. In this post, I’ll share more about how retailers can leverage modern data sharing for a true win-win.
Data sharing is good for business
Retailers have a set of priorities that require constant vigilance: drive sales, keep shelves stocked, and run the business as efficiently as possible. If you can empower brands with information to do just that, you’ll have hundreds of collaborators working to improve your bottom line, in addition to theirs. By sharing quality up-to-date retail data with suppliers, you’re effectively outsourcing analysis that will make both the brand and retailer more successful.
Buyers have a common set of metrics to track and manage their supplier portfolio. When brands have the ability to easily understand and analyze those metrics, they can work to improve them, and surface any issues that may need your attention along the way. These include:
- Service Levels: Brands can track On Time in Full rates to meet retailer standards and reduce short shipping.
- Velocity: Velocity dashboards help brands find their velocity hotspots, uncover the strategies that drive velocity forward, and apply those learnings toward new locations.
- Stock levels: Tracking inventory helps supplier brands anticipate re-orders and proactively fill supply, especially going into promotions.
- Promotions: Not all promotions are created equal. With an easy-to-use platform that lets brands filter sales data, they can evaluate promotions and identify the strategies that drive lasting velocity gains or incremental category growth.
- Voids: Advanced Dashboards like Crisp’s Voids Dashboard help brands identify stores where a product should be selling, but isn’t, so they can notify you of issues and get them resolved.
In addition to core metrics, retailers also have long-term strategic goals. For instance, as leading companies announce ambitious sustainability agendas, suppliers will be important partners to achieving targets ranging from sustainable sourcing to food waste reduction. When retailers set the agenda here, they encourage suppliers to limit waste in distribution centers and be better with just-in-time inventory --- but this requires better and faster data sharing capability to execute.
How to build a modern data-sharing platform
Retailers have been sharing data in some form for a long time, either through a home-grown vendor portal or by sharing insights with trusted category captains. Even smaller regional grocery stores are seeing the importance of data sharing, which can be a great equalizer when competing with national retailers. But most vendor portals aren’t easy for brands to access, much less derive meaningful insights from. There’s a reason for this: it takes serious manpower and technology to build a state-of-the-art data sharing platform. That’s where Crisp comes in.
Crisp works with retailers to build a modern data sharing platform built for next-level collaboration. This might mean enhancing an existing solution so that data is easier to extract and import into supplier analytics tools, or building a world-class portal from the ground up. Retailers can choose which data sets to share, from sales to velocity to inventory to service levels. Suppliers can then view this data in real time through easy-to-read dashboards and visualizations, or have the data piped directly into a tool of their choice, like Power BI, Excel, or Snowflake. Crisp also aggregates a brand’s data across retailers, distributors, and syndicated data sources, so they can uncover next-level insights to bring back to buyers. What’s more, retailers can offer their data-sharing service directly to suppliers, building a new profit center for the business.
UNFI, North America’s largest publicly-traded grocery wholesaler and distributor, understood the importance of not only sharing data, but helping brands get access to convenient, timely insights. That’s why they endorsed Crisp as the chosen platform for their supplier network. As UNFI President Chris Testa said, “Finding and delivering innovative solutions that help our suppliers respond quickly to new opportunities and insights is critical in this constantly evolving industry. I encourage all our suppliers to explore this new offering.”
To learn more about how Crisp helps retailers, distributors and brands collaborate, contact us today for a demo.
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