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GMA Whitepaper: When Retailers Share Sales Data Directly with Trading Partners, Stakeholders Across the Value Chain Reap Numerous Rewards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today released a whitepaper that identified more than 30 business benefits that grow specifically from using retailer-direct data in business planning and forecasting. The Retailer-Direct Data Report 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.

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 their 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.

“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.”

The Retailer-Direct Data Report notes that the volume of timely data being shared by retailers has never been greater. 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. It is available for download at www.gmaonline.org/publications/WP-Retailer-DDR09-6.pdf.