In this session, two trading partner teams provided insights into collaborative pilot activity that proved valuable for all parties. Brookshire Grocery Company and General Mills presented their experience of mutually-enhanced process and timeline improvements for new item introductions, and PepsiCo and Wegmans shared the details of their Joint Business Planning for Trading Partner Data Sharing.
Focused on how to look at the supply chain as one contiguous entity, panelists noted that if manufacturers and retailers have honest conversations with one another, it’s possible to identify opportunities for enhancing certain supply chain practices that are particularly effective – and eliminating others that introduce complexity, cost or inefficiencies into the value chain.
To have this conversation, the panelists suggested focusing on these key concepts:
- Mutual trust
- “Change processes, change results”
- Utilize technology
- Learn and apply
- Continually evaluate opportunities
- Scorecard and celebrate successes
Dave Krause, senior vice president of category management at Brookshire Grocery Company and John Parrish, zone operations manager at General Mills, Inc., shared an example of their collaborative efforts to improve speed to shelf for new item introductions.
Beginning with a vendor summit of their top 100 manufacturers, 90 top-to-top meetings and a full strategy review, Brookshire Grocery identified speed to shelf for new item introductions as their number one priority and number one opportunity for improvement.
With Brookshire scoring low on this metric, they realized this was a great partnership opportunity and asked General Mills to work with the company on a series of improvements. Together, the two companies participated in an eight-hour workshop that included 32 multi-function, multi-level experts from across their organizations.
During the workshop, participants identified 13 sub-processes required to get new products onto the shelf – and measured their effectiveness in executing on each process. The team then ranked each sub-process according to ease of correction and profitability, and started with the top five. The team developed an action plan with SMART goals for improving on each of these processes.
As a result of setting common goals, working together and sharing key data, the time it took to reach actual cash value improved by 38 percent and they achieved a 13 point volume improvement for speed to shelf for new item introductions.
Also participating on this panel were Pamela Erb, vice president of supply chain at Wegmans Food Markets, and John Phillips, senior vice president of customer supply chain and logistics, at PepsiCo, Inc.