Retail data sharing provides significant benefits for all parties: report

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 29th July 2009

A new report has highlighted 30 business benefits that can be derived by CPG manufacturers and retailers who share critical sales data and analyse it together.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) – a leading industry representative in the United States – released the Retailer-Direct Data Report last week, which offers 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 has been for retailers to hire outside firms to analyse store-item-week sales and inventory data to guide their planning and forecasting, the GMA noted. At the same time, manufacturers purchased syndicated retail data from third parties to direct their business planning. Today, however, a growing number of retailers and manufacturers are sharing data directly with their trading partners and teaming up to analyse 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,” Jeanne Iglesias, GMA senior director of supply chain and technology, advised. “Many large mass merchandisers and grocery retailers are realising 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 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,” CROSSMARKS’S Hollie Gonzales, one of the report authors and a member of the GMA Information Systems Committee, said. “Wide distribution ensures that all departments are applying the data to their work streams and maximising the benefits for suppliers and retailers.”

A full copy of the report can be found at: www.gmaonline.org/publications/WP-Retailer-DDR09-6.pdf