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par Lucas27 November 20200 commentaires

How supplier relations have become omnichannel

While negotiations and the product listing process still take place between the same parties - buyers and Key Account Managers (KAM) - other aspects of the process require collaborations between teams who had rarely worked together in the past.

This is notably the case with product sourcing and seeking out new innovations: a growing need for differentiation means that teams responsible for the product offering or category management need to be in much more frequent contact with product managers at manufacturer companies, in order to stay up-to-date with their latest innovations.

Similarly, the launch of CSR and quality assurance programs have opened up new lines of communication between manufacturer and retailer teams.
The development of e-commerce has led to dedicated teams being created within companies, who are, by the very nature of their work, in regular communication with retailers’ click-and-collect and e-commerce managers.
Not only have interactions between manufacturers and retailers increased substantially, teams have also had to learn how to coordinate these collaborations.

Creating a simple promotional leaflet is a complex task that requires high-definition images, extremely accurate regulatory information (such as weight and volume) marketing data (such as labels) – and, of course, the retail price.
This data may have been collected by four different teams — and of course, with the rise of e-commerce, it is important to make sure that these leaflets are consistent across all channels (apps and sites), both in the information they contain (with the same promotional offer on all e-commerce channels) as well as in their appearance (the same visuals, titles, etc.)
We could list dozens of instances where one team’s projects require data from another. And this is the problem: data is rarely consolidated between these teams.

The effects of this are all too well known: tasks are allotted inefficiently, productivity declines, and, even worse, data can end up being inconsistent when too many sources and models are being used.

These are the observations made by Marion Vergnet when she took on the role as Head of Product & Merchandising at Carrefour e-Commerce. “My job is to do everything I can to make sure customers can find the products that they are looking for. We quickly realised that it’s very complicated to collect the necessary data, as it is managed locally, decentralised and involves too many asynchronous communications. This is why we needed to work on improving data collection, modelling, as well as its quality.”

Data needs can overlap between teams, sometimes even entirely. To avoid inefficiency and ensure everyone has access to quality data, a new organisational approach is needed to centralise this data and manage communications.

This comprehensive approach must integrate new collaborative practices, as well as tools to implement these.
Preventing inefficiency and ensuring that quality data is available for everyone requires a new organisational approach to centralising data and managing communications.

This approach must incorporate new collaborative practices and the tools to implement these. Supplier relations must become omni-channel, as customer relations already are. This is the type of shared approach that enables economies of scale to be achieved, and the time to market, a key performance factor, to be optimised.

relation omnicale

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This saga is based on our Supplier Relations 3.0 white paper which analyses retail transformation and propose some insights on organizational models to answer to the new challenges of this industry.