The concept of supply chain management, which is being discussed in foodservice distribution, is seen as a vehicle to drive out costs as well as ensure that the products reach their destination on time.
These are some of the conclusions of the 2005 PoweRanking Survey conducted by Cannondale Associates, Wilton, CT.
Though it is based on a manufacturer-retail environment, Virginia H. Valkenburgh, vice president of research, told ID Access, that the foodservice industry could take advantage of its deductions in order to meet its customers' needs and ultimately bolster everyone's performance.
Valkenburgh defined collaboration as meaning planning programs for everyone's benefits.
COOPERATION TO BOOST EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS "As far as the supply chain, we're seeing more cooperation in an effort to take cost out of the chain and to assure that the actual product that is being ordered is getting to the customer in a timely fashion. Although that sounds very basic, that's really what retailers (and operators) are most focused on," she said.
Technology, specifically RFID, is one way to enhance all-important supply chain management while others include varying palette configurations, she added.
The survey coined the concept of cooperating at the point of contact. By doing so, manufacturers and retailers address their common business issues more effectively than either could have done of their own.
"Based on the feedback from retailers and manufacturers, there is a new spirit of cooperation that reflects the necessities of today's marketplace. Retailers and manufacturers are discovering that collaborating to focus on the consumer with the best products, programs and shopping environments can generate the best results. The PoweRanking has captured this dynamic in its evaluation of the top performing companies," Ken Harris, managing director, explained in a written statement.
For the foodservice industry, these notions mean providing operators with creative, competitively priced food products, beneficial marketing programs, and appropriate merchandising and even decorative elements that enhance the dining experience.
The composite scores are based on rankings in eight key areas where manufacturers interface with retailers and include the following:
Clearest company strategy
Most important consumer brands for retailers
Best combination of growth and profitability
Best sales force/customer teams
Most innovative marketing programs
Most helpful consumer information
Best supply chain management
Best category management
Among food manufacturers that received high scores are Kellogg's and Kraft. Retailer Wal-Mart, while losing 5.1 points in its standings, continues to outpace everyone in its category.