Supply Scan

News and trends from across the food supply chain.


Supervalu Now In Sync With 500 Suppliers

Last month, Supervalu announced at the U Connect Conference in Nashville, TN, that it is successfully synchronizing supply chain data with 500 suppliers using the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN)-certified 1SYNC Data Pool solution.

Supervalu, Eden Prairie, MN, is now synchronizing data that represents almost 60 percent of its traditional supply chain services, non-perishable volume.

"We are excited to achieve this major milestone, and 500 suppliers in production sets a critical foundation for collaboration with our suppliers," says Mike Jackson, Supervalu's president and chief operating officer. "GDSN has rapidly become the standard way we do business with these suppliers. By integrating new item notifications from the GDSN with our SVHarbor portal, we have improved the accuracy of information entering our network, while decreasing the time to get new items to market.

"By leveraging data synchronization, we are removing friction from every step in the supply chain, creating internal efficiencies as well as benefiting our suppliers, retail customers and the end consumer. We look forward to leveraging this competency across our new, larger supply chain network now that we are coast-to-coast, border-to-border."

By implementing the 1SYNC Data Pool solution using the GDSN, Supervalu and its suppliers have reduced new-item set-up time, improved data accuracy, reduced logistics costs, reduced purchase order and invoice errors and increased speed-to-market for new product introductions.

Next, Supervalu intends to expand into synchronizing price and promotional data as well as item data. The company is also looking to expand data synchronization with all non-perishable suppliers by year's end.

Canadian Tobacco Firm Plans To Start DSD

Beginning in late August, Imperial Tobacco Canada (ITC), Montreal, will offer direct-to-store delivery of its products throughout Canada, a move that is likely to jeopardize several small and medium-sized businesses in Canada that specialize in the distribution to convenience stores, according to Canada's National Convenience Store Distributor Association.

"At this time in our history, this important initiative makes good business sense for Imperial Tobacco Canada. In recent years we have undertaken measures to become more efficient in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment," says Benjamin Kemball, president and CEO of ITC. "Direct to store delivery is the logical next step. DSD will enable us to be more effective at managing our products from manufacture to delivery and in protecting our competitive position.

"We will work through the summer with our retail partners and key accounts to ensure the flawless execution of this complex initiative," he says.

Kemball may, however, find a lot of resistance as his company moves forward with this initiative, the first of its kind for a tobacco company on a national scale.

"We are surprised and disappointed by Imperial Tobacco's decision. An important part of our distributors' sales comes from the distribution of tobacco products. Some of them will find it difficult to make good the important losses brought about by ITC's decision," says Marc Fortin, the president of the NACDA.

According to NACDA, ITC's decision is likely to result in the loss of thousands of jobs in the distribution industry throughout Canada, in addition to creating an upward pressure on the price of other products sold in convenience stores and grocery stores.

"The distributors ensuring the delivery of products to Canada's regions are likely to be affected the most. Ultimately, we are concerned that these regions will pay dearly for Imperial Tobacco's new strategy, since some wholesalers who serve remote areas may not be able to survive," Fortin adds.

Today, ITC products are sold to retailers through licensed wholesalers. Under the DSD plans, retailers who wish to receive products that way will place orders directly through a dedicated ITC account representative, or they can continue to do business with their current wholesalers.

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