Inmar and Clients Food Lion and Kraft Receive Collaboration Award

Partners cut unsaleables swell gap by half in year one and by half again in year two.

Winston-Salem, NC: Inmar, along with clients Food Lion, a Delhaize company, and Kraft, has received a Reverse Logistics Collaboration Award at the 2010 GMA/FMI Joint Industry Unsaleables Management Conference held in Las Vegas.

The award recognizes retailer, manufacturer and service provider teams that have collaborated successfully to enhance “the state of knowledge surrounding model unsaleables practices and attacking root causes.”

The winning case study, “Using the Data to Close the Swell Gap," presented how the two trading partners have leveraged data gathered from a number of sources, including package condition data collected in returns facilities by Food Lion’s returns partner Inmar.

Inmar’s returns system captures package condition data on Food Lion returns, including the reason a product is returned, such as Out of Date, Empty/Open, Dented, Crushed, Closeout, etc. The system also captures store-level, category and specific item level information so that returns can be studied at a variety of levels.

The data can be viewed online via Inmar’s proprietary system or via reports generated by Inmar’s analysts.

Food Lion took the uncommon approach of sharing this data with its suppliers, including Kraft, which it credits for taking full advantage of all resources and data sets made available to initiate improvements in category management. The results have been impressive – this partner cut its unsaleables swell gap by half in year one and by half again in year two.

The collaboration has yielded other important results, which are shared in the case study, as are keys to success and lessons learned.

“We congratulate Food Lion and Kraft for the forward-thinking collaboration that led to this award,” says Jeff Pepperworth, president of Inmar Reverse Logistics. “While far too rare, when trading partners share and leverage data, the results can be transformational for both parties."