Supply Chain Trends and Issues: Our Weekly Feature Article on Important Trends and Developments in Supply Chain Strategy, Research, Best Practices, Technology and Other Supply Chain and Logistics Issues  
  - April 4, 2012 -  

Building the Supply Chain from the Shelf Back Research


How Widespread is Practice of Pursuing the Shelf-Connected Supply Chain? What are the Barriers?

  by SCDigest Editorial Staff  
Goldratt Says:
To Take the Survey, Please go here: Shelf-Connected Supply Chain Survey

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They might not have invented to the term, but we first started hearing about the concept of “Building the Supply Chain from the Shelf Back” from Procter & Gamble in the mid-2000s or so.

The idea came out just about the same time as we started hearing insights about different “moments of truth,” one of which, Proctor and Gamble said, was when the consumer faced the shelf and made the decision whether or not to put a given product in his or her cart.

One obvious implication: that purchase decision isn’t going to happen if the product is not on the shelf.

Building the supply chain from the shelf back, or what others call the “shelf-connected supply chain,” may sound obvious, but that is not how the consumer goods to retail supply chain has really worked in practice until recently. Manufacturers viewed their job as being to get the product as ordered to the right retail distribution center on time. What happened between there and the store shelf was mostly the retailer's business - even as how good a job the retailer did in that execution could have a big impact on the manufascturer's level of success.

The retailers, meanwhile, usually did a good job of getting merchandise from DC to store, but other elements of store execution, especially in what we like to call “in-store logistics,” were often lacking. Problems included out-of-stocks on the store shelf when the goods were in the back room, planogram compliance failures, and many others.

But for many retailers and manufacturers, that is starting to change, as Procter & Gamble and others are demonstrating. They are connecting their supply chains all the to the store shelf – with significant implications for supply chain practice, technology, metrics and much more.

To help the industry better understand this trend and what it will mean for supply chains, SCDigest has launched a major research study on Building the Supply Chain from the Shelf Back. That effort includes a brief survey relative to where manufacturers and retailers stand today on several key issues related to this theme.

We ask SCDigest readers to please spend 10 minutes responding to the survey, which can be found here: Research Study: Building the Supply Chain from the Shelf Back.

Not only will help the industry better understand trends in this important area, all respondents will receive a copy of the summary research results in about 4 weeks to see how they compare with their industry peers.

(Supply Chain Trends and Issues Article - Continued Below)



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“I am going to be really interested in how these results come out, because I am not sure how the broad base of manufacturers or retailers is really thinking about this issue, and whether they believe a change in orientation all the way to the shelf is important,” says Dan Gilmore, editor of SCDigest, who is leading the study. “The survey focuses a lot on perceived benefits and perceived barriers to greater “shelf connected-ness,” as well as some areas of process maturity - really iomportant issues.”

Of course, all individual responses will be kept completely confidential.

Again, we encourage readers to spend just a few minutes with the brief survey.

Is it time for more shelf-connected supply chains? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

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