Progressive Grocer

MAR 2017

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March 2017 | progressivegrocer.com | 91 Objectivity: Buyers and merchants tend to have an emotional investment relative to the per- formance of an item, and therefore tend to show a bias toward over-forecasting. Ownership by the supply chain provides an objective, impartial view of demand expectations. End-to-end perspective: Visibility of all three levels of demand gives the supply chain the complete end-to-end picture of expected demand aligning from the shelf back, across all sales channels, and improves the ability to ef- fectively match demand and supply. Skill set alignment: Buyers and mer- chants t y pically focus on assortment rationale, categor y strateg y and the alignment of shop- per preferences with merchandise selections, which are more qualitative sk ill sets. Demand planning requires a more quantitative focus that 's more closely associated with work con- ducted by the supply chain. Centralization within the supply chain leads to higher forecast accuracy and improvements in on- shelf availability and inventory productivity. Getting Logistics Right Whether navigating the latest regulations of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), or eval- uating specific modes of transportation, the job of getting food and other grocery items to stores, or directly to consumers, seems more daunting than ever. Here are a few tips from the pros: Mark Petersen, director of global sourcing at Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Robinson Fresh, provided the following guidelines for transporting goods by air, land and sea: Do mitigate risks with all parties involved in moving temperature-sensitive product — ship- pers, carriers, vendors, providers, etc. — by making sure they all understand the importance of main- taining a cold chain. Do think strategically about carrier and ship- per needs. If a shipper transports full truckloads of cheese to local retailers, they may be able to arrange for the same carrier to move empty cartons on the backhaul. e shipper not only solves a reverse-logistics problem, but may also reduce transportation costs now that the carrier has elimi- nated otherwise empty miles. Do have a system of checks and balances in place during loading/unloading to minimize problems. With the implementation of the Sanitary Trans Rule of FSMA, many of these best practices are requirements for certain commodities. roughout the process, be sure to inspect: Product temperature prior to loading Trailer precooling condition Condition of equipment prior to loading Proper container air flow while loading. Don't forget to weigh all of the pros, cons and price of each transportation ser vice before ruling any out — each comes with its own unique set of risks. Just because it's more expensive doesn't mean that you should abandon it im- mediately. Don't overlook even the smallest details while planning. Bring every detail to the table — from accept- able temperature ranges and continuous temperature versus cycle settings to proper seals, contingency plans and equipment expectations, along with processes for returns and rejections. Even before product is loaded, every leg of the journey must have clear expectations to mitigate the added risk that comes with temperature-sensitive products. From Gregg Lanyard, director of product manage- ment for transportation and logistics at Atlanta- based Manhattan Associates: Do optimize continuously. Look for inbound backhaul opportunities with suppliers, and use transportation management system (TMS) technol- ogy for full visibility into inbound and outbound operations. Do measure performance. Today's TMS offer- ings provide a plethora of data to ensure that you're tracking against a plan, and will allow you to drill into exactly what may be causing speed bumps in the supply chain. Don't assume that your store delivery schedule from last year is the right delivery schedule today. Do a continuous evaluation of store delivery routes, including dynamic versus static delivery options, store delivery days, and time windows to optimize outbound operations and reduce mileage. Don't treat outbound transportation as a "one "Continuous optimization is vital as stores open/close, supply networks change and transportation rates adjust to market conditions." —Gregg Lanyard, Manhattan Associates

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