NEW YORK — Collaboration between grocery retailers and suppliers has improved in recent years, but the benefits of improving data transparency tend to favor retailers, a study from Coresight Research and Precima, a Nielsen Co., found.
More than 90% of suppliers and 85% of retailers said collaboration has improved since 2018. Improved collaboration directly influences around 20% of total revenue, trading partners said, with lower costs in supply chains and higher efficiencies in operations among the top advantages.
Retailers reported higher levels of gains, with two-thirds saying improved collaboration has led to increased customer satisfaction and more than half saying it has improved business planning.
“In an environment where consumer demand is changing by the hour, and with the high potential upside, affecting up to one-fifth of overall revenue, it’s critical for retailers and suppliers to identify ways they can further strengthen their lines of communication,” said Deborah Weinswig, chief executive officer of Coresight Research and author of the report.
More than half of respondents cited a lack of trust and communication, limited product assortment and a lack of data transparency as the biggest pain points, with control of data skewing to retailers. Around two-thirds of retailers said they were satisfied with their access to data and insights from suppliers, while half of suppliers said they were satisfied with their access to data and insights from retailers.
The report encouraged partners to explore new opportunities and channels such as cloud-based platforms.
“Survey responses suggest that building responsive supply chains and servicing customer demand quickly are priorities for both retailers and suppliers,” Weinswig said. “Both could leverage predictive analytics coupled with improved data sharing to meet these priorities.”
Increased data transparency may expand beyond basic aggregated sales and inventory data to include item, basket and anonymized customer data, she added.
When faced with resistance to sharing data, retail category managers should adopt an incremental approach to test and learn from data-sharing practices to build a case for an expanded strategy, the report advised.
“As consumer-centric data collaboration develops between retailers and suppliers, the role of category manager will become more important than ever,” Weinswig said. “Retail category managers need to address data differences with their suppliers when working toward improving the overall customer experience. Success in category management depends on multiple factors, most of which are changing in a dynamic retail landscape, rendering the role more strategic.”