Manufacturers could significantly improve their planning and forecasting functions if they made better use of collaborative tools provided by retailers for this purpose, Asda has claimed.
Speaking at the IGD supply chain summit in London last week, Asda supply chain director Andy Ellis said: “I’d say 30% of our suppliers are very good at working collaboratively, 40% are good and 30% are just awful.”
Many were wasting the opportunities afforded by advanced collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (cpfr) tools available via Retail Link - the web-based portal Asda had developed to help suppliers get a real-time picture of how their products were selling through Asda’s store network, plus detailed information on stock levels in Asda depots.
“Some suppliers will use cpfr intermittently, doing nothing for ages and then they will suddenly deluge us with data that we can’t do anything with,” he said. “We don’t want data. We want information that’s action oriented. Asda has got great tools, but [manufacturers] could use them a whole lot better.”
Morrison, meanwhile, has re-launched Safeway’s online supplier portal under a new name: Morrison’s Supplier Database, said senior trading director Martyn Jones. The portal, which was now being used by more than 100 key suppliers, gave manufacturers access to detailed data on stock levels and sales of their products through the Morrison store network, he said. Collaborative functions were also being built in to assist planning and forecasting, he said. “Ultimately, we want all of our suppliers to use it.”