Home >Collaborate to drive efficiency, conference told
Collaborate to drive efficiency, conference told
12 December 2012
Retailers are increasingly driving their supply chains in a bid to increase responsiveness and drive down costs, resulting in a demand for more sophisticated relationships between retailers and their logistics partners, according to Mala Morris, senior business analyst at IGD.
Speaking at Swisslog's 2010 Retail Day, held yesterday near Loughborough, Morris said companies had generally spent the previous decade focusing on driving internal efficiencies and now they were attempting to focus the same processes on external relationships.
Morris identified the UK as among the leaders in this trend and said: â€œThe trend
is towards increased collaboration and away from simple transactional relationships. For example, the manufacturer's demand planner is becoming a key role, not just in focusing on the supply chain itself but in having a real grasp of commercial realities from the perspective of retailers.â€
A survey of manufacturers carried out by IGD backed this up. It found 49% of manufacturers were collaborating with retailers on retail ready packaging of their products, 40% were collaborating on improving transport efficiency and 28% on improving vehicle utilisation.
The trend is also seen in competing manufacturers collaborating to create efficiencies. For example, Nestle and United Biscuits collaborate to reduce empty running, Morris said.