If manufacturers hope to secure business improvements across their supply chain networks, they had better delve deeper into the concerns of their retail partners, according to AMR Research analyst Martin White in his recent article entitled, "Putting the Supplier in the Mind of the Retailer: 10 Imperatives for the Supply Chain."
Manufacturers must understand that retail's primary goal is to build sales quickly -- their long term is next week's sale according to Martin. The next part of that equation is being able to sell through multiple channels, especially given the wider range of access today's consumers have to the goods they choose to purchase.
In the example of the grocery retail segment, "grocers increasingly want to distinguish their stores and better target consumer groups. Know these needs and map your product strategies accordingly. Don't be afraid to discontinue unprofitable products -- it will benefit you and the retailer in the long term," explains Martin.
Knowing how and when to introduce new products from the retail perspective is something manufacturers need to understand as well. "Collaborative development is reducing time to market and increasing the success of launches. Look for retailers to move to more organized category launch windows, and be prepared -- if you are not ready to support -- your new product introduction opportunities will be capped," says Martin.
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