Arla Food Celebrates Their Success as #1 Supplier in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) According to Retail Partners in 2020
In December 2019, Arla Foods, the world’s biggest organic dairy producer, committed to prioritizing their customers’ feedback when sponsoring Advantage ReportTM. As a fully engaged supplier in the program, the Arla team enthusiastically leveraged customer action planning through Advantage workshops.
Arla’s likelihood for success was strengthened by their ability to share customer action plan cross-functionally with both sales and commercial teams to deliver on the same objectives. Once the total organization was aligned, Arla met with the Senior Management at key retailers to discuss the feedback provided to them via the Advantage Report and assess their proposed solutions.
Despite the obstacles imposed by the pandemic, Arla Foods was conscious of maintaining discussions with customers by adapting to the new realities of working together. They strived to be the best possible partner – revising forecasts, accommodating a flexible promotion calendar, and achieving high order fill rates.
“Our decision to put safety and customer-centricity at the center of our decision-making process was instrumental. It has been our compass in navigating through a very challenging Covid-19 environment. Our close collaboration with retailers to protect both our frontline and store staff, while maintaining a strong service level was saluted in the survey. We all feel humbled and grateful for our retailers’ feedback,” says Bertrand Favre, General Manager UAE, Oman and Qatar at Arla Foods
The Arla UAE team’s dedication to what was essential to its retailers in 2020 was pivotal in earning them the #1 Supplier position in the 2020 UAE Advantage Report Program.
Retailers had commented that the Arla Foods team was available, listened actively, understood their requests, and delivered the best possible solution (or found alternatives when the best was not possible.)
“From start, I was positively surprised by the Arla Foods team’s motivation to discover the results, understand opportunities and start drafting action plans. Often with first time sponsors, it takes time for commercial teams to accept retailers’ feedback. With the cross-functional group assigned to the Advantage Report project, we went straight into prioritization and action planning by function and customer. It has been one of the best workshops we have facilitated,” says Jean-Marc Gilg, Managing Director, Advantage Group GCC.
By employing an approach referred to internally as ‘selling in style,’ Arla Foods will segment their Advantage Report results into three distinct buckets: sustain, accelerate, and innovate. This will ensure their commitment to keeping their retailers’ and shoppers’ interests remains at the heart of their decision-making.
“We are committed to sustain our performance in those criteria where we have been ranked highly. The team will accelerate the transformation where there is scope for improvement. We will explore both process improvements and be innovative when it is necessary. The aim is to raise the bar and move from Good to Great within the shortest period of time.“ says Darsana Nair, Head of Sales, UAE, Arla Foods.
“Our objective is to keep our leadership position in 2021. We already started to analyze the 2020 survey to figure out how we could become a better supplier and build even stronger partnerships with our retailers,” says Bertrand Favre, General Manager UAE, Oman and Qatar at Arla Foods.