Intensified need to understand and collaborate with suppliers
A Netherlands based retailer grew from a small, regional, family-owned business to become one of the largest national retailers. The importance of collaboration with their supplier network intensified as it grew, so the retailer’s leadership sought to better understand how their supplier partners were impacted by their transformation.
It was important to them that collaboration is at the center of their relationships since both suppliers and retailers ultimately need to work together to serve their shoppers. Thus, this retailer needed a way to begin a new dialogue with suppliers to bring the level of supplier collaboration to a higher level.
A powerful building block for business success
The annual Advantage listening tool was a stable anchor for this retailer throughout its expansion. It helped them to understand what their suppliers wanted, what they needed and how supplier perspectives changed as they grew. They used supplier feedback to track the strength of their relationships. It warned them if a relationship with a specific supplier changed dramatically so that they could address it and find a solution.
Achieving a win-win with a key supplier results in category growth
This retailer found that by measuring and tracking supplier feedback, they were able to strengthen the dialogue they had with suppliers. In one successful example where collaboration was taken to a higher level, the Netherlands based retailer and one key supplier had a history of disagreeing with each other. When they aligned and joined forces to confront differing objectives, they identified that their objectives were essentially the same – to grow the category. The supplier wanted to launch new items to further penetrate the market and the retailer wanted to ensure that the product mix and shelf assortment in stores were attractive to shoppers.
The two companies started a project and created a joint project team. People from both businesses started to work together on the same goal and as a result, the entire category benefitted. They grew the category quite rapidly to double that of market growth. Additionally, this success has sustained over time and continues as a strong performing category today.