Author: Evan Glick
The Rise in Consumer Confidence
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Consumers’ confidence in the U.S. economy rose sharply in April, marking the fourth straight month of gains as more people received vaccinations, stimulus payments reached households and businesses more fully reopened.”
How the Rise of Consumer Confidence Affects Shippers and Retailers
With vaccines rolling out and the increase in consumer confidence, it’s safe to assume more people will be heading out to shop in stores. In fact, the CDC lifted the mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals on May 13th as they have proven the vaccine to be incredibly effective. With this new guidance, consumers should feel safer to start returning to “normal” and shopping in stores. Therefore, it will be more important than ever to have timely deliveries and proper shelf space. We can all remember the panic that ensued when the Pandemic first hit, and the shelves were bare without essentials such as toilet paper and paper towels. Big-Box retailers need to build trust and loyalty with consumers by keeping shelves stocked. Customers go into the store for convenience and immediate gratification. If the product is not on the shelf, it is easy to purchase online.
Challenges Shippers Face
There are many complexities for getting your product into Big-Box retailers, including paperwork, audits, scheduling, and acquiring/utilizing technology. To maximize efficiency and potential, utilizing these complexities correctly take experience, best practices, access to equipment, partners, and the right tools.
Many times, paperwork is only provided if requested by the customer, which if not asked for right away, may be lost or thrown away. Audits and paperwork are important to ensure that the proper products are getting to the retailer on the correct trucks while maintaining the stringent On Time and In Full guidelines the retailers are looking for. It is also important for a good paperwork trail to easily identify and pull products last minute from the transportation line if a change needs to be made.
Unless there is an established relationship with Big-Box retailers, scheduling your drops can be a pain. Often, the retailer will ask to schedule your product a month out without consistent drops. With an established relationship, it is possible to change inconsistent drops into a weekly schedule.
Utilizing Tier 1 Technology for your Warehouse Management System (WMS) and Transportation Management System (TMS) allows the two systems to work in tandem to maximize your product’s efficiency. Together, these technologies provide visibility throughout your product’s journey from the Warehouse all the way to drop off at the retailer, as well as data for maximum efficiency and reporting. However, Tier 1 Technology is extremely expensive and takes a team of experts to properly operate.
Client Case Study
GEODIS works with a prominent health care company. Between 2019-2020 our collaborative solution supported their brand's growth by 11 SKU's. They continue to see volume increases with pallets shipped (13%), product weight (22%), and loads shipped (23%). With the help of our Retailer Consolidation Services, they are on track for projected volume growth of pallets shipped (58%) and product weight (85%) this year!
How GEODIS Drives Brand Growth
As alluded to in our previous article which highlights the compliance expectations of Walmart, consistency is the driving factor for growth with Big-Box retailers. With so many companies vying for the same limited space, it is essential to consistently meet the retailer’s strict guidelines for establishing and maintaining a working relationship with them. It is easier to be consistent when you have an expert alleviating your hassles.
GEODIS utilizes Tier 1 Technology to identify when to use specialized processes that match your product’s needs. GEODIS will tailor our processes to make sure they fit your individual needs. We track your products from the moment they leave the plant through drop-off at the retailers, providing visibility every step of the way. We understand your company and product needs can change on a dime, so GEODIS can also perform audits at any time during your product's lifecycle. This allows us to easily identify and pull products last minute from the transportation line if a change needs to be made. This includes cross-dock audits to double-check and ensure all products are good to go and leaves time to allow corrections as needed. GEODIS has scheduling down to a science. Several Big-Box retailers have shippers/vendors schedule their shipments up to a month out. However, GEODIS has developed relationships with every retailer at each retailer’s regional distribution center, so they know and recognize GEODIS due to brand consistency, creating a brand preferred advantage. Utilizing the Retail Consolidation program, GEODIS can help you schedule weekly drops with those retailers.
When you don’t have to worry about meeting compliance guidelines and the fines incurred with them because your logistics provider is taking care of everything, it allows you to focus on brand growth. Retailers also want to reward consistency, allowing for the opportunity to grow into premier shelf space. With the GEODIS Retail Consolidation Program, GEODIS will ensure consistent deliveries as well as removing logistical headaches so you can focus on growing your brand and revenue, rather than worrying about getting your products to consumers. By utilizing the RCS program with GEODIS, you can ensure that there will be no bare shelves where your product should be.
To learn more about the trends and topics of RCS, please attend our Webinar on May 25th, 2021. Experts will discuss:
- Current supply chain market trends and challenges
- Challenges of BIG BOX retailer compliance
- How consolidation alleviates pressure
- Sustainability alignment
- Earning shelf space