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Ahold USA Touts Vendor Collaboration Program

Ahold USA Inc. has joined forces with Retail Solutions Inc. (RSi) to implement shared business processes company-wide.

Carlisle, Pa.-based Ahold USA has used RSi's data platform and collaboration tools to better align business goals and daily priorities with its vendor partners, enabling the company to improve operational execution, realize new effficiencies and boost product availability. Additionally, Ahold USA's warehouse and DSD partners have recaptured incremental sales and seen significant cost savings through an in-store alerting program and advanced collaborative business analytics.

"With the customer’s experience at the center of our success, we recognized the opportunity to create a truly collaborative program where vendors and our retail businesses work together to problem-solve, reach goals and measure the effectiveness of our efforts to create a superior shopping experience for their consumers," said Ahold USA SVP of Planning, Replenishment and Logistics Walt Lentz.

Ahold USA chose RSi because of the structured nature of its approach, which employs formal use cases to drive actionable insights through the rich data provided by Ahold USA. As a result, the grocer and its vendor partners are able to make more informed decisions in near-real time and collaborate on key business needs through a new Vendor Collaboration Program. Among these areas of action are reduced distribution voids, improved on-shelf availability, faster speed to shelf for product introductions, reduced unsaleables and improved promotional execution. Ahold USA and RSi have also incorporated daily downstream data turned into alerting and analytic capabilities so that vendors can better execute against a single shared version of the truth.

“Ahold USA is changing the way retailers view, share and derive value from their data,” noted Jonathan Golovin, CEO of MountainView, Calif.-based RSi. “They are utilizing RSi to take their vendor relationships and business planning to a new level of efficiency and effectiveness. The results they are achieving across their evolving program are a clear indication of its success and future potential. Our alerts and real-time reporting capabilities make true collaboration possible, with the benefit sustainable and measurable for both supplier and retailer.”

The Vendor Collaboration Program’s in-store alerting program enables Ahold USA’s businesses to deliver on-shelf availability alerts to their store associates every morning. More than 3 million such alerts have been resolved since the program began three years ago, helping to identify and solve root causes of out-of-stocks and streamline in-store operations.

Additional key elements of the program are as follows:

  • Executive, cross-functional sponsorship: The program spans the entire organization, including store operations at each business unit, merchandising and supply chain teams, and has full executive support and sponsorship.
  • Dedicated corporate team: Ahold USA has a dedicated team managing the program and working with vendors on the data, insights and issues uncovered.
  • Investment in store resources: Ahold USA’s businesses have invested in store teams to close store-specific out-of-stock alerts and ensure optimal levels of on-shelf availability.
  • Integrated scorecards: The program generates scorecards to provide real-time reporting capabilities and support executive planning initiatives.

Ahold USA, part of Amsterdam-based international food retailing group Ahold, consists of four regional divisions – Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle – that together operate nearly 780 supermarkets with 115,000 associates in 14 states and the District of Columbia, as well as e-grocer Peapod.


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