John Raiche (at left) and Are Traasdahl (at right)
On the occasion of the rollout of UNFI Insights, Powered by Crisp, a platform that provides value-added marketing and merchandising insights directly through the MyUNFI.com supplier portal, Progressive Grocer connected with John Raiche, UNFI’s EVP of supplier services, and Crisp CEO and Founder Are Traasdahl to find out how the new solution came about.
PG: How does this new offering improve on the original solution in terms of functionality for suppliers, and how was it decided that an updated solution was needed? How big a role did user feedback play in refining the platform, and how did you act on it?
John Raiche: We have taken data access and transparency to an entirely new level with the launch of UNFI Insights. UNFI Insights powered by Crisp includes a suite of new, exclusive data sets and dashboards, which include distribution expansion, category analysis and spoilage risk.
The creation of UNFI Insights is a direct result of feedback from our suppliers. Actionable insights, to drive accretive sales growth and increase efficiencies, are key supplier requests we hear consistently. Delivering the best supplier experience is a critical strategic focus for UNFI. Expanding our relationship with Crisp and their technology platform provides an opportunity for UNFI and our suppliers to boost relationships and growth opportunities with retailers.
Are Traasdahl: UNFI Insights equips suppliers with seamless access to comprehensive sales, inventory and trade spend data, designed to directly inform daily sales and supply chain success. In addition to dashboards within the myUNFI portal, UNFI Insights can pipe a brand’s latest UNFI data into their favorite tools, automatically refreshing data sets within Excel, business intelligence tools like PowerBI and Tableau, or cloud infrastructure.
PG: What are the key advantages to using this platform, and how does that play out in the grocery space?
JR: For distribution expansion, suppliers can now assist our retailers to maximize their sales and profits with the ideal product mix, through the power of aggregated data and advanced analytics. UNFI Insights identifies the geographies and unique store characteristics that predict which additional products are likely to be embraced by retailers’ unique customer mix, helping brands prioritize new distribution and partner with retailers to drive mutual benefits.
AT: Both UNFI and Crisp are committed to reducing food waste. The spoilage risk data that we are surfacing in the dashboards is key to helping suppliers and retailers meet demand while avoiding oversupply. The spoilage risk dashboard alerts brands to identify products nearing expiration, helping them reduce waste.
PG: What’s next on the agenda in the UNFI-Crisp partnership, and why?
AT: We’re continuing to build features into the new Insights tool to drive additional value for UNFI’s highly sophisticated supplier community, with features like more robust deductions information and more customizable data filtering on the roadmap, and we’re always looking at adding new data sets to increase transparency and collaboration using the latest generative AI solutions.
JR: We view the launch of UNFI Insights as the start of a journey to harness the power of data and analytics to help our supplier and retail partners succeed together. Our strategy is to continuously iterate new features and benefits to drive more value creation for our supplier partners. Technology is rapidly changing the CPG world, and we are committed to providing our suppliers with best-in-class solutions to grow their business.