How COVID 19 is Impacting OSA And What CPG Suppliers Can Do About It
In just a few short months, COVID 19 (CoronaVirus) has taken the world by storm. Cities and even entire nations have come to an unprecedented standstill. Only time will tell what effect social distancing and mass quarantines will have on the spread of the virus and the economy.
But one thing is sure, driven by apprehension and uncertainty, people across the country are rushing to stock up on essential supplies, and retailers are struggling to meet the unexpected surge in demand. From New York to Los Angeles, shelves are being wiped out by shoppers competing for cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and non-perishable food items.
What does this mean for consumer goods suppliers?
For consumer goods companies, this crisis will provide the ultimate test of agility. Suppliers that can respond quickly have the opportunity to serve communities in desperate need of essential items while strengthening relationships with retailers. Those that falter may face serious long term consequences.
But responding effectively to the volatility that many markets are experiencing is not a simple task. Your organization must have the ability to track On-Shelf Availability (OSA) in real-time, and the processes to respond when problems are identified in specific regions and individual stores.
How can you stay ahead of the crisis demand curve?
Some of our most successful clients are keeping up with demand by deploying field teams armed with real-time data and mobile reporting to optimize sales and inventory allocation. These teams can provide feedback on where products are needed on a store by store basis and even how to prioritize manufacturing capacity, so the right products are available at the right time.
This approach enables these suppliers to react to changes in the market immediately. Field personnel can make retail partners aware of upcoming production availability. They can even help get inventory onto shelves as soon as it arrives at stores (something many retailers are struggling with on their own).
Not only does this build long term relationships with retailers, but it also ensures these suppliers are known as Best in Class Vendors who can deliver at the exact times needed. A side benefit is that these organizations are also better prepared to protect shelf real-estate whenever the supply chain does catch-up, and stocking levels go back to normal.
How can RW3 help your organization make this a reality?
The first step is to assess what your organization is already doing and what needs to be implemented to get it where it needs to go. If you are looking at building these capabilities, but lack the real-time data required, we can help.
RW3 has years of experience helping leading CPG companies collect and analyze information from a host of disparate sources, including POS, Syndicated, Self-Reported, ERP, Promotional, and other relevant data streams. We can help you track OSA across retailers and know when and how to respond to issues.
The road ahead is going to be very difficult, but we will get through this crisis. Consumer goods suppliers have the opportunity to make a real difference for communities by working to ensure essential items are available when needed – and we would love to help.
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