How suppliers can create sustainable customer business plans

Last month I wrote about customer business planning (CBP). It clearly struck achord with many suppliers facing the challenges involved. I will answersuppliers’ key questions here with some of our CBP principles at Sentinel MC. The hottest topic is how to navigate the closing of one year at the same timeas setting up the next […]

Joint business plans are often meaningless

Joint business plans are often meaningless

Suppliers are thinking “must get next year’s customer business plans agreedbefore Christmas”. Meanwhile, those customers are threatening to cancel themeeting because they can’t get payment of unearned retro in this year’s plan. At its best, customer business planning (CBP) creates certainty for supply andincentive for growth. At its worst, it’s just another way for the […]

An open letter to the CMA: your profiteering accusations are damaging

In this week’s column, I would like to write an open letter to CMA CEO Sarah Cardell. I write in relation to the three investigations you are overseeing in relation to retail pricing during the cost of living crisis. The first two reports, which investigated the role of retailers in inflated fuel and food prices, […]

I’ve witnessed misogyny in fmcg negotiations and it needs to stop

Prompted by the allegations behind the recent resignation of Tesco chairman John Allan, I believe it’s a good time to highlight what I consider unacceptable personal abuse frequently witnessed in fmcg. We all know buyers use pressure tactics to make suppliers feel uncomfortable, because it often results in concessions. So, classics such as “the other […]

Suppliers are the latest scapegoat for high food prices. Let’s bust this myth now

Now the government has rightly moved its pointy finger away from retailers, Jeremy Hunt has directed profiteering concerns at suppliers. The concern is there is not enough competition in our apparently sleepy world of fmcg supply. Of course it is madness. We know suppliers are going into administration at an all-time high, and every category […]

Suppliers, steer clear of Sainsbury’s talks over Lloyds Pharmacy space

Sainsbury’s has entered talks with suppliers over the future of its LloydsPharmacy space. This is being described by Sainsbury’s as a mere investigation,scenario research if you will, being conducted on a store-by-store basis. This approach to commercialising the space on Sainsbury’s side is at beststrategically late and haphazard, and at worst a false promise for […]

Suppliers, plan your cost price reduction strategy now

People think inflation is bad, therefore deflation must be good. Wrong. Unlessit’s in relation to a Chinese spy balloon, deflation is bad in both macro andmicro economic terms. Deflation, or negative inflation, brings a fall in the general absolute levelof prices. Outside of food, it can result in consumers delaying purchases asthey wait for the […]

Sustainability, AI, people: the macro trends to watch this year

We are emerging from three bruising years, during which the industry hascircled the wagons and played safe. In this next era, inflationary pressureswill lift, and ambitious retailers will need to be more innovative to hit thosewell-published targets. The pressure will change, not disappear, as decreasingconsumer disposable income and a desire for greater health and environmentalsustainability […]

CPI issues dominated the GCA conference. Let’s stamp out the unfairness

The GCA conference last week had all the usual themes: GSCOP drives hugeimprovement, fear of retribution has half of suppliers refusing to use it. Butwhat was very different this year was that cost price increase (CPI) relatedissues dominated the conference. I’m glad that wasn’t ducked. It highlightsagain that CPI is a glaring omission from GSCOP […]