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 […]

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 […]

The role of the GCA isn’t in doubt. But the code is up for debate

Small business minister Jane Hunt by now has recognised her blunder intargeting the GCA role for efficiencies: the GCA office is funded by the 14retailers it governs. But questioning its suitability is right. After all, theGSCOP survey in June showed relations had deteriorated for the first time sincethe role was created. Overall, has GSCOP helped? […]

Heinz and Mars won’t beat Tesco in a PR battle over price rises

The Tesco vs Heinz/Mars pricing spats jog memories of Marmitegate in 2016, whenUnilever had its fall-out with Tesco. Before that, Heineken, and Walkers/Pepsiin the noughties, also had a six-month stand-off over pricing with Tesco. Italways seems to be Tesco involved on the retail side and a huge, brandedsupplier on the other. So why Tesco? Two […]

GSCOP survey highlights inflationary pressures, not lack of co-operation

When the GCSOP survey results are published, the industry coalface ismomentarily transfixed. This league table of retailer compliance is the bestthing the GCA office has ever done. It provides a rating of retailer behaviour,and in case you believe the headlines this week: yes, the retailers do care,and are in fact slightly competitive, about how their […]