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Retailer Briefs

Retailer Briefs

ECR would welcome your submission and how your idea can respond to the challenges below. Click here to submit your idea. If you have trouble with this form, please email an email to colinmpeacock@ecr-shrink-group.com 

Brief 1: Supply Chain Visibility

How can retailers get better insights into stock movement from farm to store? How can shelf life and cosmetic standards be more objectively defined and measured to remove slack and emotion?

Background and context:

For many retailers, there is a lack of visibility into the early stage of the supply chain. Shortening the timeframe from farm to store could significantly extend the shelf-life of perishable produce and improve availability in store. Ensuring stock is transported in optimised environments can ensure both quality and freshness are retained.

What we’re looking for:

We’re seeking out platforms that enhance the tracking of products and improve the visibility of stock at each point of the supply chain.

We’ll also be exploring technologies that offer end-to-end supply chain traceability, including the monitoring and tracking of logistic conditions and product quality.

Questions we’re seeking to answer:

  • How can we use new technology to reduce the cause of food waste along the supply chain?
  • How can we use technology to trace the end-to-end journey?
  • How can we use technology to get better visibility in the movement of stock
  • How can we use technology to objectively determine cosmetic standards and shelf life duration?

Brief 2: Store and Warehouse Operations:

How can retailers increase inventory, performance and supply chain data accuracy for improved supply and demand forecasting? How can retailers optimise their operations to save time and reducing wastage?

Background and context:

Optimising supply and demand is a key issue faced by all retailers. There is a need for better insights into inventory (quantity, location, age, shelf life remaining, etc) which would enable improved forecasting and ordering and inevitably lead to less wastage. The resource needed for stock management in store, waste process and stock clearance can soak up precious labour hours that could otherwise be focused on selling and at the same time, lead to error and the mismanagement of wastage, including compliance failures

What we’re looking for:

We’re exploring technologies that enable on-demand inventory and analytical insights into supply & demand. Technologies that provide a platform for waste savings alongside more efficient operation in store and from warehouse to store are key. Our ambition is that these tools will simultaneously help to reduce wastage while also unlocking revenue growth.

Questions we’re seeking to answer:

  • How can we use technology to improve stock record accuracy?
  • How can we use technology for supply and demand forecasting to reduce surplus?
  • How can we use technology to optimise inventory levels and stock management in store?

 

Brief 3: Extending Shelf Life

How can new ingredients, treatments and packaging help retailers transport, store and preserve fresh products sustainably?

Background and context:

Processes are put in place at every stage of the supply chain to enable a longer shelf life for perishable stock. This ambition to increase shelf life often goes head-to-head with the need to eliminate plastics. This brief seeks to unearth new technologies which can deliver a more eco-friendly future whilst simultaneously extending product shelf life.

What we’re looking for:

Prevention and reduction of food waste is key. We plan on finding solutions to effectively cut down on waste and find solutions to prolong shelf life.

We’re exploring new and innovative solutions that preserve fresh products sustainably, with an extension of shelf life that is fit for all logistics conditions.

Questions we’re seeking to answer:

  • How can new technologies and innovative solutions help keep produce fresh and on the shelves for longer?
  • How can we use technology to get produce to the shelves faster?
  • How can technology help extend shelf life?

 

Brief 4: Clearance and Reductions:

How can retailers optimise not only the mark-down process itself but also the operating procedures they have in place to rotate stock and manage clearances?

Background and context:

Retailers reduce products close to the end of shelf life to protect revenue and minimise waste.  This often has a negative impact on both revenues and the in-store experience. Yellow stickers and long queues which arise from people waiting for items to be reduced are becoming more common. If prices need to be reduced to avoid waste, retailers need an innovative approach which not only offer a positive impact, but is also more efficient.

What we’re looking for:

We’re seeking out innovative solutions in the pricing and labeling of products to make the clearance process easier and to avoid negative consumer perceptions. We’re also exploring technologies that will better understand the customer proposition, timings and optimal price points.

Questions we’re seeking to answer:

  • What cost effective technologies exist to enable product clearance?
  • How can we use technology to effectively price and label goods that need to be reduced?

 

Brief 5: Repurpose and Reuse

How can retailers better manage surplus that is reaching the end of its life by repurposing or reusing products? Can external partners support the retail operation?

Background/ context:

Retailers are finding it evermore difficult to find a suitable outlet for all surplus stock. Even with the rising number of 3rd parties and charities offering to take this surplus for redistribution, the capacity cannot manage all surplus and processes can be complex. Retailers are beginning to look at how can they repurpose or reuse surplus in line with the food waste hierarchy to create other outlets or new products for unsold surplus stock.

What we’re looking for:

We’re tackling the issue of repurposing food waste by exploring solutions in selling surplus products, platforms that connect businesses and communities and solutions in solving getting surplus to the consumer from store.

Questions we’re seeking to answer:

  • What solutions remove the resources needed to provide surplus to partners?
  • How can we turn surplus food into resellable condiments or other purchasable products?