This is the third article that summarizes the findings from a March 2020 Coresight Research survey. Click here to read the other articles. 


Tapping Collaboration to Fullest Potential Can Increase Overall Satisfaction

In order to improve satisfaction from collaboration, retailers and suppliers must outline their expectations, establish performance metrics and build trust. Survey data suggests that neither retailers nor suppliers are fully satisfied with their current collaboration. However, retailers’ satisfaction regarding collaboration is higher than suppliers’ overall.  


Best Practices

Retailers and suppliers were asked about the best practices for collaborating with each other, and found the following:

  • 38% of respondents cited ensuring higher availability of products in line with market demand as a best practice for successful collaboration.
  • Building strategic partnerships to enable collaborative and joint business planning closely followed as the second-most important best practice for collaboration, identified by 35% of all respondents. 


Retailer-Supplier Collaboration: Key Insights across Respondent Groups

By breaking down the data to analyze key survey results across different respondent groups two growth opportunities are identified on which retailers and suppliers can collaborate:

  • By focusing on collaboration beyond supply chain and fulfillment, brick-andmortar retailers can look to achieve customer-focused growth.
  • Omnichannel and e-commerce retail represents an “open door” for customer-led collaboration. Those who embrace customer-led partnerships the quickest will be able to capitalize on this growth opportunity.



Collaboration: Opportunities and the Path Forward 

The survey results underscore two primary opportunities in retailer-supplier collaboration:

  • Improvement in customer-centric data collaboration: Survey responses suggest that building responsive supply chains and servicing customer demand quickly are priorities for both retailers and suppliers. Both retailers and suppliers could leverage predictive analytics coupled with improved data sharing to meet these priorities, which would translate to a more customer-centric business overall.
  • Result-oriented collaboration: Retailer-supplier collaboration has significantly improved over the last two years, but the survey findings indicate that retailers and suppliers have not been able to capitalize on their improved collaboration. A more result-oriented collaboration that is embedded into business decision-making processes can bring about substantial changes to business operations.

As consumer-centric data collaboration develops between retailers and suppliers, the role of category manager will become more important than ever. Retail category managers need to address data differences with their suppliers when working toward improving the overall customer experience. Success in category management depends on multiple factors, most of which are changing in a dynamic retail landscape, rendering the role more strategic. With the increasing number of data sources available through technology innovations and adoption, category managers need to leverage insights to recognize market shifts and customer trends. 

Sharing customer and store-level data can increase the overall benefits of collaboration for both retailers and suppliers, especially their ability to forecast demand and market shifts. In turn, this will allow both retailers and suppliers to increase their responsiveness to customers and market trends.