Somerfield has embarked on a radical overhaul of its planning and forecasting systems in a bid to improve both availability and relationships with suppliers.
A supply chain collaboration team, headed by David Heyes, is to give suppliers access to EPoS data, depot stock levels, sales information for the last six weeks and forecasts. This is shared via e-mail and spreadsheet with a long term aim of making it available on a company extranet, said Heyes.
"Suppliers can access our sales data from companies like ACNielsen," said Heyes, "but it's a week out of date. "Now we're pulling together all the relevant information for suppliers to upload, helping them use it productively."
In time, the extranet will become the key repository of all the data Somerfield wants to share with its supply base.
Initially, it will be used to electronically communicate goods received notes within 10 minutes of items being booked into depots, so suppliers can avoid delays and confusion over invoicing, said Heyes.

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