The Focus on Distribution Initiative is gaining momentum as the second phase of the delivery time project draws to a close. To date, 50,000 retailers have been issued with proposed delivery times based on their business requirements. Eighty two per cent of these times have already been agreed with retailers. Where there is no common agreement on the required delivery time (RDT), or the wholesaler cannot meet the required time, the wholesaler has given the retailer a scheduled delivery time (SDT). Wholesalers are aiming to make every effort to turn SDTs into RDTs. Retailers who have been given an SDT because agreement cannot be reached on the delivery time required to meet their business needs will ­ from the end of August ­ have the right of appeal through the ISSA arbiters. FODI chairman Martin Ashford admitted: "It has taken longer than first envisaged to get to this stage of the process. "But the whole project has proved to be far more complex and time consuming than we at first thought." Launched last summer, FODI aims to optimise newspaper deliveries to retailers enabling them to fulfil their customers' needs and maximise sales. Every retailer was asked to fill in a questionnaire about the commercial needs of their business and this was where the first hold up occurred. Ashford explained: "It took longer than we had expected to collect and collate all the data." The next phase will see wholesalers and publishers reviewing their own operations in order to realise times and improve the operation of the supply chain. And the autumn will see the launch of the National Distribution Monitor which will measure the performance of publishers and wholesalers. {{CTN }}