ECR Europe hopes to reach 14,000 people in the grocery industry over the next two years with a training initiative designed to improve trading partners’ collaboration.
The scheme, developed from a series of pilots in the UK, France and Italy, will provide a framework for collaboration by bringing retailers and suppliers together to tackle perennial problems such as transport optimisation, out of stocks and data integrity.
Speaking at the ECR Europe conference in Brussels, Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said it was too easy to forget that change was driven by people, not by technology.
“Systems might speak the same language, or at least it’s only minutes until they do,” he said. “But people don’t speak the same language. And that’s where the training comes in.” Through a new general learning programme, piloted by companies including Tesco, Carrefour, Coors and Nestlé over the last six months, trading partners will be able to tackle issues such as on-shelf availability through workshops and projects facilitated by national ECR organisations.
Coors, which has worked with Tesco and IGD in a UK pilot of the general programme, saw a 3.6% improvement in on-shelf availability during promotions.
Separately, a new progressive management scheme to be launched in September will target the industry leaders of tomorrow. Open to a handful of high flyers, the programme will be hosted by academics and industry leaders with an emphasis on managing change and developing ECR principles.