February 7, 2002, 12:00 AM

How supply-chain collaboration cut TruServe`s inventory, boosted sales

TruServe Corp., the co-op that serves TrueValue Hardware stores, has reduced its inventory by $200 million in the year that it has collaborated with 15 suppliers while on-shelf availability has gone up.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

TruServe Corp., the co-op that serves TrueValue Hardware stores, has reduced its inventory by $200 million in the year that it has collaborated with 15 suppliers, Greg Linder, director of supply chain capabilities with Chicago-based TruServe, tells Internet Retailer. Meanwhile the availability of stock from those suppliers has gone up by a couple percentage points, meaning items are more available for customers to purchase, he reports.

TruServe achieved those results by collaborating on supply chain functions with only 15 of its 2,000 suppliers. Linder expects the collaborative program to grow this year to as many as 50 suppliers-2.5% of its vendor base. “But they’re a significant part of our business,” he says, and so they’re the most valuable to convert to collaboration.

Among TruServe’s collaboration partners are Black & Decker Inc., The Scotts Co., Delta Faucet Co., Manco Inc., General Electric Co.’s lighting products and Genova Products Inc., providers of pipe and plumbing supplies.

Starting with a few vendors is an important part of making collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment work, he says. Narrowing the partners “streamlined what was a daunting task,” Linder says.

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