With its new web-based partner communication system, Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc. is learning to spend more time discussing products’ selling characteristics and less time reviewing routine product data like weight and size. “It replaces a lot of personal communication on mundane stuff that no one wants to do, and let’s us devote time to more productive meetings,” Jim Sheehan, director of external standards, says.
Communicating electronically through a web-based Vista Retail application from JDA Software Group Inc., the grocer is receiving from Kraft Foods and other suppliers product data that have been electronically and automatically entered into a web-based registry maintained by UCCnet, a service of the Uniform Code Council. UCCnet assures that trading partners are using the same definitions to describe products, supporting accurate electronic data communication. The system not only makes data more accurate from the start, but makes correctiing mistakes easier and faster, Sheehan says.
By saving time on checking scores of details on every product, Shaw’s and its suppliers have more time to discuss information and strategies related to improving how products sell, Sheehan says. “We can discuss what value products will bring by placing them on our shelves, and what data are available to show how well products are selling in other parts of the country,” he says. “That’s the stuff you want to talk about.”