Customer service

It is critical that customer SLAs are developed to ensure that Customer Services is fully aligned with Sales and Marketing strategies, and to minimise the total supply chain cost in execution.

Drinks companies are increasingly expected to influence retailer on-shelf availability and store-level promotional effectiveness.

Forecasting is now largely focused around key events & promotions, rather than being a mechanical process. Although promotional calendars are devised outside of fulfilment lead-times, the size and final nature of the promotions is often changed within the total response time of the supply chain.

It is vital to correctly identify which products and customer forecasts add value, which can be improved and those that should not be attempted. Inventory levels and replenishment techniques should be aligned behind these.

Premiumisation strategies for key brands can limit promotional discounting, however, they need to be supported by appropriate supply strategies and availability promises, incorporated within the SLAs.

Client successes

  • Implementation of an in-flight forecasting accuracy and bias tracking tool to identify which customers and products could be forecasted more accurately than historic extrapolation techniques.
  • Conducted ‘Voice of the Customer’ for drinks distribution business to establish the need for a revised UK distribution model.
  • Optimised inventory management for a leading UK pub services business.
  • Led numerous customer collaboration initiatives to reduce lead-times and costs.

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Customer service