Contributed by James Cooke, ReposiTrak Marketing Manager
As retailers and grocers look to preserve their hold on shopper loyalty in the face of growing online competition, many are offering a wider selection of local, seasonal, or event-themed products in their stores. Although offering products not available online is a sound bricks-and-mortar differentiation strategy for an omnichannel world, finding sources for those products has made the tough job of a category manager even tougher.
Discovering new suppliers can be a time-consuming task, especially when locating small, local vendors or ones with specialty products such as organic produce. Not only does the category manager have to find a new supplier that meets the company’s business needs, the manager also has to make sure that any new vendor can meet a company’s compliance requirements.
With so many food recalls in the news, vetting new suppliers has taken on vital importance as any new supplier has to be able to meet a company’s compliance criteria to minimize any potential legal or brand exposure.
What category managers need is a supplier discovery tool designed for sourcing suppliers with a proven record of compliance performance. ResposiTrak MarketPlace gives them just that tool. The searchable online directory obviates the manual process of searching paper catalogs and making phone calls. MarketPlace provides a supplier database that category managers can use to screen, vet, and onboard new suppliers in a matter of hours rather than weeks or even months.
With more than 28,000 category participants, MarketPlace draws its listings from ReposiTrak’s database of compliant suppliers. That database means category managers can look online and find all the pertinent details needed for a supplier selection along with a history of compliance performance.
By using ReposiTrak Marketplace, category managers can get all the supplier information they need to review multiple options for sourcing a product. Armed with that information, such as supplier’s compliance performance, category managers can make fact-based decisions for choosing new-product suppliers. In today’s litigious society, companies have to be extra careful in selecting their business partners and take precautionary steps to ensure that their suppliers are diligent in terms of food safety. ReposiTrak MarketPlace allows a company to instantly check their compliance history in vetting new suppliers.
And because MarketPlace is a one-stop resource, category managers can use it to handle local and event-based promotions faster and easier as well as to respond to unexpected demand surges for non-core products. The end result is that traditional stores are better-positioned to expand and localize their product assortments for a differentiation strategy.