The pandemic has significantly changed the grocery landscape, and for retailers to make sense of it all and make proper forecasts, they need accurate data.
Anthony Totta, CEO of FreshXperts, LLC BB #:261158 does consulting work for small, independent retailers, and said they will have a competitive disadvantage without high quality data.
“We can do analytics at lightning speed and get it out quickly, but if we’re getting our ROI, we need to do our housekeeping to ensure the identifications are proper,” he said.
For instance, the effort led by the Produce Marketing Association earlier this year for the fresh produce supply chain to move away from generic universal product codes to GS1 DataBar, gives company specific information, and when combined with PLUs, gives the necessary information to retailers, Totta said.
Totta said wholesalers and other retail suppliers should use these codes on their invoices for better data tracking at retail.
He said grower-shippers can do their part as well. For instance, apple and citrus companies are among the most sophisticated at using accurate PLUs.
During this pandemic, it can be more difficult to track consumers’ changing buying habits, as more sales shift to retail from foodservice, but Totta said the investment will be worth it.
“We talk a lot about managing shrink and waste, but many retailers don’t truly know where it’s coming from, and they just make up for it on margins,” he said.
There’s a better way.