New working group CATMAN (Category Management) just started to work in the Czech Republic and Slovakia!

The Czech-Slovak ECR Initiative announce launch of its new working group CATMAN. The kick-off meeting was held in March under the auspices of Coca-Cola Hellenic and Incoma GfK.

The CATMAN Workgroup aims to be a meeting place for thought leadership, training resources, events, consultants, industry share groups, and  “all things CATMAN”, using a broad definition to include Shopper Insights, Consumer Insights, Promotions, In-Store Execution and similar, that impacts strategic Sales and Marketing.

As a part of ECR CZ&SK website CATMAN section will become an information repository (created by the members) with the objective to become the most effective source of information, learning, networking & sharing of best practice for CATMAN practitioners. Contact: Tomas Martoch,

ECR Europe ‘11 [Brussels] – Industry leaders share data in supply chain optimisation project

By Joachim Pinhammer - Senior Retail Technology Analyst - Planet Retail

Inconsistent shopping patterns make predicting customer demand and having the right products available at the right place and at the right time a permanent challenge for retailers and their suppliers. Excess inventory levels reduce cash flow and gross profit margin. At this year’s ECR Europe Conference in Brussels, one of its workgroups presented a new trial programme which is aiming to tackle the problem in a collaborative way.

Under the umbrella of the ECR Europe Supply Chain Committee, 15 renowned companies such as Metro Group, Walmart’s Asda, Carrefour and Sainsbury’s from the retail side as well as Unilever, Kraft Food, Nestlé, Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel, L’Oreal and Barilla from the supplier side have jointly developed a new collaborative inventory optimisation approach, which aims to maintain speed to shelf and high availability rates as well as keeping inventory to a minimum.

A new collaborative approach

Previous initiatives suffered from the fact that, too often, retailers were not willing to open their books and share information on their logistics costs. The new approach is based on transparency of transport, handling, inventory and administration costs, in a bid to collaboratively find the best method of delivery and the best strategy for implementation across company borders.

Read more

The 7th ECR Forum will be held June 7-8, 2011 in Moscow.

ECR best-practices from all over the world!

This year the event is focused on BRIC and emerging markets as they are considered as a territory of growth. Different parts of the world, different languages and culture, but similar challenges: supply chain, market fragmentation, rapid modern trade development - there is much to learn and reapply.

Over 1000 senior executives from international and local companies will take part in the event.

More than 100 retailers and suppliers will gather to share their experience of collaboration for the benefit of consumer.

Best practices are guaranteed: speakers will provide you with their insights and exact figures that prove the success of assortment management, supply chain optimization, shrinkage reduction, etc.

To get more info and register go to:

Forum 2011

Forum 2010

Video 2010

FMCG and rail transport: do these tracks converge?

Can the rail industry take a greater role in managing the transportation flows of fast-moving consumer goods more continuously and broadly than the minor role it plays today?

What is the real development potential of a competitive service offered by industry operators?

What kind of services can rail transportation offer, including conventional and intermodal, cargo trains and “door-to-door” service?

What are the possible benefits (for example, in terms of reduced CO2 emissions) for FMCG companies that plan to transition to this method?

These are just a few of the questions that the ECR Italy Task Force formed in February 2011 needs to address. Read more

Newsflash – The 2011 ECR Europe Conference & Marketplace

ECR Australasia - Winning in January Review 2011

In early 2009 the Board of ECRA identified improving January service levels between suppliers and retailers and between retailers and their stores as a major opportunity for the industry players to collaborate under the banner of Winning in January

The latest Winning in January 2011 Review is the culmination of the industry focus for 2009, 2010 and 2011 providing a fact based set of key industry results, findings and next steps

                 Click here to learn more about Winning in January and related reports.

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