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RVCF Is Offering a Holiday Special for New Supplier Members

Posted By RCVF Admin, Thursday, December 6, 2018

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RVCF Is Offering a Holiday Special for New Supplier Members
December RVCF Link: From Desk of Kim Zablocky

We’re heading down the home stretch of what has been a fantastic holiday season in retail. Shoppers feel good about the economy, sales were up on Black Friday and throughout the holiday weekend, and the retail industry is poised for a strong finish. If you’re a CFO or COO for a merchandise supplier organization, you probably have a big smile on your face right about now.

Then your retailer customers remit outstanding invoices and you notice a high number of deductions. Shipments didn’t comply with retailer requirements. Some arrived early or late to the retailer distribution center. Others were unannounced because of ASN issues.

Meanwhile, the finance department is fuming as they try to figure out how tens of thousands of dollars disappeared. Can you really afford to lose 1 to 2 percent of gross sales due to shipping errors?

There’s a solution to this accounts receivable dilution. It’s called retailer-supplier collaboration. And it begins with RVCF membership. Here’s how RVCF brings trading partners and peers together to solve problems and increase profits.

Two National Conferences

RVCF’s Annual Spring and Fall Conferences drive collaboration by providing a platform for learning about important industry issues, best practices and, most importantly, one-on-one meetings with retailer customers. Supplier members have told us that the access we provide to multiple retailers in a single trip and the ability to address specific issues during each meeting are worth the cost alone.

Supplier Open Forum Calls

Each month, merchandise supplier members have the opportunity to help and learn from peers who are dealing with or have already overcome similar issues with retailers.

RVCF Compliance Clearinghouse

When you miss changes to retailer requirements, orders continue to ship incorrectly, chargebacks mount, revenues are lost, and the trading partner relationship suffers. The RVCF team monitors the compliance guides of more than 100 retailers so you don’t have to devote resources to this tedious process. We then alert your order-to-cash team of changes within 24 hours so you can proactively address the issue and contact your retailer customer if necessary to implement an suitable solution.

Help Desk Support

Struggling with a problem that your in-house team can’t seem to solve? RVCF members can always reach out to the RVCF team’s industry veterans for help.

Workshops and Webinars

In addition to our annual Spring and Fall Conferences, RVCF offers workshops and webinars to educate your team about best practices, the latest research and trends, and how to adapt to a quickly changing retail landscape.

All About Retail Compliance

All supplier members receive a free issue of RVCF’s All About Retail Compliance, a comprehensive reference for anyone who works in compliance in the retail supply chain. This handbook includes terminology, definitions and best practices that reflect the latest industry trends and technology. In addition to serving as a value source of information, All About Retail Compliance can be used as a training tool.

Research Participation

RVCF periodically conducts surveys and studies that shed light on important issues, such as compliance management, drop ship, fill rate, investigating and reconciling deduction claims, value-added services and more. By sharing your experiences, insights, concerns and frustrations, you can push for changes that benefit your organization and the entire supplier community.

Our Holiday Special for New Supplier Members

If you’ve never been a member of RVCF or haven’t been a member since 2014, you can take advantage of 20 percent savings on regular membership pricing. Your company must join on or before January 15, 2019, which happens to be our 19th year in existence.

I’m happy to say, and I’m sure RVCF members will concur, that we have saved suppliers millions of dollars over the years by creating opportunities for collaboration with retailer customers, peers and service providers.

RVCF membership provides your order-to-cash team with the tools they need to speed goods to market and get products in the hands of consumers in an error-free, cost-effective manner. By joining RVCF, you’ll demonstrate to retailers that you’re committed to order fulfillment excellence and improving the trading partner relationship.

Again, 20 percent off RVCF membership for new supplier members is only available through January 15, 2019. For more information, contact Susan Haupt, RVCF Vice President of Operations and Member Services, at 646-442-3433 or



Tags:  RVCF Membership  Suppliers 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Retailers, It's Time to Get Off the Sidelines

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 10, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Retailers ask me every day about the value of RVCF membership. I could get deep in the weeds about various RVCF services and benefits of membership, and I'll mention a few at the end of this article. But there's a much simpler answer to that question. Real work is being done by RVCF and our retailer members to come up with real solutions to supply chain problems.

This work is being done during RVCF Fall and Spring Conferences, where retailers can meet face-to-face with peers and trading partners and discuss issues that just don't get enough attention at other conferences. More than 55 U.S. retailer members and conference participants don't just show up, deliver presentations, and attend sessions. They don't just send salespeople looking for leads.

The people in compliance, inventory management, operations, vendor relations and other key areas that are essential to moving merchandise through the supply chain as quickly as possible are there to collaborate and solve problems. They work together to identify best practices for sales and operations planning, scorecards, supplier relationship management, supplier onboarding, inventory management, and omni-channel. Instead of taking a piecemeal approach, we cover the full buffet so everyone can better understand how all of these issues affect each other.

For example, the importance of omni-channel is discussed at every industry conference. But what does it take to make omni-channel possible across the broad spectrum of touch points along the supply chain? Scorecarding is another popular topic at industry events. But scorecarding isn't just about sending a piece of paper to the supplier because other retailers are doing it. It has to have value and use the appropriate metrics so the scorecard serves as a springboard for supply chain improvement. Our retailer membership gets into the nitty gritty of these and other issues at RVCF conferences.

To be clear, collaboration doesn't just happen twice per year at our conferences. Our retailer-only open forum conference calls offer our retailer members a monthly opportunity to learn from and share information with their peers. As we've been discussing in this newsletter, supplier onboarding has been a popular topic during these calls. What processes are working? Which processes have been tried and didn't work? How can requirements be better communicated to suppliers? What is the best way to achieve compliance as quickly as possible?

These monthly conference calls have grown exponentially in the past year because they represent peer-to-peer collaboration at its finest. Instead of talking in circles or airing grievances, RVCF retailer members are coming up with solutions that get merchandise to the floor faster. And if you want to continue the conversation instead of waiting until the next call, RVCF members can lead or participate in discussions on open forum boards on the RVCF website.

If you want to be a part of this movement to drive positive change, you have to be an RVCF member. Only RVCF members get exclusive, members-only rates to RVCF conferences. Only RVCF members can participate in these retailer-only open conference calls every month, as often as they would like. Only RVCF members have unlimited access to information through the RVCF website. Otherwise, it wouldn't be fair to existing RVCF members – members who represent a wide range of product lines but share a common goal of progress through collaboration.

Here are a few of the more popular perks of RVCF membership for retailers:

One-on-One Meetings. Our retailer members can have pre-scheduled meetings with suppliers at RVCF conferences. We'll provide a list of suppliers that want to meet with the retailer and the desired topics of discussion. Then we'll schedule meetings with only those suppliers that have been approved by the retailer. This is actually the top reason why suppliers attend RVCF conferences.

Retailer Collaboration Groups. If you don't have the technology or capability to quickly post, update and share requirements, you can set up a secure compliance portal on the RVCF website. We've already built the tool for you. Having a Retailer Collaboration Group enables retailer members to post requirements and alert suppliers of changes in real time. As part of this service, RVCF will also import, verify and clean up your supplier contacts, whether they're RVCF members or not, to ensure that the right people get the right information.

Portal Review. Many retailers use compliance guides, portals or both to communicate requirements with suppliers. However, guides and portals can become complex and confusing over time as more data is added and changed. RVCF conducts portal reviews to ensure that retailer guides and portals are aligned and content is easy for suppliers to find.

Of course, the greatest value of RVCF to retailers is access to peers and trading partners. If you want to improve supply chain performance and meet the demands of today's consumer, there is no substitute for direct collaboration. We encourage retailers to join RVCF and take full advantage of the benefits of membership. Let our members help you and learn from you so everyone can benefit.

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the MARCH 2016 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Membership 

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RVCF Membership: What's in It for Me?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 10, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 9, 2015


It's one thing to become an RVCF member. It's quite another to take full advantage of that membership. Whether you're already a member or thinking of joining, it's important to know what steps to take and what opportunities to leverage so you can maximize the return on your RVCF investment.

While the use of certain tools and services can be easily measured and directly tied to ROI, the power of collaboration and strong trading partner relationships, while not always easily measured, is invaluable. It is through ongoing communication that issues are identified, solutions are uncovered, ideas are developed, efficiencies are gained, profits are increased, and customers are delighted.

I'm an RVCF member. Now what?
Why should I join RVCF?

If you've ever uttered one of these phrases or something similar, this article is for you. Here is a high-level overview of the value of RVCF membership.

RVCF for Retailers
Through live events, monthly conference calls, online forum boards and in-depth research, we show retailer members new and better ways to communicate with and manage suppliers. We show you the most effective ways to measure and improve supplier performance. In addition to providing opportunities for collaboration with suppliers, RVCF connects you with peers, academic experts, and service providers who can help you overcome your most difficult challenges. The goal of RVCF is to create an efficient, error-free flow of goods to market so your supply chain can be a profit center, not an expense center.

For mid-tier to small retailers that don't have the technology or capabilities to host their requirements or update those requirements in real time, a secure Retailer Collaboration Group compliance portal can be set up on the RVCF website. Post requirements, send real time alerts of changes, and control who receives what data and when. RVCF will even import, verify and clean up your supplier contacts so you know updates are being communicated to the right people. RVCF supplier members, as well as non-members, will have access to this portal. RVCF can also develop and manage turnkey supplier communication programs wherein we handle the logistics of the events allowing you to focus on the initiatives and requirements you wish to communicate to your supplier partners.

RVCF for Suppliers
RVCF helps suppliers collaborate with retailer trading partners, get a handle on compliance requirements, and develop strategies for meeting retailer expectations. In many cases, a single instance of chargeback prevention can cover your membership fee for a year or more. Of course, the first step is to gain visibility into what those changes are as soon as they occur.

As we discussed in the July issue of the RVCF Link, a number of RVCF merchandise supplier members claim that the Compliance Clearinghouse more than pays for the cost of membership by itself. This service, which is free for RVCF supplier members, removes the burden of monitoring and tracking retailer requirements for changes. We alert suppliers of requirement changes from more than 140 retailers in a daily e-mail so suppliers can reduce chargebacks, spend more time on strategic initiatives, and improve scorecard performance.

In addition to the Compliance Clearinghouse, the RVCF Factory Communications Service ensures that supplier factories are following processes that are aligned with current compliance requirements. Hosted through the RVCF website, this service is designed specifically for your company and its factories to ensure clear, consistent communication.

RVCF for Service Providers
RVCF recognizes that service providers often play a key role in solving both industry-wide problems and specific issues between a single retailer and supplier. Service providers have ample opportunities to promote their products, services and ideas to retailers and suppliers at live events, during presentations and webinars, and though various sponsorships and advertising.

Perhaps the greatest value of RVCF membership for service providers is the opportunity to cultivate relationships and participate in discussions that contribute to improved supply chain operations and execution across the retail industry. RVCF offers service providers a seat at the table as industry stakeholders work to define and implement best practices and deploy the latest technology.

Plus, we can help you develop and share research and surveys that directly address the concerns of specific groups within the retail industry, while positioning your company as a thought leader and expert in your field. As a solutions-based organization, RVCF wants service providers to become partners in sharing insights and developing solutions for the quickly evolving retail industry.

RVCF for All Stakeholders
The Fall and Spring Conferences. Monthly conference calls. Open forum boards. Unprecedented networking opportunities. All RVCF members can take advantage of these and other opportunities to become better informed and better connected. RVCF Advisors supply chain and consultancy services provide a more customized approach to helping suppliers and retailers streamline processes, reduce errors, accelerate the flow of merchandise, and improve performance and profitability.

The most valuable resources you're likely to find as a member of RVCF are your fellow members. Like you, these are organizations and individuals who are recognized as industry leaders and committed to solving problems through collaboration. As an RVCF member, you'll gain insights into what is going on outside your company so you can understand and implement not just industry practices, but best practices. RVCF provides the platforms, tools, access and expertise to facilitate this collaboration so you can work smarter, resolve issues proactively, and save money.

In a nutshell, we can help you become a trading partner. We can help your trading partners become better trading partners. And we can help all trading partners build the kinds of relationships that are needed to improve operational efficiency, boost sales, and deliver the best possible customer experience.

Contact us to learn more about how to take full advantage of your membership or become a new member.

CLICK HERE to return to the SEPTEMBER 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Membership 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: An Open Letter to Executives Whose Companies Sell to Retailers

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 9, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I've had discussions with people that manage or own businesses that sell to retailers where they tell me they have chargebacks under control and there's no reason to spend money fixing something that's not broken. Maybe they do, but maybe they're not asking the right questions internally. On average, an RVCF membership costs your firm $3,700.00 annually. With that number in mind, go to your order management team and ask the following questions:

  • How many of our shipments arrived late and what has that cost us this past quarter?
  • How many charges have been assessed for "shipped, not ordered"?
  • How many of our tags and labels failed and/or were unable to be scanned? How much did that cost us?
  • Did we have purchase order and/or ASN violations and how much were we charged?
  • What about the costs for allowances, shortages, pricing discrepancies, etc., etc.?

Please don't tell us chargebacks aren't affecting your bottom line.

Chargebacks on average run between 1-3% of gross sales – and that's just compliance charges alone. Factor in the cost of researching claims and disputing them, if necessary? And if you don't have the proper systems in place, that adds even more costs.

Go to your Credit or A/R manager and ask what the collectability of those chargebacks is and if the difficulty of accomplishing this is getting easier?

Then sit down and calculate how much more in sales you have to make to recoup those lost funds. If your margins on average are 25%, you need $4 of sales to profit $1. So, $100,000 in chargebacks requires $400,000 in sales to just break even. Can you really afford this?

So, when you take the time to ask the questions and listen to what chargebacks are really costing you, I'm available at (646) 442-3473. RVCF can help and surely save you a lot more money than $3,700.00! Or, better yet, prevent the chargebacks in the first place, which what we advocate and give you the tools to accomplish. Head in the sand or head in the sky – what's your choice?

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the APRIL 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Membership 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: What Does RVCF Do For You?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 12, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Though many wholesalers and manufacturers of general merchandise and apparel are not members of RVCF, they still need to know that RVCF is working diligently to improve communications between retailer and their merchandise suppliers. In many cases, retail change requirements can be daunting; here's a short list of issues over the last few years: black hangers, secure over hanger (SOH) sizers, transportation management systems (TMS), inventory accuracy measures, RFID, and product images and attributes. RVCF offers a neutral place for both retailers and suppliers to discuss requirements, new initiatives, and strategies for next steps, no matter what comes down the pipeline.

RVCF allows retailers to discuss deployment of new and innovative improvements to their supply chains, industry developments, and supplier onboarding and training initiatives. RVCF fosters collaboration and alignment as peer-to-peer discussions enable the industry to see and determine best in class practices.

RVCF doesn't write the guidelines and we're not involved in standards. However, when a major retailer tells their suppliers they want something new, whether its value-added services, trading EDI transactions, or whatever, RVCF is there to assist suppliers in better understanding those requirements and, more importantly, becoming "compliant" with them. Ultimately, RVCF helps both sides of the aisle achieve speed to market. Here's how:

For Suppliers:

  1. RVCF focuses on helping you drive excellence in the PO to cash cycle, allowing orders to be on-time, complete, damage free with accurate documentation.
  2. RVCF's Compliance Clearinghouse service monitors over 130 retailer compliance guides on a daily basis, alerting you to new initiatives and changes to requirements; this service easily outweighs the price of membership alone.
  3. RVCF enables your business to be nimble through best practices and training, allowing you to better manage change and reduce deductions.  
  4. RVCF schedules one-on-one meetings with your largest retail customers at our Spring and Fall Conferences to assist you in eliminating disconnects.  
  5. RVCF offers both strategic as well as tactical seminars throughout the United States. The focus for 2015 will be on product images and attributes (in respect to both GS1's guidelines and retailer requirements), VAS best practices, doing business in Canada and Europe, product labeling, practical drop ship solutions, returns, and much more.

For Retailers:

  1. RVCF allows you to meet and collaborate with your top suppliers via targeted conference sessions, one-on-one meetings, webinars, online groups, and many other facilities.
  2. RVCF will manage your supplier summits and training programs at little or no cost to you.
  3. RVCF provides the industry platform for supplier performance metrics, scorecards, onboarding, portals, and communication.
  4. RVCF's peer networking opportunities allow you to benchmark your performance in areas such as technology, EDI, e-commerce, supply chain practices, operations, compliance, and supplier management.
  5. RVCF's educational sessions and resources keep you abreast of solutions and services that will improve your bottom line.

Continuous Innovation. Collaboration. Perfect Execution. That's what RVCF drives. We help you be better, do better, and achieve better. So what's stopping you from taking the next step?

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the FEBRUARY 2015 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Membership 

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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Here's A Stocking Stuffer – How About RVCF Membership for 2015?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 18, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, December 17, 2014

So, you think RVCF membership is for the big "well-known" brands? Think again, our retail members constantly ask "Where's so-and-so?" and "Why aren't they here?" So, let me highlight what you'll be missing in 2015 if you're not a member of RVCF:

  • Key industry research and insights including our 2015 ASN Accuracy Study, Consumer Sentiment Study on Returns, Cost to Service Drop Shipping Study, and Inventory Visibility Study
  • Collaborative programs for both retailers and merchandise suppliers
  • Over 50 of the top U.S. retailers – they're RVCF members and they attend our events!
  • Valuable insights and analysis for suppliers to ensure they remain essential and relevant to omni-channel partners going forward
  • Regularly scheduled Open Forums for both retailers and suppliers focusing on the exchange of ideas, best practices from within and outside the industry, solutions to ongoing issues, and corporate strategies
  • Two national conferences featuring retailer presentations to key suppliers on upcoming initiatives and requirements and over 1,000 one-on-one meetings between retailers and their merchandise
  • Eastern and Western U.S. workshops
  • Webinars on relevant topics of interest
  • Web-based services and resource center informing users of supplier compliance and routing guide changes on over 140 retail entities along with best practices, a glossary of terms, and a contact directory

How can you afford not to be a member? Or let us put it this way, simple math – if your compliance deductions exceed 1% of gross invoice or annual sales, you're bleeding valuable margin; one shipment gone wrong can cost substantially more than the cost of a your RVCF membership investment.

Why put membership off for another year? Tell management you want a RVCF membership in your stocking this year! They'll be happy when they see the results membership brings them.

(646) 442-3473

CLICK HERE to return to the DECEMBER 2014 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Membership 

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