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  September 2015

Upcoming Events

Retailer Open Forum
Conference Call

Supplier Open Forum
Conference Call

Managing Retail Deductions Workshop
Marriott Greensboro-
High Point
SOLD OUT Workshop

Kaizen Rules! (for Mgmt.)
Virtual Event

Kaizen Rules! (for Ops.)
Virtual Event

Compliance Clearinghouse Demo & Tutorial
Virtual Event

2015 Fall Conference
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

Complimentary Resources

The State of Retailer-Supplier Collaboration: The Retailer's Perspective

Best Practices to Automate Order-to-Cash

The State of Retailer - Supplier Collaboration: The Supplier's Perspective

RFID in Retail Planning Guide

CLICK HERE for Additional Resources


From the Desk of Kim Zablocky:
Retailer Execs Have Their Say about the State of Collaboration

RVCF LogoIn last month's issue of the RVCF LINK, we unveiled a white paper in which executives of supplier organizations shared their off-the-record views on the state of retailer-supplier collaboration.

Now, it's time for retailers to have their say.

The State of Retailer-Supplier Collaboration: The Retailer's Perspective – 2015

The State of the Retailer-Supplier Collaboration: The Retailer's Perspective

RVCF commissioned an outside party to conduct anonymous, off-the-record interviews with five senior executives from retailer organizations. While we didn't want to create a megaphone for an airing of grievances, we did want these industry leaders to speak freely without fear of repercussions. We asked each participant to provide a candid assessment of the state-of-retailer collaboration from their unique perspective. This white paper provides the details of these conversations, using random names to protect the interviewee's anonymity.

How RVCF Membership: What's in It for Me?

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.


Yusen, We Have a Problem: The ABC's of PDCA: Part 2 - DO The DO
Kirk White, Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc.

Continuing the discussion on PDCA Methodology (Plan/Do/Check/Act)...

At this point in our metaphorical "diet/exercise" program (see last month's article) the "before" picture has been taken. Operations should have a snapshot of the process as it looks today – nothing's been done, nothing's been changed. The procedure has been documented, data collected, a problem specifically stated and a goal S.M.A.R.T.-ly created (say that out loud... it rhymes... this was not accidental).

Now that all this data has been gathered, it's time to DO something with it...

Ask a 3PL Expert: Does Your 3PL Measure Up?
Scott Weiss, Port Logistics Group

Q. How do I know my 3PL is doing a good job?
Read the answer...

Compliance Clearinghouse

Join us on September 30th for a demo and tutorial on how to effectively use the RVCF Compliance Clearinghouse to cut back on errors and deductions. Whether you're a first time user or a long-time member, we'll show you how to make the most of this service and what it has to offer.

What We'll Cover

  • How the Clearinghouse works
  • What's available with the service
  • Navigation basics
  • Tips and tricks to streamline compliance change management
  • Recommendations on incorporating into your cross functional teams' processes

This is for merchandise suppliers and select 3PL service providers only. Space is limited; registration will be closed once the maximum number of participants is reached. Participation is subject to approval.


Register here.

J.Crew Mercantile: What's in a Name?
Dwight D. Hill, McMillan Doolittle LLP

J.Crew has taken some hits lately. First quarter sales dropped 5%, gross margins fell by 1.4 points, and SG&A expenses rose from 32.8% to 35% of sales. Last season customers seemed to be alienated by merchandising missteps that resulted in these poor quarterly results, layoffs at headquarters, and a lot of bad press. CEO Mickey Drexler, however, has promised on a recent earnings call that they are turning things around and correcting their mistakes. Let's hope he's right - the upcoming Fall season will certainly be a proving ground for this new strategy. We recently shopped one part of their new strategy, J.Crew Mercantile.

2015 RVCF Fall Conference

The Camelback Inn is filling up! CLICK HERE to register.

5 Tips for Navigating the Amazon
Rachel Greer, Cascadia Product Testing Solutions

Many vendors find communicating with Amazon when there's a problem an exercise in frustration, at best, and not worth enduring, at worst. And trying to navigate Vendor Central's "Contact Us" system can be the most frustrating experience for vendors, especially when there's already a problem with a shipment going out late or if a chargeback has been. However, there are ways to make this easier for you and the associate with Amazon trying to help you succeed.

Wage Hikes for Workers, Tough Times for Suppliers?
Carol Weidner, eZCom Software

The summer of 2015 has meant good news for retail workers. Tighter labor markets, new government regulations, pending legislation on both the state and national levels, and public opinion have motivated many retailers to boost hourly wages - including heavyweights such as Gap, Ikea, TJX, Target and Walmart. Political and social trends have prompted retailers to make concessions in related areas as well; these include backpedaling from "just in time" scheduling - a common practice which uses algorithms to most efficiently staff stores and restaurants (while subjecting workers to unpaid "on call" time and unpredictable schedules)1 and implementation of a recent federal law that mandates overtime for retail store managers.2

Not Just for Retailers: How RFID Can Benefit Retail Brand Owners
Sheldon R. Reich, CYBRA Corporation

If you sell to a major retailer, sooner or later you'll be supplying RFID-tagged merchandise. It's no secret that retailers with growing omni-channel initiatives see strong benefits with RFID from the DC to the back room and the selling floor. But did you know that every RBO (Retail Brand Owner) can also benefit from this empowering technology? Here's how to turn the cost of an EPC (Electronic Product Code) retail compliance mandate into a supply chain enhancing investment that will boost your bottom line.

How to Get the Most from Your RVCF Conference Experience

The Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF) Fall Conference, themed "Consumer Driven Supply Chain," is being held November 8-11, 2015 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. There is much to be gained for every organization that sends representatives to the conference - especially if they approach the event thoughtfully and strategically.

Who should attend an RVCF event? How many people should you send? What departments in your organization should be represented? What kind of approach should they take with trading partners and other attendees at the event?

Concealed Shortage Allowance
Robert Prather for RVCF

There is a push coming from a well-known retailer to put its vendors on a "concealed shortage allowance." On the surface this seems like a very good idea. As the literature reads, it's being sold as a "better more efficient way to handle shortages." However, without understanding certain aspects of this initiative and their consequences, it could be a nightmare for a vendor and a huge profit making tool for the retailer.

Reducing 80% of Costs of Uploading Claims to Retailer Portals
Rohit Patel, iNymbus

Large retailers require vendors to upload claims and backup documentation into their retailer portals. At Warner Bros. it's a detailed and time-consuming process because each claim has to be organized and uploaded. Usually it means training resources to upload claims to retailer portals. Every portal is different, from navigation to data and documents required, then compilation order of the documents necessary for each claim package.

Looking for a new position? Have one to offer?RVCF Career Center
Visit the Career Center

RVCF's Career Center has been designed to assist employers and
job seekers in filling open Retail Supply Chain positions. Our Career Center is available to RVCF members and subscribers and is included as one of the many benefits of RVCF membership.
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