AWG sees convergence as a way to collectively look for opportunities to work with its membership on areas to scale its more than $23 billion in retail sales together.
Convergence brings together AWG’s member retailers and company resources to improve members’ sales, profits and infrastructure costs. At the same time, it boosts capabilities to continue to deliver on the consumers’ evolving needs while shopping in AWG member retailer stores.
Technology will play a significant role in the convergence operating model transformation, the company says.
The convergence process transformation will be underpinned by a roadmap of technology investments that improve the independent retailers’ ability to compete at that same scale.
A series of analytics investments and a collaboration portal, the AWG Partner Gateway, will drive toward streamlined and optimized vendor partner and supply chain decisions and a localized assortment to optimize member sales and profitability.
Enhanced solutions to support efficient margin and market-relevant pricing and promotional advertising optimization will ensure the most effective use of member trade dollars.
Convergence is said to be the “process transformation springboard” and the integrated technology solutions AWG is investing in will support members’ tailored needs, supporting their ability to sustain and grow in their local markets.
The new technology tools will be at AWG’s disposal to continue advancing its category management capabilities. It will also allow AWG to work much more collaboratively with its vendor partners and members to create strategies that will allow them to win in the marketplace.
Being able to use data both locally and collectively is the key to maximizing the strength of the co-op, according to AWG. Combining the collaborative use of data with the company’s vendor partners, along with the ability to get specific market intelligence through field teams and members, are said to make the difference.
The technology solutions can work across center store and perishables. According to AWG, its members are enthusiastic about the direct effects convergence will have on how they do business.
“Cheese convergence will help us be competitive every day with competition,” said Tom Steliga, director of center store for Indiana-based Strack & Van Til. “Looking at comp sets, they have focused on their own private label brand instead of national brand.
“Before convergence, we couldn’t compete with Meijer and Walmart. Meijer’s everyday price is $2.29, and Walmart is currently around $2.42. Now, we can compete every day and still advertise below our competition.
“An everyday cost on cheese will help us fill any weekly voids and still be able to shield against the national brand ads. Taking out slower moving SKUs and increasing pack out on top items will help us eliminate out of stocks on the top selling items.”
For more information, visit awginc.com.
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Content Creator Eric Pereira contributed to this article.