Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. and Circana (formerly IRI) teamed up in January 2022 to launch AWG Partner Gateway, a portal to enable integrated collaboration between members and their vendor partners using Circana’s Liquid Data technology. The gateway is part of AWG’s Convergence initiative.
Convergence is AWG’s long-term strategy to operate as a $23 billion cooperative retailing organization, delivering “best-in-class” capabilities to its members and vendor partners.
Wei Lin Wong, president of global retail at Circana, said AWG wanted to take some of the workflows between all three parties – AWG, its members and vendors – simplify and optimize them across a number of fronts such as category management, assortment optimization, supply chain management, rest of the market measurement and POS share analytics.
“That’s where we plugged into the broader Convergence and the broader, long-term strategies to help enable some of the things that they’re trying to do as they get to that simplification and better collaboration across all those partners.”
According to Wong, the process is “a pretty big technology lift.” It is underpinned by Circana’s Liquid Data platform.
“You can do whatever analytics you want at a very, very granular level…it does it at speed and scale, designed specifically for retail and CPG, the entire store from a retail lens.”
Wong said the platform is live, with about 1,400 suppliers participating in some of the basic workflow, but work continues.
“We’re working on a whole host of simplification opportunities, other things that will get put in as we go through the process. I would say, V1.0 is out and kicking.”
He said additional items, such as POS data, panel and consumer data and market measurement data, are on the road map. There is much more to come “as we add datasets, as we add analytics, as we add process and workflow into the platform.”
Retailers will benefit from market measurement as well as POS and panel insights, Wong said. It will allow them to look at where they are compared to others in their market.
“That’s data that’s outside of the four walls of that retailer in particular, that we have from a broader market measurement perspective.”
Retailers also will have access to consumer data, looking at trips, baskets and other consumer measures and analytics.
“That’s all coming to the platform, I’ll call it 2.0. We’ll get it deployed for AWG’s retail partners.”
Wong said what makes AWG’s Convergence initiative different from what other companies are doing is the “breadth in which they’re working from a strategy perspective.”
While Circana has been helping other companies on “tying insights and data to supply chain and on-shelf availability, tying insights and data from a POS and panel insights perspective to activation, media activation, marketing, targeting,” Wong said the company is including all that and more working with AWG.
“I think AWG is one of those more unique wholesalers who’s trying to help their partners on all sides to dive into that data analytics world in that way as well, which is just obviously one part of the bigger Convergence strategy that they’re working through.”
Read more technology news from The Shelby Report.