Boosting Collaboration: Supplier Insights for Retailers
In the dynamic retail landscape, a symbiotic relationship between retailers and suppliers is crucial for success. We surveyed suppliers across the country to better understand their key concerns, pain points, and aspirations when it comes to this collaboration. Let's delve into the findings and discover how retailers can better understand and support their supplier and vendor partners (in their regulatory compliance process and beyond):
1. Phthalates and SLS: A Focal Point
Suppliers are expressing mild concerns about the impact of ingredients like phthalates and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) on their ability to sell products through retailers. These ingredient types can limit their market access due to regulatory requirements and consumer preferences that inform things like Restricted Substances Lists. Retailers should be aware of these concerns and work collaboratively with suppliers to proactively communicate about any restrictions around these ingredients, and help them navigate them while maintaining product quality and standards.
2. Transparency on Demand Drives Retailer-Supplier Relations
While ease of collaboration with third-party platforms remains important, transparency around demand emerges as a paramount concern for suppliers in their relationships with retailers. Retailers who can provide clearer and ongoing insights into demand trends and forecasts will create an environment of trust and alignment. This understanding enhances decision-making and streamlines the supply chain.
3. The Complexity of the Classification Process
Suppliers expressed their wish for retailers to better comprehend the complexities of the product classification process. The time and effort spent on uploading data to multiple platforms, coupled with the challenge of dealing with one-dimensional data, contribute to inefficiencies and increased costs for suppliers across the board. Retailers can make a significant impact by working closely with their classification partners to streamline data sharing, optimize lead times, and provide easier guidelines and steps for getting through the classification process.
4. Cost (Particularly in Shipping) is a Major Supply Chain Concern
Suppliers highlighted increasing costs, particularly in shipping, as a top supply chain concern. New regulations affecting shipping and general inflation have led to rising expenses. The unpredictability of these changes amplifies suppliers' worries. Furthermore, the anticipation of regulatory changes and retailers' proactive adaptation to these changes is a key point of anxiety for suppliers. Retailers can provide reassurance by fostering a stable environment, adapting to regulatory shifts, and working collaboratively to manage costs.
Quality, for us, means providing the best – ingredients, formulation, and performance – in each and every one of our products
5. Recognizing Suppliers' Expertise and Standards
A prevailing sentiment among suppliers is the desire for retailers to understand their high-quality standards, in-depth product knowledge, and expertise in navigating regulations. Suppliers invest substantial time and effort in formulating their products and complying with industry guidelines. Acknowledging this expertise not only strengthens the retailer-supplier relationship but also promotes a shared commitment to delivering exceptional products to consumers.
By addressing concerns such as ingredient limitations, transparency, data complexities, supply chain costs, and recognizing supplier expertise, retailers can pave the way for more collaborative, efficient, and mutually beneficial partnerships. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, nurturing these relationships becomes a cornerstone of success for all stakeholders involved. For a more detailed look into the survey findings, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org