A large greeting card company had a problem: The shipments they were sending to stores were getting lost and their inventory was not making it to the shelves in a timely manner, especially during their busiest seasons. They were in need of a new retail merchandising partner who could help them get their SBT working as promised and develop agile and responsive strategies, particularly during peak times, to meet customer demand.
The key to success for any SBT program is top-notch retail inventory management. Every step from locating boxes of inventory at the receiving dock, to getting them to the sales floor must be executed flawlessly. Inventory counts must be frequent and timely. And of course, every item needs to be priced correctly. For a supplier with nationwide coverage like this brand, finding the right partner who could perform at the highest level consistently, was the top priority.
RMS was thrilled at the opportunity as we specialize in nationwide, SBT support, and our in-store execution rates are unparalleled. RMS accepted the challenge and set out a plan to help this card company course-correct and set them up for future growth.
Read on to learn more about the challenges this company was facing and how we were able to develop a program that has helped them thrive over several years.
This greeting card company needed to address the daily management of their SBT program and during peak holiday seasons. Before RMS, this brand’s cards were not making it to the shelves. From missing shipments at store locations to improperly managed out-of-stock items, to accuracy challenges, it was clear they needed robust processes and automation to improve store execution.
After implementing some basic blocking and tackling SBT strategies during the initial non-holiday period, they were thrilled with how efficiently RMS handled their day-to-day management. Ahead of the first cycle of holidays, we collaborated with them to ensure every gap they wanted addressed had a strategic plan and process to address it, giving them peace of mind, even before the busy season hit.
RMS developed specific strategies for this client to address the time-sensitive nature of the product, creating specialized and season-specific shipment tracking. RMS partnered with the client to create branding on shipment boxes to help field representatives locate a higher percentage of shipments, versus their previous service provider. RMS also created a shipping carton scan feature that automatically matched sent cartons to the cartons the field reps were servicing. We also implemented a photo capture of the shipping label to provide to the client to double confirm the correct cartons were being located and worked to the sales floor.
To improve inventory management, reps scanned out-of-stock and damaged items and uploaded information to the client’s inventory system automatically every evening.
RMS also partnered with the client to create a scannable Add/Drop product list for service efficiency.
Finally, we created detailed scan guides that were sent to reps to help improve accuracy in setting new POGs and seasonal endcaps.
Once this client and RMS partnered, we were able to deliver significant improvements and have been honored to be their merchandiser of choice ever since.
A few highlights of our work together:
- In 2021, RMS completed a total of 28,628 visits during Holiday servicing.
- In 2022, Mother’s Day saw 98% of cartons were located and installed, while stores were visited 7 to 11 times per week during the Valentine’s Day 2022 period.
- In 2023, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day numbers remained high, with 93.6% visit completion for Mother’s Day and 91.7% visit completion for Valentine’s Day.
Since starting with RMS, this greeting card brand has beat internal seasonal sales forecasts every period. We wanted to make sure they were set up for long-term success so they also retain the reporting and automation created by RMS for future seasons. This includes Box Find reporting for tracking and reporting all shipments sent to the store, and the Box Scan Functionality, which allows reps to scan shipment tracking barcodes to improve the accuracy of shipments.
At the conclusion of each season, RMS provides a hindsight presentation highlighting wins and opportunities, and strategies for future seasons. This is in addition to weekly inventory reports, weekly servicing recaps, and weekly reporting on missing ISM.
Most recently, this supplier reported that they had a successful holiday season thanks to RMS’ execution, adding “Major, major kudos to everyone involved with this project, it was a gigantic success!”
Flexible solutions make the difference in maximizing in-store execution for products like these, and RMS has the robust and tested methods to make the most of every season.
Companies of every size and scope need focused solutions for improving SBT performance. RMS has a standard program that covers the basics of shipment locating, product stocking, planogram transitions, SEM management, and service reporting. Account managers are able to develop specific strategies to address the particular needs and opportunities of each client to make sure your goals are met or exceeded.
If you’re wanting to experience best-in-class management of your SBT program, give us a call to see how we can help!