Our Bureau

Mumbai, April 19

FMCG and retail industry players will gather in Mumbai on April 21 for an `Efficient Consumer Response' (ECR) meet to discuss how to speed movement of goods, physically and electronically in the FMCG supply chain to benefit consumers.

The meet will see the presence of leading industry players such as Johnson & Johnson, FoodWorld, Big Bazaar, Hindustan Lever, Reliance, Nestle, Pepsi Foods, ITC and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

Hindustan Lever will share the findings of its `Dataflows' Project while AC Nielsen will present the findings of its `Out Of Stocks Study'. The highlight of the meet will be the presence of Mr Malcolm Bowden, Sales Director, Global Exchange Services, UK, who will address ECR India members on `Product data alignment/synchronisation: The Benefits to Retailers and Suppliers'. Global Exchange Services is responsible for many of the major datapool/data synchronisation services offered across the world.

In a press release, Mr K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ECR India and Vice-President, Foodworld Supermarkets Ltd, was quoted as saying: "Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) is a worldwide, Internet-based initiative that enables companies to exchange accurate, up-to-date, standards-compliant supply chain information. It has been identified as one of the biggest reasons for spotting inaccuracies in Out-Of-Stocks (OOS) management and is being aggressively pursued by global companies."

Elaborating on the growing momentum of GDS internationally, Mr N. Ambwani, Co-Chairman, ECR India and Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson, added, "By improving information accuracy, companies will be able to reduce costs and improve the efficiency and performance of their business processes, such as inventory management and replenishment, order reconciliation, and new product introductions. In the US alone, which otherwise has highly automated supply chains, it costs $60-70 as administrative costs for correcting each wrong dispatch or order."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 20, 2005)
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