Direct Store Delivery (DSD) (Consumer Goods) In-Stocks Report: How Do You Compare?

Direct Store Delivery (DSD) (Consumer Goods) In-Stocks Report: How Do You Compare?

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Thursday, March 24, 2011 by Jennifer Randall

Take your best guess—what was the average DSD in-stock level found to be in a recent study published in SupermarketNews.com? I was a little surprised that the figure was actually 98 percent, especially given that other similar studies of both DSD and warehouse-supplied products put the average in-stock level between 92 and 94 percent.

The study used shelf analysis based on six categories at 28 different retail stores, as well as interviews with DSD route drivers. Retailers participating in the study included Cub Foods, Hannaford Bros., Kroger, Safeway, Save Mart, Wegmans and Winn-Dixie. DSD vendors participating included Bimbo Bakeries, Dreyer, Flower Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo and others. Definitely familiar names to the HighJump DSD customer family.

While the study results were decidedly positive for the DSD industry, the route driver interviews in particular uncovered opportunities for improved performance. Only 41 percent of the drivers said that they have consistent access to up-to-date information on what products have been authorized at the store.

So what does it mean? There are fewer buyers frustrated by stock-outs, and reduced chance of underfacings of your product on retailer shelves. Sounds to me like the result of higher adoption of advanced inventory management technologies by DSD, as well as more rigorous “scorecarding” of DSD vendors by retailers, pointed out in the article. On the other hand, DSD operations have a huge opportunity for increased sales—and happier retail customers—by implementing modern technologies like integrated mobile sales and delivery software.

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