When the supplier-retailer relationship is running smoothly, both parties are happy. When there are hiccups, neither are.
A retailer scorecard helps keep the relationship copacetic, mutually beneficial and primed for new opportunities. And you can think of it exactly as what you might be envisioning: a report card.
What’s in a retailer scorecard?
The short answer is, it varies. There’s no standard. Most retailers have developed their own and they are an integral data source informing their overall supply chain management strategy. Retail scorecards also vary by product type. In general though, suppliers can expect key performance indicators like shipping metrics (speed, timeliness, product damage, accuracy), merchandising, pricing and price change trends, product availability and performance and even qualitative commentary or reviews from key personnel on the retailer side of the relationship.
How often do retailers share the retailer scorecard with suppliers?
As expected, the retailer determines when they share the retailer scorecard. Some do it quarterly. Some do it once or twice a year. Seasonality may play a role as well. (Think post-holidays.)
What are retailers looking for in a retailer scorecard?
Sure, any retailer would be happy with a supplier that gets straight A’s, but what they’re really looking for is continual improvement. That shows commitment to the relationship. And if a supplier is doing its part to strengthen the supplier-retailer relationship, they’re actually helping themselves by influencing the retailer-customer relationship. If Dick’s Sporting Goods is happy with Yeti, that most likely means Yeti is strengthening its relationship with its customers.
What happens to suppliers with consistently poor scorecards?
You probably already know the answer, but suppliers that earn consistently poor retailer scorecards are only hurting themselves. Retailers don’t have time for slipshod suppliers. If a supplier isn’t keeping up their end of the bargain, the retailer has to take action. What type of action? Chargebacks until an area of concern is addressed. Specific products getting pulled off the shelf. Or… the end. We’re no longer interested in continuing this relationship. It’s not us. It’s you.
But Here’s the Good News
EDI software can help suppliers earn consistently good retailer scorecards. With automation and deep integrations with other business systems such as Netsuite and QuickBooks, EDI software addresses many of the culprits that contribute to mediocre retailer scorecards – namely manual data entry and human error.
Retailer scorecards are nothing to be afraid of. Suppliers that use them to set — and act on — specific goals and objectives will strengthen their relationships with their retailers and position themselves for growth. Those that don’t… well… they won’t have many retailer relationships for long.