Best practices in Fibre-to-the-Home rollouts in Telco

Case Study – Grocery Supply Chain

Best practices in grocery supply and demand planning


  • Within the context of increasing local and global uncertainty, grocery supply chains are critical. 
  • To improve the efficiency and effectiveness our client wanted to understand how leading grocery chains were managing grocery demand planning, supplier management and integrating vendor replenishment planners into their operations
  • The research needed to provide insights from the perspective of both operating models and technology systems landscapes

Accelerated’s approach:

  • 7 interviews were conducted with subject matter experts over 8 days by Geoff Tham, who has performed 160 similar projects globally and is an alumnus of McKinsey
  • Experts were sourced from Tesco, Sainsbury, Walmart, Woolworths, Amazon, Unilever & Loblaws and held roles such as Global Director of Supply Chain Partnerships, Head of Supplier Management, and Operations Director

Synopsis of key findings:

Amongst these leading organisations, we found generally:

  • Grocery chains manage their core demand and supply planning centrally, and in-house, utilising automation to some extent
    • There are typically between ~100-150 staff in demand forecasting and supply planning/mgmt
    • The supply planning/mgmt team is typically 2 to 5 times larger than the demand forecasting team
    • A range of technology systems were adopted spanning Oracle, Manhattan, JDA, SAP, BlueYonder as well as proprietary systems
    • Companies with proprietary systems use demand forecasts more extensively and with less human intervention
  • All of the grocery chains used vendor replenishment planners (VPRs) sometimes referred to as implants, vendor associates or integrated supply planners, with their role typically restricted to the top 25-50 suppliers
  • The VPR role involves a combination of the operational (liaison and coordination between the grocery chain and the supplier, troubleshooting and ensuring availability) and strategic (assistance with planning)
  • VPRs provide a valuable service for grocery retailers who require accurate demand planning and good supplier management to maximise stock availability whilst minimising inventory
  • There is a potential change in the role of vendor replenishment planners in improving the efficiency of demand planning and supplier management, whilst ensuring stock availability with minimal inventory
Accelerated‘s model of sourcing and interviewing infield experts provides consistently successful outcomes for our clients. Get in touch to see how we can provide the right intelligence and insights for your strategy team.