GENEVA, Switzerland (FNS) -- Retailers and manufacturers in Europe plan to launch at least 10 Efficient Consumer Response pilot projects later this year to help fast-forward the initiative.
Graham Booth, director of supply chain development at Tesco, Cheshunt, England, revealed the project plans at the first ECR Europe conference here last month. The conference was sponsored by CIES: the Food Business Forum; AIM: the European Brands Association; EAN International, and EuroCommerce.
The goal of the pilot projects is to develop a common framework for ECR throughout Europe. "There is definitely room for improvement in the way ECR is being implemented," Booth told conference attendees.
"Europe needs to have a common set of standards and a common language for ECR. Leading companies are already showing that results are obtainable. ECR is not just a theory or a buzzword that will come and go," he said.
The programs will be overseen by the ECR Europe Executive Board, which hopes to select the final projects by late this month or early March, he said.
"The projects will involve both manufacturers and retailers throughout Europe," and include major areas of ECR concern, such as efficient product introduction, efficient promotions, enhanced and better synchronized product production, improved operations and supply chain integration, Booth told SN.
Coopers & Lybrand will help implement the projects once they are selected, he added. The projects developed by the ECR Europe Executive Board will be in addition to a number of other initiatives already being sponsored by ECR associations in a wide range of European countries.
Enrico Toja, vice president of Johnson & Johnson International, Europe, who also spoke at the conference, said there are now national ECR groups in Italy, the United Kingdom, Greece, Denmark, Spain and Sweden.
By the end of the year, ECR associations may also be launched in Switzerland, Portugal, Norway, France, Holland, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, he added.