WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Food wholesalers need more help from manufacturers in clearing hurdles caused by Efficient Consumer Response and re-engineering, said John Block, president of the National-American Wholesale Grocers' Association.
Speaking at the association's Midyear Executive Conference here, Block stressed that wholesalers are financially hurt by switches to continuous replenishment and the remaking of business services and fee schedules for retailers. Block said that when wholesalers are implementing continuous replenishment, savings aren't offsetting loss of gross income. "Our major concern continues to be the potential loss of gross margin as traditional business practices transition into new ECR-related activities," he said. "It is extremely important that individual manufacturers coordinate closely with their wholesale-supplied system partners in order to avoid unnecessarily disrupting this important distribution system."
Block also stressed that manufacturers will need to extend ECR advantages to smaller wholesalers once the supplier-major wholesaler pilots are over. "When these pilots have become proven successes, what plans have manufacturers made to form these same working alliances with medium and smaller wholesalers?" Block asked. "We don't want to see the medium and small ones left behind."