DALLAS -- Best practices reports on two of the four major Efficient Consumer Response initiatives -- efficient promotion and efficient new-product introduction -- have been canceled by the Joint Industry Project on ECR due to their sensitive nature.
h at a news conference kicking off the first Joint Industry Conference on ECR.
"The first problem with efficient promotion was with legal antitrust concerns. The lawyers felt it was fraught with potential problems," said C. Manly Molpus, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington.
Although ECR committee members had intended to conduct an industry survey on efficient promotion last summer to establish current practices, those plans stalled in the fall.
Potential industry savings attributed to efficient promotion were estimated at $11.4 billion, a large chunk of the total ECR savings of $30 billion and second only to continuous replenishment, estimated to save $11.9 billion.
The decision to cancel an ECR survey and subsequent best practices report on efficient promotion does not mean progress is not being made in that area, said Tim Hammonds, president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
"Lack of an industrywide report means that the work on efficient promotion will be done one on one," he said.
Efficient new-product introduction, projected to save the industry $4.2 billion, was also deemed "too sensitive to pursue a best practices report," said Ralph Drayer, vice president of product supply and customer business development for Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati.
Drayer had co-chaired the Best Practices Operating Committee, which last month was disbanded as planned now that the ECR movement is entering a new phase.
"The five operating committees have now gone away. They have been replaced by a new 18-member operating committee," said David Jenkins, former ECR committee co-chairman and director of J. Sainsbury International.