DOMINICK'S DOCUMENTS SUCCESS, CITES SEVERAL CRP BENEFITS

DES PLAINES, Ill. -- Continuous replenishment program activities are paying off for Dominick's Finer Foods, Northlake, Ill., which documented increased product turns, improved store service levels and reduced inventory.Those were among the dividends of CRP cited by Nick Ciaccio, vice president of logistics and procurement, who addressed the Merchandising Executives Club of Chicago here last month."We

DES PLAINES, Ill. -- Continuous replenishment program activities are paying off for Dominick's Finer Foods, Northlake, Ill., which documented increased product turns, improved store service levels and reduced inventory.

Those were among the dividends of CRP cited by Nick Ciaccio, vice president of logistics and procurement, who addressed the Merchandising Executives Club of Chicago here last month.

"We have been able to take a lot of costs out of our system, and we have been able to redeploy those assets into remodeled stores. Our Fresh Stores are major remodels and we now have 11 Fresh Stores open," he said.

Among the signposts of Dominick's CRP success is an increase in product turn rates. After the chain partnered with Campbell Soup, Camden, N.J., turns increased more than 50%, according to Mike Walters, manager of the Mid-Central region at Campbell, who also spoke at the meeting.

Ciaccio said Dominick's establishes specific goals and objectives with individual manufacturers involved with CRP -- and targets are being met. He did not detail the goals but did say, "We are achieving desired inventory and service levels by vendor and item.

"Our strategy has been to focus on the customer, provide competitive value, be a flexible and integrated operator, minimize total cost, manage the system of the supply chain -- not the partner -- and eliminate nonvalue activity, such as extra lead time because we had not been getting deliveries on time," Ciaccio added.

The continuous replenishment partnership with Campbell Soup allowed Dominick's to leverage promotional opportunities, he noted.

"When we went to everyday-low-cost with Campbell's, we had total flexibility. We could pick which week we wanted to run a promotion. We knew when the market deals were happening.

"EDLC made things simpler and eliminated deductions. We might move a promotion forward or back. EDLC offers a lot of flexibility," he said.

Dominick's continuous replenishment program, introduced three years ago, is now picking up momentum, Ciaccio said.

"We are meeting every week with more manufacturers. We are willing to help and explain. This is a great way for the industry to continue to grow," he said.