ECR COMMITTEE REPORTS ON CATEGORY MANAGEMENT

CINCINNATI -- The latest report from the Joint Industry Project on Efficient Consumer Response explores strategies in category management.and suppliers who are considering implementing it."Category Management Report" was prepared by the Category Management Subcommittee of the ECR Best Practices Operating Committee and The Partnering Group here.Benefits currently documented by category management practitioners

CINCINNATI -- The latest report from the Joint Industry Project on Efficient Consumer Response explores strategies in category management.

and suppliers who are considering implementing it.

"Category Management Report" was prepared by the Category Management Subcommittee of the ECR Best Practices Operating Committee and The Partnering Group here.

Benefits currently documented by category management practitioners are outlined in a section titled, "Category Management Business Results." A sampling of those benefits includes increased sales, profits and market share and identification of opportunities in new products, promotions and shelf presentation.

Retailers and wholesalers, in particular, credit their category management efforts for improved advertising efficiency, reduced inventory, increased product turns and better use of shelf space.

The distributor-supplier roles in managing product categories as strategic business units are explored in depth in the report, which also seeks to help companies avoid any stumbling blocks.

A lack of adequate preparation for deploying category management is among the potential barriers cited in the report. Companies are well-advised to clarify their own strategies, objectives and capabilities -- as well as that of their business partners -- before forging ahead with category management.

Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of information technology's role in a successful category management program.