Nonfood: 2008 Category Excellence Awards

Nonfood merchandising for food retailers can too often be an ancillary part of their core food business. Selling health and beauty care and general merchandise poses a particular competitive challenge in the grocery channel where space is at a premium. The category excellence winners in nonfood are breaking through the food channel barrier not only with a constant stream of lifestyle products and

Nonfood merchandising for food retailers can too often be an ancillary part of their core food business. Selling health and beauty care and general merchandise poses a particular competitive challenge in the grocery channel where space is at a premium. The category excellence winners in nonfood are breaking through the food channel barrier not only with a constant stream of lifestyle products and lines that help build a category at retail but with customized retail solutions that take into account the unique needs of food retailers. It requires collaboration, understanding and, most important, satisfying the needs of shoppers who are all very diverse in individual markets and shopping for food in multiple formats.

BODY/HAIR CARE — Gold Medal: Unilever

  • STRENGTH OF BRAND AND ASSORTMENT: Expanded men's hair grooming line into hair care
  • SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Impacted social, economic and environmental issues
  • LOCAL MARKETING: Connected business agenda with local marketing conditions

For retailers operating stores in inner-city neighborhoods, theft is a concern. Unilever's new, attractively packaged Axe hair care line is vulnerable to loss with $4.99-$6.99 retails, and could be costly to retailers operating in low-income urban areas. Unilever is said to be working with retailers operating in low-income areas using anti-theft measures in displays and finding customized solutions to cut down on internal and external shrink when the line is rolled out in December.

This is an example of how Unilever is working at the ground level with retailers to come up with unique merchandising solutions. It also illustrates how Unilever is expanding a popular men's grooming brand with close to a dozen shampoo, conditioner and styling items through brand development and innovation.

The Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based company is taking its global vision for the brand and bringing it down to the local level and working with retailers on merchandising solutions. “This is a case where Unilever isn't trading off a competitor, but growing the size of a category,” said Neil Stern, senior partner, McMillan Doolittle, Chicago.

Unilever is known for its shopping trip studies that focus on a shopper segment, and for delving deep into what drives the segment to make trips to stores. “They are looking across the entire store and teaching retailers how they can win back trips,” said Paul Weitzel, managing partner, Willard Bishop, Barrington, Ill.

Retailers said that Unilever invests heavily in local marketing to increase awareness of health, wellness and personal care. Incorporated into all of Unilever's brand strategy efforts is the concept of a brand's impact on social, economic and environmental issues — what Unilever refers to as “brand imprint.” Unilever said the process is “a critical enabler to Unilever as we look to activate our global agenda in the marketplace.”

One small example in this effort is seen in the reduced packaging of Suave shampoo bottles several years ago, which allowed an annual saving in plastic resin of nearly 150 tons, or the equivalent of 15 million fewer shampoo bottles being thrown away each year.

On a local level, one retailer said, Unilever worked in partnership to be active in a store's community by donating park benches built from recycled materials. “This was not only good for the community and environment, but good for the retailer and drew good press,” the retailer said.

All this is part of Unilever's “vitality to life” mission, in which branding is based upon the functional needs of consumers and also addresses their concerns about the environment, economy and society.
Christina Veiders

BODY/HAIR CARE — Silver Medal: Procter & Gamble

  • STRENGTH OF BRAND AND ASSORTMENT: Added new segments to Gillette men's grooming line
  • INNOVATION: Introduced new technology across multiple brands in skin/hair care
  • MARKETING: Focused on programs that trade shoppers in, up and through the store

Retailers witnessed what some described as exciting brand extensions from Procter & Gamble this year that contributed to category growth in body/hair care. It is one way the Cincinnati-based company is taking its brands across health and beauty care aisles and, in some cases, throughout the total store.

The company's biggest launch was Gillette hair care and body wash lines, touted as “the beginning of a new era in male personal care.” Several retailers said the line is doing well. “They presented it to us at a hot floor price because a lot of times there is no room on the shelf. They educated us on why there was such a gap in this sector of men's grooming.” One retailer said P&G worked with them closely on store-specific programs during the launch phase.

Tony Westley, P&G's hair care category sales manager, explained in a written statement how the company builds retailer profitability in hair care. “In the food channel, we have been working with our retail partners to help drive category sales and profits by leveraging three key strategies: First, we jointly focus on trading shoppers into the food channel via segments such as naturals, scalp health, men's and ethnic hair care products. Second, we are concentrating on trading shoppers up via large-size products, new product technologies and equity-building marketing plans that will drive people up from the low tier. Third, we are focusing on trading shoppers across via regimen messaging in-store that will increase basket size by building trial/awareness for the underdeveloped conditioning and styling segments.”

Another brand innovation this year is Aquacurrent Science, a technology that is designed for optimal moisture balance, ensuring active ingredients are fully utilized. The process is being applied to several P&G skin care brands, including Olay, Cover Girl, Secret and Pantene. P&G is a master at splitting its brands through new innovations, said Tom Vierhile, director, Productscan Online, Datamonitor, Naples, New York. The company has grown its brands by focusing on different day parts to extend usage such as Olay Definity Restorative Night Sleep Cream.

Cynthia Keating, a partner at Cannondale Associates, Wilton, Conn., added that P&G excels at “keeping its portfolio brands fresh and relevant to consumers.”
Christina Veiders

ORAL CARE — Gold Medal: Procter & Gamble

  • INNOVATION: Introduced dentist-quality cleaning toothpaste for weekly use
  • MARKETING: Promotes oral care health solutions through in-store merchandising and advertising
  • STRENGTH OF BRAND AND ASSORTMENT: Oral care segmented into eight subsegments with products targeted to various demographics and uses

Retailers praised Procter & Gamble for its broad offering in the oral care category. “They are No. 1 in the total oral care package. It is not just toothpaste, but it is rinses, floss, toothbrushes. They are sending a message that oral care health is related to healthy bodies,” said one retailer. In promoting the total package and coming out with new innovations, retailers are able to upsell shoppers to more profitable items.

The Cincinnati-based company's new entry into oral care is Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste, which uses a concentrated silica formula similar to what dentists use that polishes teeth, leaving teeth with a clean and smooth feeling. The item complements the regular brushing routine and is to be used once a week. “It's like a booster shot to your regular Crest toothpaste,” said Tom Vierhile, director, Productscan Online, Datamonitor, Naples, N.Y. At a suggested retail of $4.25, packaged in a 0.85-ounce tube and containing 16 uses, P&G is offering the premium, specialty cleaning paste to further grow the category and boost retailers' market baskets.

P&G said it is focused on driving category dollar volume in oral care by offering relevant shopper solutions to retailers. P&G said it is doing this in the food channel through in-store merchandising and advertising. It has partnered with several retailers to develop educational and price-mentioning shelf talkers as well as in-pharmacy displays.

P&G has oral care products in eight oral care segments, and is leveraging the strength and breadth of its portfolio in creating both in-store displays and feature advertising. For example, a recent clinical trial utilizing the Oral-B Vitality Brush, Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste and Crest Pro-Health Oral Rinse showed that consumers get seven times better cleaning than using a regular brush and paste alone, the company said. Using this research, P&G created an “affordable health care” approach to oral care products that can be showcased through in-store merchandising and feature advertising, resulting in larger market baskets.
Christina Veiders

ORAL CARE — Silver Medal: Colgate-Palmolive

  • CATEGORY MANAGEMENT: Dedicated to helping retailers manage oral care through data sharing
  • COLLABORATION: Listened to retailers needs; created in-store oral care centers
  • MARKETING/PROMOTIONS SUPPORT: Built a strong franchise for Colgate among U.S. Hispanic shoppers

Retailers operating stores in Hispanic neighborhoods know Colgate is the No. 1-selling toothpaste there. That's because the company has leveraged Colgate's strength in Latin America as the region's No. 1-selling toothpaste and built upon that in the United States. Besides Spanish-language advertising campaigns and packaging, the company has extensive workforce diversity programs and sponsors numerous Hispanic community events.

“Colgate has done an excellent job in the Hispanic market,” said one retailer, who praised Colgate's outreach efforts in providing consumer education on how their products are used as a systemic process in oral care, as well as the company's support of local events where mobile dental vans make visits. The company said it is committed to promoting oral health among Hispanic children and their families. Colgate partners with professional organizations like the Hispanic Dental Association, whose members volunteer aboard the vans that visit schools, community centers and festivals. The company also oversees bilingual, cross-curricular educational initiatives designed to raise awareness in Hispanic communities about the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene and the connection between one's oral and overall health.

The company also received high marks from retailers for its collaborative efforts in promoting the entire category through in-store oral care centers, and for providing useful shopper-insight research. “They have dedicated resources for my business. They listen to my needs and they have solid marketing programs,” said one retailer.

In its 2008 second-quarter results, New York-based Colgate-Palmolive outlined recent product launches at the super-premium level that helped drive its market share, including Colgate Total Advanced Clean and Colgate Total Advanced Whitening toothpastes, which were supported by an integrated marketing program. Colgate Max Fresh and Colgate Sensitive toothpastes also were strong performers, according to Colgate. Max Fresh with Mouthwash Beads, a toothpaste infused with mini dissolvable mouthwash beads packaged in a clear tube, shipped in the third quarter.
Christina Veiders

OTC MEDICATIONS — Gold Medal: Bayer HealthCare

  • SHOPPER INSIGHTS: Developed shopper-focused platforms resulting in actionable insight for retail partners
  • COLLABORATION: Worked with retailers at the local level in fine-tuning merchandising for shopper appeal
  • RESEARCH: Provided valuable research into heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease

Retailers, in partnership with Bayer HealthCare, Morristown, N.J., are beginning to view shoppers seeking pain relief in a new light, and in doing so they are capturing more pain-relief sales.

Through Bayer's shopper insight research, retailers are learning what triggers shoppers to buy pain-relief products in their stores, or why they may go to another store instead.

The approach is relatively new for Bayer. It consists of building a business strategy, in partnership with the retailer, based on in-store shopper behavior for analgesics. Retailers said the process may involve shopper in-store intercept interviews, and they note that it drills down to the store's assortment level and how the store differentiates from the competition in that category.

Retailers said they are working with Bayer collaboratively to devise merchandising strategies that satisfy their shoppers' health needs. The research is being applied to a strategy that turns those who don't shop the analgesics aisle at a particular store into analgesic buyers at that store.

“Two years ago, we began to transform our category management efforts to focus on linking shopper behavior to specific retailer issues,” Bayer said in a statement. The company also is using this process in nutritional and upper-respiratory categories.

Retailers gave Bayer high scores on its collaborative efforts and on communicating its message to retailers and consumers. One retailer said they were very helpful in building in-store awareness, delivering education to consumers and participating in retailers' health fairs. “They seem to have the big picture in mind, knowing that if they build a category, it will help buyers.”

Another retailer pointed to Bayer's research and work in building awareness in the heart-health segment. “They tie into the health message with their aspirin, which is their core product.”

Earlier this year, the company launched Bayer With Heart Advantage, combining a low-dose aspirin with a cholesterol-lowering supplement to improve heart health, illustrating how the company is dedicated to broadening its aspirin brand franchise beyond pain and inflammation to cardioprotection and cancer risk. Retailers gave Bayer high marks on lead time in getting the product sets and displays up in stores.

“A lot of retailers equate Bayer to heart health and cadiovascular claims made on aspirin, and all their research. They are leading the pack in terms of that effort to educate consumers about heart health and aspirin,” said Laura Mahcha, industry manager, health care, Kline & Co., a consulting and research firm in Little Falls, N.J. According to a Kline & Co. report — “U.S. Retailers' Perceptions of OTC Drug Marketers — 2008,” a survey of how retailers perceive the big OTC players — Bayer scored high in communicating the benefits of Bayer aspirin to consumers. Retailers ranked Bayer aspirin high in brand quality. Bayer scored well on its overall couponing efforts, maintenance of good inventory levels and effective display programs.

Retailers confirmed that Bayer is taking the big picture, and lauded their global perspective on health categories and bringing them down to the local level by analyzing how shoppers shop specific stores. “They do an excellent job with category management, in explaining our customers and their shopping patterns,” said one retailer.
Christina Veiders

OTC MEDICATIONS — Silver Medal: Johnson & Johnson

  • STRENGTH OF BRAND AND ASSORTMENT: The acquisition of Pfizer Consumer Health Care created a diverse portfolio of brands
  • IN-STORE EXECUTION: Successfully took Zyrtec, a leading prescription allergy drug, over the counter
  • ETHNIC MARKETING: Conducted in-store research on how Hispanics shop HBC

With the $16.6 billion acquisition of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare in 2006, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J., gained significant retailer clout with a broad-based portfolio of brands in pain relief, allergy, anti-diarrheal, antacids, nasal decongestants and cough and cold categories. The acquisition also catapulted JNJ into the No. 1 position for OTC medications, with $3.2 billion in 2007 sales and an 18% market share of OTC sales, according to Kline & Co., a consulting and research firm in Little Falls, N.J. Retailers responding in Kline's recent report, “U.S. Retailers' Perceptions of OTC Drug Marketers — 2008,” said the company excelled in supporting their OTC sales by sharing information and shopper insights into OTC categories and providing solid logistics with few problems, such as out-of-stocks. Brands marketed by the company were described as very profitable for retailers. “A lot of retailers felt JNJ was the gold standard in partnering, and they raved about the sales reps JNJ had at store level,” said Laura Mahcha, industry manager of health care at Kline.

With the Pfizer acquisition, JNJ secured the right to take the allergy drug Zyrtec to OTC, which it did with good promotional support at the beginning of this year. “They executed incredibly well on Zyrtec” after planning the launch for over a year, said Mahcha. The launch was supported by plenty of in-store signage that announced the product was coming soon without prescription and was also heavily supported by an ad and marketing campaign. Zyrtec got onto the shelves on time, and JNJ was able to keep up with high demand with no out-of-stocks, Mahcha added.

Retailers told SN that JNJ's work in the Hispanic market has helped it develop go-to-market strategies to capture an important segment of its shopper base. Last year the company came out with an in-store study that analyzed how Hispanics shop 12 HBC categories in 13 Hispanic markets.

Previously, JNJ had embarked on a health and wellness marketing program called “Vida Nuestra,” a bilingual educational experience delivered through a traveling mobile unit that visited Wal-Mart Stores and Hispanic events. The program delivered free health assessments and product samples.
Christina Veiders

BATTERIES — Gold Medal: Energizer

  • IN-STORE EXECUTION: Recognized for displays and new signage that explains the uses of different batteries
  • CATEGORY MANAGEMENT: The Shopper Based Solutions program informs its in-store display and signage activity
  • INNOVATION: Advanced Lithium provides more power for high-drain devices and longer storage life

Retailers recognized the Energizer brand of Energizer Holdings, St. Louis, for more sales, better displays and innovation.

Energizer has received praise for its shelf-level educational signage to help guide shoppers to the right batteries. It also is out with a new Advanced Lithium battery with more power, longer storage life and lighter weight than comparable products.

“Although consumer demand for portable power continues to increase, shoppers are still unsure about which battery best fits their device needs,” said Lou Martire, vice president of trade development for Energizer. “We are missing sales opportunities as a result.”

For example, “the performance of a digital camera or a handheld GPS unit will improve dramatically if a lithium battery is used, while a remote control device or a flashlight will operate well using an alkaline battery. That's why we believe it is important for us to team up with our retailers to display our battery products in a manner that helps educate our consumers, enabling them to make the right portable power decision. Our Shopper Based Solutions program delivers on this objective because it improves the organization and presentation of the category, while clarifying choice for the shopper and driving incremental sales and trade up at shelf,” Martire said.

Such education can lead to sales growth of the more advanced titanium and lithium batteries. “They do a lot of that on-shelf,” said a nonfood executive with a Northeast retailer. “If you can make the category user-friendly, you are going to be successful. A lot of customers don't understand the difference between lithium, titanium and alkaline, or what products they go in.” Energizer's program addresses this effectively, he said.

“Energizer makes more displays and has more avenues to merchandise around the store, so they seem to meet the impulse purchase better,” said Charles Yahn, vice president, sales, retail development and pharmacy, Associated Wholesalers Inc., Robesonia, Pa.

The choice of Energizer for AWI's category captain came down to in-store service, Yahn said. “Energizer is our captain because we get a better broker, with more street force.” This ensures that displays are put up promptly rather than relying on store personnel to do it.
Dan Alaimo

BATTERIES — Silver Medal: Duracell

  • CATEGORY MANAGEMENT: Category management expertise applied to batteries
  • SHOPPER INSIGHTS: Invested “significantly” in channel specific shopper research
  • MARKETING/PROMOTIONS SUPPORT: New advertising themes developed to create demand and provide retailer opportunities

The Duracell brand of Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, continues as a strong performer at retail with all the category management support that chains have come to expect from the packaged goods giant.

“Duracell has invested significantly in channel-specific shopper research over the past year, including the food channel,” said Duracell category manager Paul Schacht. “We have taken the key insights from this learning and have begun to implement in-store interventions with various retailers.

“For example, several retailers continue to expand the movement of their primary battery shelf from in-line near the photo department to the front of store endcap across from checkout. This move has increased their closure rates and helped grow the category,” he said.

Duracell conducts quarterly meetings with category managers supplying a comprehensive review of the business, said Bill Mansfield, president and chief executive officer, VIP International, Garland, Texas, a former retail nonfood executive. “Duracell surprisingly has introduced more promotional support than was expected by many chains. This has been a welcome addition and perhaps responsible for the incremental growth of the brand within the category,” he said.

While P&G has been relatively quiet about Duracell product innovation, it remains a strong player in the category.

“That is Procter & Gamble's style,” said a nonfood executive with a Northeast retailer. “They typically don't toot their own horn. They go out and create consumer pull vs. retailer push.

“That is their strategy in how they go to market. They do it through FSIs, they do it through commercials, they do it through consumer promotions. They are one of the best in the industry at doing that.”
Dan Alaimo

FRONT OF STORE — Gold Medal: Blackhawk

  • IN-STORE EXECUTION: Established high-impulse “Gift Card Malls,” or destination endcaps
  • LOGISTICS SUPPORT: Direct-store delivery ensured in-stock positions
  • MARKETING/PROMOTIONS SUPPORT: Presented wide variety of gift cards based on research and supported by merchandising and promotion

Blackhawk Network, Pleasanton, Calif., is a category pioneer in two ways: It has turned the gift card category into a major profit center for many supermarkets, and, as a subsidiary of Safeway, also in Pleasanton, it has forged a new model for retailer-supplier relationships.

With 95% of the major supermarket chains on board — as measured by volume, which relates primarily to third-party gift cards, with telephone cards a smaller share, and excludes mass merchandisers — Blackhawk is the clear leader in the gift card space, said Teri Llach, group vice president. “We have a dominant share within the grocery channel,” she said.

Giant Eagle is one of Blackhawk's oldest customers, and also one of its most aggressive, especially in tying it in to a fuel rewards program.

“Far and away the most mature of all third-party gift card companies, Blackhawk differentiates itself by having its representatives involved in all aspects of a retailer's program, from marketing and advertising to merchandising and promotion,” said Tina Flowers, vice president of gift card development for Giant Eagle. “The company has proven to be very innovative when working with us, facilitating promotional opportunities that take advantage of numerous tools such as Catalina and our popular fuelperks! customer loyalty program.”
Dan Alaimo

FRONT OF STORE — Silver Medal: Rodale

  • TYING INTO CONSUMER TRENDS: Rodale publications' healthy lifestyle content helps spur supermarket sales
  • SHOPPER INSIGHTS: Partnered with FMI on “Shopping for Health Study”
  • IN-STORE EXECUTION: Used temporary price reductions and cents-off coupons to encourage trial

To many retailers and consumers, the publications of Rodale, Emmaus, Pa., are all but synonymous with “health and wellness.”

Among the magazine names known by many people: Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health, Bicycling and Runner's World. There are numerous anecdotal stories from retailers of shoppers requesting specific products after reading about them in a Rodale publication, sources told SN.

Meanwhile, Rodale is widely recognized by retailers for its backing of respected research about health and wellness trends — such as the “Shopping for Health Study” done with the Food Marketing Institute, Arlington, Va.

“Rodale, with FMI, are the first in bringing consumer attitudes and intelligence on living a healthy lifestyle to the retailing/supermarket industry,” said Richard Alleger, vice president, retail sales, Rodale.

FRONT OF STORE
Gold Medal: Blackhawk

In the current difficult economy, “Rodale is using temporary price reductions and cents-off coupons at point of purchase to identify the value of health and wellness editorial product and to get these magazines into the hands of consumers more easily,” Alleger said.

“The programs run concurrently with a point-of-sale display, run for a limited period of time, provide exceptional value to the consumer in savings, encourage repeat purchase, and underscore the strong working relationship built between the vendor and the retailer when properly executed.”

“Rodale is the one that genuinely has made a significant investment in the supermarket industry in terms of its very unique role in health and wellness,” said Jim Wisner, president, Wisner Marketing Group, Libertyville, Ill.
Dan Alaimo

PHARMACY — Gold Medal: McKesson

  • STRENGTH OF GENERICS PROGRAM: Offers a OneStop Generics program and is the single largest-buyer of generics in the U.S., offering 99% fill rates
  • CATEGORY MANAGEMENT: Technology offerings include EnterpriseRx, a comprehensive pharmacy management system

There are three large pharmacy distributors in the U.S. Of them, McKesson Pharmaceutical, San Francisco, is the largest with well-regarded services and systems, and gets the Gold for category excellence.

However, two other companies were also referred for consideration. Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio, gets Silver, and retailers and other sources told SN that AmerisourceBergen, Chesterbrook, Pa., should also be acknowledged.

“All these guys are good,” said Jim Wisner, president, Wisner Marketing Group, Libertyville, Ill. “They all go about their business in very, very similar ways, and it is very difficult to differentiate why one is necessarily better than the other.

“Without question, McKesson over the years has been the largest, and in many ways probably the most aggressive in bringing new programs and support components to its retail customers,” he said.

One example is Tops Markets, Buffalo, N.Y., which signed on with McKesson in June. In transitioning from a publicly held company to a private, locally operated corporation, “the pharmacy department has led the way in the decoupling process,” said Frank Wolff, director of pharmacy. “McKesson was a valuable partner during this effort, offering innovative solutions to the unique challenges facing Tops, and helping Tops overcome them.”

A wholesaler in the Northeast is seriously considering switching to McKesson primarily because of its capabilities in reconciling third-party (such as insurance) payments, said an executive at the wholesale firm.

“Category excellence is founded on a deep understanding of consumers' needs and expectations,” said Jack Fragie, executive vice president of retail national accounts, McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. “As the retail pharmacy market continues to evolve, McKesson is focused on collecting and sharing the data, best practices, solutions and services our retail pharmacy customers require to not only exceed their patients' needs today, but plan for their expectations in the future.”

One of many tools McKesson offers is its EnterpriseRx pharmacy management system. “EnterpriseRx is helping McKesson's pharmacy customers facilitate expansion and improve margins. Regardless of a pharmacy organization's size, business model, or plans for growth, EnterpriseRx is flexible enough to meet each customer's unique needs,” Fragie said.

A large pharmacy opportunity requiring expert sourcing is generics, whether or not a retailer offers a discount program, he added.

Coupled with automated refill systems, the option of central prescription filling can save store pharmacies a great deal of time that can then be redirected to customer service, Fragie said.
Dan Alaimo

PHARMACY — Silver Medal: Cardinal Health

  • CATEGORY MANAGEMENT: Offering new outbound telephone program that connects to the retailers' pharmacy management system
  • FOCUS ON COSTS: Helps retailers negotiate the best reimbursement rates with PBMs and other payers; assists in direct purchase agreements

Wholesaler Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio, has made many friends in the supermarket pharmacy business.

The company has had decade-long relationships with many major companies, such as Kroger Co., Cincinnati, and other smaller retailers, said Jay Williams, vice president, marketing management for Cardinal Health's Pharmaceutical Supply Chain business.

“What you have to do in this unique class of trade - the supermarket pharmacy - is get in and listen, and understand your customers' needs, and then design, build and collaboratively work on what is the best offering for them. That is where Cardinal Health has been successful over the years, and that's why you've seen us retain these large and mid-sized supermarket pharmacies for such a long period of time,” Williams said.

“Cardinal is very responsive company,” said a pharmacy executive with a Southeastern chain. “They are innovative and always looking for ways to enhance their customers' business. They really are big into the partnership. It's more than just a word to them. They really get into the business and get under the covers with the retailer.”

He added: “They are the backbone. Without a solid wholesaler-supplier-partner, it would be very difficult to be competitive in this market.”

“Cardinal Health continues to be an industry leader with new offerings in health care,” said Bob Dufour, former pharmacy executive with Wal-Mart, now a consultant with Ernst & Young, New York. “For example, its Source generics program delivers a real value across all classes of trade. Other examples are their inventory management program, and managed care serviceoffering.”

“Over the last several years, the collaborative approach that we've taken to a lot of our other services has come into play with generics and how we can leverage our expertise, our knowledge, our lean Six Sigma approach to operations to help our customers get the most out of their generic purchases and distribution,” Williams said.
Dan Alaimo