ORLANDO, Fla. — In a new study of direct store delivery, in-stock levels were found to be at 98.2% — significantly higher than previous industry studies of in-stock conditions.
The study, which was discussed yesterday by a panel at the Food Marketing Institute/Grocery Manufacturers Association Supply Chain Conference here, was conducted by the GMA DSD Committee in concert with Willard Bishop Consulting, Barrington, Ill.
"You would expect DSD to have higher in-stock levels, but I don't think anyone would have expected 98.2%," said Jim Hertel, managing partner, Willard Bishop Consulting, who led the panel discussion.
Retailers that participated in the study include Cub Foods, Hannaford Bros., Kroger, Safeway, Save Mart, Wegmans and Winn-Dixie. Participating DSD vendors include Bimbo Bakeries, Dreyer, Flower Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo, Schwan's, Snyder's-Lance, Kraft and Pepperidge Farm.
The analysis was done on Tuesday afternoons at participating stores, using "shelf-snap" photos of in-stock levels. In-stock was based on the presence or absence of a product on the shelf. In more than 100 similar studies of both DSD and warehouse-supplied products, the average in-stock level was about 94%, Hertel said. Other studies have put average in-stock conditions at 92%.
The new study also found an average of 13.1% "underfacings" — products with fewer shelf facings than what was assigned on a planogram. This compared with 30% underfacings in similarly conducted studies.
Hertel attributed the higher in-stock levels to more scorecarding of DSD vendors by retailers as well as application of best-practice techniques to eliminate out-of-stocks.
"There's tons of research on best practices and companies are making strides toward adopting that," said Hertel.