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Typically, once a year, consumer packaged goods (CPG) suppliers engage convenience store operators in negotiations with store re-sets. This has historically been a somewhat clumsy conversation for one key reason—the lack of detailed data each party has access to regarding what sells and what doesn’t. Since sales is the crux of the conversation, the parties spend most of their time reconciling their two different views of store activity. The operators have traditionally had their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems data to know what’s coming into the stores, and point-of-sale (POS) accounting to know—in general terms—what is getting sold. Suppliers (manufacturers, distributors, or brokers) have their restocking records that should roughly mirror the operators’ information. Other “data” might include comparable performance in other stores. The vendor may be able to share what’s working for competitors (in general terms) while operators can look at other stores in their system. As for promotions, they can both use the same calendar to check sales during a promotion period. Now, new receipt-level POS data capture and analytics capabilities are giving both parties in these negotiations the granular insights they need to make more profitable decisions faster. If knowledge is power, this could change the power dynamics in re-set talks for the better. Merchandise Selection This is usually the meat of the discussion. And, traditionally it has not gone much deeper than which brands are staples, which new products are worth a try, and which SKUs will be dropped to make room for them. More detailed POS data makes these decisions much easier. The time saved can then be used to optimize the product mix based on a deeper understanding of what—precisely—is selling. The receipt-level data includes sizes, flavors, and packaging (i.e. cans vs. bottles) information that can heavily influence contract decisions. While the staples may hold their own from year to year, which SKUs are driving most of that business may differ from the original assumptions. If new products are moving more quickly than some older ones (as determined by time-stamping of receipts), there may be an opportunity to sell even more. The time-stamp information can also allow contracts to include performance contingencies for trials of new products. If sales are not tracking as projected, adjustments can be made based on detailed and transparent performance. And, the products on the chopping block? Performance may not be as bad as it appears. A specific SKU may…

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