Walgreens Goes Live with Data-Sharing Program for Suppliers Using Demand Signal System from Agentrics and Retail Solutions

Alexandria, Va., and Sunnyvale, Calif. – As part of their ongoing commitment to improve supply chain collaboration between retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, Agentrics and Retail Solutions Inc. today announced another successful implementation of their demand signal management system, which allows retailers to provide trading partners with visibility into near real time point-of-sale (POS) and inventory-level data at the store and item level.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, has implemented the Agentrics Demand Signal Management (DSM) solution, powered by Retail Solutions, as the platform for its new POS data-sharing program for improved collaborative planning, promotional execution and instore sales performance.

“Early success with our operational data sharing program proves that better information leads to better decisions,” said Patrick Looby, Walgreens Vendor Alliance Services. “By providing suppliers access to store-level data by day and by item, we are now able to collaborate around new ways to better serve customers in each of our 6,200 locations. Suppliers that leverage this valuable information will help our entire supply chain become more customer demand driven. Together, we can more effectively identify and respond to sudden shifts in demand. This will result in benefits to Walgreens, our suppliers and, most importantly, our customers.”

Walgreens launched its POS data sharing program in December 2007, inviting all key suppliers to participate. Many Walgreens suppliers, both large and small, are already live on the system, with more than 50 expected by mid-year.

“Near real-time visibility at the store-SKU level helps suppliers to work more effectively with their retailer customers, and we applaud the Walgreens initiative,” said Cedric Guyot, Retail Solutions vice president of marketing. “Retail Solutions strives to provide suppliers with the retailer data they need, in a format they recognize and faster than they could get it any other way. With this kind of data, ready every morning across some of their major customers, they can focus on how to grow sales and reduce out-of-stocks rather than on how to cleanse, reconcile and load retailer POS files in their own databases.”

The Agentrics-Retail Solutions DSM system is the retail industry’s most widely used collaboration platform for sharing near real-time point-of-sale data. Through granular, timely visibility into sales, inventory and other operational supply chain data, retailers and CPG manufacturers can target specific store issues and reduce the number of days required to move new or promoted products to the shelf. Fewer out-of-stock products – especially heavily promoted, in-demand items – results in higher sales for retailers and suppliers. The system captures, validates and stores operational supply chain data in a scalable and secure repository. Agentrics and Retail Solutions also offer training services and analytical support to help users interpret data for deeper insights into store- and item-level consumer demand.

“Across the retail industry, Walgreens is recognized as a retail innovator, and this new program will help the company continue to provide the highest service levels in the chain drug industry,” said Pete Plotas, Agentrics vice president, demand signal management. “Walgreens is a long-time supporter of trading partner collaboration and leverages several other Agentrics supply chain solutions. We’re proud to partner with Walgreens on this important program as the company looks to new ways to enhance supply chain performance.”

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