Increase in transparency for C&S Wholesale Grocers

Ken Lupton    October 26, 2015

Organization Name: C&S Wholesale Grocers

Industry: Food and Beverage

CEO: Richard B Cohen

Web references: C&S, FaceBook, Twitter, Wikipedia

About C&S Wholesale Grocers

image03C&S was founded in 1918 by Israel Cohen and Abraham Siegel and began as a small grocery distribution center stocking 1,200 products.  They now have more than 95,000 products from 50 warehouses to distribute to supermarkets and national chains such as Target and A&P.  With an employee base of 20,000 strong, and a headquarters in Keene, New Hamshire, C&S is #10 of the largest private companies in America.

Lazar993, interviewed employees at C&S to elaborate on the company and it’s culture

Lamar L Johnson is a selector at C&S and in this video, he touches on the company, it’s teamwork and it’s culture.

In a video with management employees like Eric Winn, VP of Fresh Procurement and Supply Chain, they discuss the “can do” culture of the company.

Is social media in supply chain management a waste of time?  It is a big opportunity for small and large companies to leverage social media tools to enhance supply chain activity, and the reality is that social media is here to stay.  Many large global companies do not leverage social media to help improve their supply chain.  Older methods such as phone, fax, or email are slow processes to respond to issues in the supply chain.  The use of social networks and media can serve as a replacement for these older methods.  The difficult part is that social networks are primarily used for sharing or pushing information, but how does this help the business process and data transfer between trading partners.

In a Supply Chain Radio interview with Greg Johnson, Greg discuses the cloud and a must have for large companies in the supply chain visibility initiative.

With 20% of the required data coming from within the company, the remaining 80% must come from supply chain partners.   Now how do you get data from your partners and in one place?  Greg discusses EDI hubs  and software.

Why are more companies not using social media with supply chain management?

  1. Social media has an image problem as only a socializing tool for non-business and is too generic for supply chain circles.
  2. The majority of supply chain executives believe that social media will transform supply chain processes for the better, but just don’t know how. The problem is they do not know where to start.
  3. Some executives view social media as an unnecessary addition to their workload.

Social media technologies to manage supply chain will become the norm, but there are obstacles to over come before companies will adopt it.

source: logistics view points

C&S is active in the popular social media tools like FaceBook and Twitter with customer and community engagement.

Now, how can it help improve supply chain activity?

Tom Vogel, SVP E2E Supply Chain talks about network optimization.

daptiv-ppm-overview-graphic-201301C&S has consolidated their project management efforts with an Eterprise 2.0 approach using social software platforms like Daptiv’s project portfolio management software.
With such strong growth comes complexity.

C&S director PMO, Madeline Kerr says “we were able to rapidly deploy Daptiv to our entire team, and immediately realized value in terms of improving our visibility into the project portfolio, understanding the time we’re spending on projects and improving the overall project management process.”

The Challanges

In a ultra competitive grocery industry, adding speed and efficiency to supply chain optimization can be the difference in keeping the already thin margins from shrinking.  C&S had to rethink its IT management to be more efficient.  The key areas analyzed for its PPM needs were:

  • Visibility into a central repository of all projects in IT
  • Provide new levels of business intelligence and let data drive their process
  • Establish a framework for tracking production changes
  • Easily enable budget and time tracking processes
  • Suitable to the innovative culture and philosophy of the company

The solutions

C&S choose to run with Daptiv’s PPM6 as their solution to fill all of their requirements.  With Daptiv’s web-based solution, it was a fast, simple 8 week implementation and transition for the team.  Once they were live on Daptiv, they could better understand where time and resources were being spent.  They used the web-based software to look at support, administration, application development and many other time consuming functions requiring effort from the IT organization.

One portfolio in one central repository  was vital in gaining visibility.  They could now understand the amount of time that was invested with major technology initiatives.

Kerr states “We were able to rapidly deploy Daptiv to our entire team, and immediately realized value in terms of improving our visibility into the project portfolio, understanding the time we’re spending on projects and improving the overall project management process. We’re also experiencing great success in using Daptiv’s Dynamic Application functionality to create customized applications in Daptiv that are improving many fundamental day-to- day processes within our IT department, such as our change control process. We expect to expand use of Daptiv into other areas of the company, and truly let data drive our day-to-day processes and activities.”

source: Daptiv

Lessons:  In order to develop a social media strategy for supply chain management, start small within your team.  Use it to enhance how team members communicate.  Social media in supply chain management is still in the early stages, but starting small and gathering metrics to prove the value will help companies like C&S find the starting line.  Social media in supply chains can help build relations among trading partners and provide insight into issues, industry, and competition.  Social media allows supply chain participants to monitor events to keep the entire chain up to date.

Submitted By: Ken Lupton

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