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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

FMCG: Do S&M cause pain in your business?

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Jun 10, 2015

FMCG_SM_pain_in_businessNo, honestly this is a blog about FMCG Supply Chains! Those seeking advice on leather whips and chains should return to Google and search again now.

Within any FMCG business are there any people lacking more in structure, discipline and planning as Sales and Marketing colleagues?  A resounding and harmonious “no” is the answer from across the global Supply Chain community. When the chips are down and challenges arise it is the same S&M brigade aiming the first kick and usually in the direction of Supply Chain colleagues nether regions. These people must be covered in Teflon because you rarely see an S&M colleague admit to an error or a delay or a poor forecast.

Have they ever considered how the business could perform at a vastly superior level if they just turned up as team players for once? The “me, myself, I” attitude and wholly inappropriate superiority complex cause untold damage to the smooth running of growing operations. Total disregard for policies and procedures is the norm along with a seemingly deliberate desire to de-motivate others.

Innovation? Innovation is a pseudonym for “let’s cause maximum internal disruption”. Barely detectable tweaks to artwork or the incorporation of a low level of insignificant perfume or flavour is considered to be the highlight of the year. Extra security staff will be needed in supermarkets as consumers break down the doors to get to the latest version of Bloggo. Is it me or is innovation always late? Yes, no matter how late the innovation process, the rest of the company is expected to maintain the originally networked launch date.

If only they could drag themselves away from that agency business lunch to attend an S&OP meeting. Sales & Operational Planning? Oh, that Supply Chain thingy. No, no, no! The rest of the world seems to get the fact that S&OP is a business process and is not an evil being thrust on them by the darkest arts of Supply Chain.

They claim to have their fingers on the pulse of customers and consumers yet their demand forecasts are usually so far off mark you wonder if they actually benefit from a pulse of their own. A blindfolded man paying darts is likely to be equally accurate.

And why are Sales so secretive and evasive about their customers? They seem to deliberately avoid any contact between the customer and other members of the company who just might understand their supply needs a little better. Perhaps customers talk a strange language that only Sales people can understand?

Ok that is enough, I think; time for a glass of something and a lie down in a dark room.

Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Humour, S&OP, Sales

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