SOURCE: Clarkston Consulting

June 05, 2007 06:00 ET

GMA Selects Clarkston Consulting to Lead Industry Study on Direct Store Delivery and Business Growth

Study to Examine Ways Consumer Products Manufacturers Can Leverage DSD to Drive Growth and Better Serve Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 5, 2007) - Grocery Manufacturers Association Vice President of Supply Chain and Technology Pamela Stegeman, today announced the selection of Clarkston Consulting and AMR Research to conduct a study that will help consumer products companies and their trading partners maximize the effective use of direct store delivery (DSD).

"Our mission is to help our member companies grow, and we believe a key component of that involves looking at the effective use of DSD," said Stegeman. "Our hope is that this study will promote industry dialogue and help change the perception of DSD from a distribution model to a marketing/sales execution model. We selected Clarkston to lead this effort because of its extensive consumer products knowledge and experience in helping its clients achieve operational excellence."

"Product availability and effective merchandising have dramatically increased in importance compared to traditional marketing tools such as advertising," said Thomas Bornemann, managing partner of consumer products at Clarkston Consulting. "DSD is one of the most effective methods available -- not only in terms of influencing product presence at the store shelf -- but also in growing revenues when used as an extension of the marketing and sales execution model."

Previous GMA studies on the effective use of DSD have focused on ways for trading partners to improve efficiency by implementing best-practices. This latest study, "Growing through DSD," will expand on the earlier reports by examining how closer collaboration with retailers can help create demand, improve supply chain effectiveness and, ultimately, better serve consumer needs. The study also will highlight the many advantages that DSD offers retailers in growing their businesses.

As part of the study, Clarkston will re-examine statistical information collected in the GMA's 1999 study, "The Power of DSD," notably data related to purchase frequency, new product introductions, inventory efficiencies, category growth and the effectiveness of promotions. The second part of the study will analyze the benefits of collaboration between manufacturers and retailers in creating demand and driving revenues, as well as in improving supply chain and cost efficiencies.

An important aspect of the study also is to shed new light on the DSD model of the future. Clarkston believes manufacturers should use DSD strategically, rather than as purely a distribution method, by adopting a model based on extensive collaboration with retailers, where intelligent, fact-based DSD becomes an integrated part of marketing and revenue-generating activities.

"We strongly believe that serving consumers must be at the center of every initiative undertaken by manufacturers of consumer products," said Bornemann. "With that in mind, it is our conviction that ever better data and information will drive value chain partners together in tight collaboration to continually raise the bar on meeting consumer needs. This study will get to the heart of the issue from the DSD perspective."

About GMA

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) represents the world's leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. The association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth and helps to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence. The GMA board of directors is comprised of chief executive officers from the Association's member companies. The $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry employs 14 million workers, and contributes over $1 trillion in added value to the nation's economy. For more information, visit the GMA Web site at www.gmabrands.com.

About Clarkston Consulting

Clarkston Consulting is a leading management and technology consulting firm that provides strategic business solutions for clients within the life sciences and consumer products industries worldwide. These market leaders turn to Clarkston to help them bridge the gap between strategy and execution to sustain a competitive advantage. Clarkston is a sought-after business partner because of its recognized industry thought-leadership and superior client relationships, as measured by The Conference Board's survey on client satisfaction. For more information, visit www.clarkstonconsulting.com.

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