Safeway Supermarkets in Victoria (A division of Woolworths Ltd) was recently fined $8.9 million for fixing the price of bread, and its misuse of market power in a number of instances. Acting on behalf of Safeway at the time, the Bread Category Manager for Safeway was also charged $50,000.
This outcome has sent a clear message throughout the industry to ensure that both business and its employees are aware of their legal obligations, and to ensure an adequate level of training and corporate compliance was upheld. In today's dynamic trading environment, it is essential that both retailers and supplier/manufactures have a good trading relationship to ensure a constant level of collaboration to meet consumer needs.
As part of the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) methodology, companies need to work together, and manage categories as individual business units to benefit the consumer.
According to Mr Robert Durrant, Managing Director of Retail E-vironment, it is critical for companies to invest in training programmes that not only provided the essential information, but also practical examples on how to apply the knowledge.
Mr Durrant explained that the new 2006 programs not only provided excellent content, but were formatted to allow the employee to undertake the training whilst they are working so as to be non-disruptive (Learn as they Do). Unlike traditional training programmes, these integrated management programmes that allows companies to implement an accreditation program to ensure employees meet company regulations, and standards of business practice.
Retail E-vironment Pty Ltd recently implemented one of their Category Management Accreditation programmes for Simplot, one of Australia’s leading FMCG supplier. Trade Marketing Manager Elyse Hockley used this programme to set a standard of business excellence for all new and existing employees. This Accreditation programme ensures all staff adhere to the correct Simplot methodology for customer service, sales and support.