What is Efficient Consumer Response?
Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) is an industry cost-reduction initiative. Companies throughout the grocery industry are working together to find ways to eliminate inefficient practices that are not value-added to the consumer.
Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) is a North American initiative that involves the entire food industry. Our goal is to develop a responsive, consumer-driven system in which manufacturers, brokers and distributors work together to maximize consumer value and minimize the supply chain cost.
To meet this goal, we need a smooth, continual product flow matched to consumer consumption. And to support the flow of products, we need timely, accurate information flowing through a paperless system between the retail checkout and the manufacturing line.
The Five Guiding PrinciplesThe five guiding principles of the ECR strategy are to;
- Work constantly to provide better value to the consumer, with less cost throughout the total supply chain.
- Involve business leaders who are determined to replace the win/lose trading relationships with mutually profitable business alliances.
- Use accurate and timely information in a computer-based system to support effective marketing, production and logistic decisions.
- Ensure that the right product is available to the consumer at the right time, by implementing value-added processes as the product flows from the end of production/packing to the consumer's basket.
- Use a standard measurement and reward system that evaluates the impact of business decisions on the whole system.
The Canadian ECR initiativeThe Canadian ECR initiative began in December 1993, when an industry CEO Steering Committee was formed. It was precipitated by the ECR study and the belief that the industry could eliminate substantial costs by implementing common, more efficient, business procedures.
As senior grocery executives, they are committed to making the industry more efficient. They recognize that most progress will come from individual organizations or partnerships between organizations. They also recognize a need for industry-wide cooperation to identify and implement common initiatives.
Their mission is to identify Best Practices in industry-wide processes. By Best Practices, they mean standards and performance guidelines that, when implemented, will make the grocery industry more efficient.
To accomplish this, they will:
- Educate the industry on ECR and its implications.
- Learn from the success of North American initiatives to identify and implement Best Practices.
- Provide resources to test and validate key ECR enablers and Best Practices in pilot projects.
- Encourage the industry to adopt the enablers and Best Practices
Canadian ECR SponsorsThe following industry organizations are sponsoring the initiative:
- Electronic Commerce Council of Canada (ECCC)
- Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD)
- Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG)
- Canadian Food Brokers Association (CFBA)
- Food and Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada (FCPMC)