Come On People Now, Collaborate Together

AMR Research: Collaboration application market to reach $540 million by 2004

Boston  May 18, 2001  AMR Research's report, Beyond CPFR: Retail Collaboration Comes of Age, reveals the benefits and challenges of Collaborative Planning, Forecasting, and Replenishment (CPFR) principles. The report validates the adoption of collaboration and CPFR processes as the key component to a retailer's future e-business strategy. AMR Research predicts that by 2004, the collaborative application market, including CPFR, will reach $540 Million. In part, this growth will be driven by future collaborative needs, such as customizable applications with built-in workflow and optimization technologies. Few retailer/supplier collaborative partnerships are even close to the nine steps of the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association's (VICS) approved CPFR process. Based on the current state of the market, it appears that broad adoption of CPFR technology is at least another two years away.

"CPFR is the first step toward developing a broader collaborative relationship between retailers and suppliers,  said, Janet Suleski, senior analyst. The bottom line is that the benefits of CPFR and collaboration far outweigh any initial investment of time and resources made to maintain these processes.

According to the study, collaboration is a long-term strategy for most retailers striving to achieve competitive advantage through overall supply chain efficiency. CPFR streamlines the flow of physical goods to reduce distribution costs and supply chain inventory and improve in-stock positions and sales. It also facilitates a number of intangible benefits between trading partners and suppliers, including improved trust, increased collaboration in areas outside the scope of CPFR, and idea sharing.

Key Survey Results
Report findings are based on a detailed survey of VICs compliant retailers and consumer goods manufacturers on their current and future collaboration activities. Survey results indicate that long-term benefits of implementing CPFR will have a major impact on the bottom line. Survey data reveals:

80 percent of retailers and suppliers do not believe that CPFR is critical to their present e-business strategies, while 44 percent indicated that CPFR will be extremely important within the next two years.

45 percent of retailers and 47 percent of manufacturers expect to be capable of real-time collaborative data flows within two years.

Retailers and manufacturers ranked replenishment management, product item maintenance, and CPFR as their top collaborative priorities.