Intelligence and tools to keep you on the cutting edge—offline, online, and in between
Well before the pandemic, grocery businesses were navigating sweeping changes. Though physical stores were—and still are—important to shoppers, players with strong online capabilities had been rapidly gaining a competitive edge. Then, Covid-19 accelerated growth in online grocery and ushered in other changes: increasing CapEx demands to build the right online capacity, more pressure on already thin margins due to higher input costs—and even demand for healthier foods emerging from growing health consciousness. As shifts in supply chains, channel strategies, and retail operations move into high gear we can help you meet the moment. With experience working with almost two-thirds of the top 25 global grocery companies, we leverage our Future of Retail framework to help you realize near-term results and long-term success.
Our grocery consulting experts can help with category strategy and assortment, pricing and promotion, omnichannel experience, supplier negotiations, grocery store operations, cost reduction, and more. The pandemic-fueled growth in online grocery is here to stay. To win, grocers will need to make strategic choices to meet customers’ evolving needs; be truly omnichannel; and focus on capacity, profitability, and diversified revenue streams. Above all, they’ll need to learn from and partner with disruptors—and embrace self-disruption themselves—to stay competitive. Amid shifting scenarios and priorities, now is the time to plan for a post-pandemic world that will be fundamentally transformed. As leaders in retail consulting, we bring unmatched experience and a robust set of tools to position you to prepare, evolve, and achieve a sustainable advantage.
⦁ Our deep understanding of customer behavior combined with our Advanced Analytics capabilities helps you reach valuable insights you can share with suppliers as you collaborate on category growth strategies.
⦁ We have worked with mass-market retailers, grocery chains, office supply stores and many other categories of retailers, consistently helping them reduce the cost of goods sold by 2%–5%, and in some cases more.
⦁ Our customized buyer toolkit enables you to gather data across many disparate internal sources, without modifying legacy systems.
⦁ We work side by side with your buying team to build your organization’s capabilities and transfer knowledge to buyers.
⦁ Bain is a thought leader on major omnichannel topics, including the future of shopping, the modern retail organization, the power of omnichannel stores and the modern retail supply chain.
⦁ We have unparalleled experience working with leading retailers and brands to develop and deliver their omnichannel strategies, including adoption of Agile methodologies to fuel speed of innovation.
⦁ Our comprehensive, collaborative approach helps you structure your thinking and strategy around all of the complexities of omnichannel.
Despite being integral to sales and marketing, promotions often fall short of desired outcomes, either in terms of profitability or customer-perceived value. At the same time, it has never been easier for consumers to price shop. As a business leader, this may leave you wondering where pricing and promotions fit into your customer value proposition--and how you can use both to maximize ROI. Promotions Accelerator provides the answer, offering a holistic view of promotions that simplifies decision-making. Powered by the latest machine learning models, the tool adapts to your needs based on individual products, customers, and market position. It’s intuitive, easy to implement, highly customizable, and designed with the front-line processes of category managers, buyers, and merchandisers in mind. The result: enthusiastic, long-term adoption of a powerful approach that helps you promote the right products, with the right price, at the right time.
Gain insight into promotional effectiveness, bringing your promotional strategy to life
An intuitive user interface, designed through careful study of front-line needs, provides all the information merchants need to make effective decisions
Establish machine-learning-powered “golden rules” that ensure you maximize returns on your promotional spend
Build the long-term capabilities that enable lasting results, including: a pricing organization, operating model, technology, data and analytics, and change management
2. Consumer products
Statistical analysis suggests that creating positive price perceptions is the single most important pricing capability for retailers, by a factor of more than 2x. Other key capabilities include:
⦁ A plan to deal with disruptive forces
⦁ Tailoring your prices to channels and localities
⦁ The tools and processes needed to deliver dynamic pricing
⦁ Executing and tracking promotions’ ROI
Turn your supply chain into a competitive weapon
The pandemic, trade wars, and severe storms: these are just a few of the disruptions recently churning markets. Today the entire world appreciates the value of resilient and sustainable supply chains. But it’s nothing new for our firm. We’ve been helping clients achieve these virtues for decades. Whether you want to undertake an end-to-end strategic transformation, or targeted fixes for specific links in your operations to increase supply chain resiliency, we are the perfect partner to collaborate with on Supply Chain Reinvention.
We combine proprietary digital capabilities, deep domain expertise, and a rich database of your industry’s key performance indicators to create highly effective, customized solutions. We augment our supply chain expertise with a proven track record in areas spanning change management, sustainability,
digital transformation, and more
No matter where your company falls on the supply-chain maturity curve, Supply Chain Reinvention can help you seize a competitive advantage.
The journey from suppliers to end customers is often global, complex, and beset by countless chances for value to escape due to mistakes, delays, unnecessary costs, inefficiency, poor communication, and missed opportunities. So it’s not surprising that most companies have supply chains that underperform, typically leaving 5 to 10 percentage points in potential gross margin gains—and often more—unrealized. You need a supply chain that’s resilient, responsive to complex consumer demands, and differentially enabled—all while remaining efficient and affordable in a way that satisfies both your investors and your price-sensitive consumers.We provide the right mix of planning, technical expertise, specialized tools and ongoing engagement to bridge the gap between strategy and design, and ensure that your supply chain reaches its full, unconstrained potential.
Water scarcity, reducing carbon emissions, fair labor, and consumer demand for sustainable products are driving companies to commit to change. In many respects, supply chains are at the heart of a company’s sustainability strategy—and key to their success. From design, source, and make to deliver, use, and dispose, every component of a supply chain intersects with a range of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that define sustainability. We can help you address critical issues from one end of the value chain to the other, so that your operations and supply chain evolve from a traditional, linear approach to a circular ecosystem that embraces the 5 R’s (rebalance, reduce, reuse, recycle, and remanufacture).
We can help you accurately assess your ESG starting point, structure your sustainability ambitions, implement the organizational and operating models that enable you to execute your sustainability strategy across the entire value chain, and implement the traceability, metrics and digital solutions that support these efforts. We can also make sure you avoid common traps to achieving sustainability in operations, adopt best practices critical to integrating sustainability into your operations, build sustainability into your procurement function, and develop a partnership ecosystem that can provide the specialized expertise you need to accelerate your progress. Our proven approach is designed to produce quick wins in the short term and keep you on track to reach your longer-term ambition. Not only will your supply chain be more resilient and reliable—it will become the spine of your sustainable operations strategy, enabling you to seize and maintain a leadership position.
Companies often find themselves constrained by a complex manufacturing network. Assets, spin-offs and siloed investments are a common cause, as is the tendency to build expensive new plants to meet demand for a high-margin product. Complex regulations can pose a challenge, while asset- or plant-level throughput initiatives often fail to take into account the impact on the broader supply chain or manufacturing network.
We can help you redesign your networks using a proven, repeatable approach that begins with a detailed assessment of the current state, an analysis of future demand and a definition of what full potential can look like. From there we establish design principles and define service levels, use unconstrained thinking to envision an optimum future state, and launch an iterative process that strikes the right balance between actionable scenarios and the capital investments needed to achieve them. Our approach generates impressive results that span Capex and gross margin improvements, shrink and logistics cost reductions, and significant improvements to service levels, inventory turns, customer satisfaction, and more.
We believe there are three essential building blocks to integrated business planning (IBP):It should begin with strategic translation, to make sure that your top business priorities inform the choices you make about your network and operational parameters. It should integrate with your demand and supply planning. And, it should rely on metrics, root-cause diagnostics, feedback loops, and a variety of other tools and data sources to support continuous improvement. Our IBP consulting expertise builds on those three elements by creating coordinated, cross-functional teams; applying clear governance and decision rights; integrating plans; connecting data systems; and developing the capability to identify the root causes of any problems or sources of underperformance. Our clients have boosted revenue by as much as 8%, due to their increased ability to meet demand. Improved customer service levels pave the way for better pricing. Inventory declines by as much as 25%, thanks to superior planning capabilities. Lower operating costs lead to an EBITDA margin improvement of as much as 3 p.p. Forecast accuracy improves by up to 30%. And on-time delivery improves by as much as 15% because they have the right inventory in the right place at the right time.
Every supply chain has an “efficient frontier” that defines the trade-off between service level performance and inventory levels. Most companies don’t get as close to that frontier as they could, opting instead to carry too much inventory and pay the price in diminished service level performance. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from the use of incorrect safety stock algorithms to SKU complexity to lack of ownership of metrics to ineffective promotions, and many more. We work with companies to optimize inventory management, first by getting you closer to the current efficiency frontier and then by helping you “shift the curve,” to achieve step-change improvements in inventory efficiency. We help you address multiple facets of your supply chain design and operations, including planning, purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, product portfolio and your manufacturing network. We also work with you to integrate digital capabilities across your supply chain. We've helped companies in retail, advanced manufacturing, consumer products, energy & natural resources, healthcare and many other industries reduce non-seasonal inventories by 25%, improve the inventory-to-sales ratio by 4%-5%, and achieve total shrink reduction of 15%, to cite just a few results.