Under acute pressure in its UK market, our client, the Global Head of Sourcing of one of the highest profile UK Supermarkets, sought to identify long term, economic markets from which to source vegetable and fruit produce. Conscious of the greater variability in environmental and climatic factors and a fast-changing geopolitical landscape affecting the countries being assessed – our client sought Gatehouse’s support for a team review and to ‘test’ its buying strategy out to 2020.
Gatehouse started with a review of the existing sourcing strategies for produce, based on four test cases. We used this to build a list of the issues Gatehouse recognised as critical to the business – and then tested these with the internal team to identify additional possible threats to sourcing plans.
We ran a ‘definition’ workshop with the client – bringing in experts on four critical markets, to test the likely direction of critical global, regional, national and local issues. We then worked with the internal team to analyse the impact of these issues on the business. The judgements were built into a dynamic assessment tool, to allow the evolution of important trends to be tracked. A Gatehouse team of experts, chaired by a Gatehouse principal, stayed with the business to embed the new process and support assessments and judgements.
Our client can now clearly define where it wants to source fresh produce and why – and can make relative choices about buying decisions in different markets. It is able to concentrate its resources on the critical issues identified – and track the progression and likely impact of issues on the business. It has also been better able to brief suppliers of market intelligence – sourcing information to support judgements. The broader team has been able to contribute to information gathering (as they visit markets) and can now challenge assumptions where appropriate.
Each quarter Gatehouse meets with the Sourcing Team to review assumptions, assess any developments and threats and, if required, adjust the sourcing strategy.
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