Using the Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) supplierENGAGE™ software and supporting engagement services, Waitrose were able to communicate the complex details of the Food Information Regulations (FIR) to its supplier base and provide a dedicated website that guided them through the actions they needed to take to become FIR compliant.
Suppliers were able to make the necessary changes to packaging without incurring major additional costs. Compliance was achieved by the 13th December deadline and the self-help portal achieved an estimated £100k saving.
Grocery retailer Waitrose take great pride in the way they work with local and regional suppliers and the Waitrose Local and Regional Team take their responsibilities very seriously. With the introduction of new Food Information Regulations in 2014, Waitrose wanted to support local and regional suppliers through the required changes to ensure locally produced and sourced produce remained available for customers.
“Given the complexity of the FIR regulations we felt it was important to help suppliers understand their impact and the ENGAGE web portal from S4RB enabled us to support them through this process.” Waitrose Technical Manager
Waitrose introduced a supplier self-help portal from S4RB and supported it with a supplier engagement campaign. The engagement campaign, delivered by S4RB’s Engagement Services Team, helped suppliers understand the regulations, which products were affected and gave clear guidance on the actions needed to ensure compliance with the FIR regulations.
Importantly, this included category-specific information. For example, some local breweries had not realised that FIR also related to beverages and would have been noncompliant and risked their products being removed from sale if it were not for the Waitrose FIR initiative.
“Waitrose was incredibly supportive. The information contained on the supplier ENGAGETM website was amazing and provided all the necessary answers. The approach Waitrose took was therefore extremely refreshing and provided a real boost to our business.” Waitrose Supplier
Especially important for small local and regional suppliers was the easy-to-digest information, available 24/7, meaning suppliers did not need to contact Waitrose with queries.
The creation of the supplier self-help portal ensured consistent support and advice across all relevant suppliers, improving accuracy, efficiency and legal compliance. Waitrose found that successful supplier engagement not only helped them and their suppliers to meet their obligations but, with over 5,000 answers viewed on the supplierENGAGE™ portal, also provided an estimated £100,000 cost saving by diverting supplier queries from Waitrose employees.
- 500+ Local & regional suppliers
- 6 month initiative
- Full compliance by deadline
- Estimated ROI approx. £100k