Efficient Consumer Response (ECR)

Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) ist eine gesamtunternehmensbezogene Vision, Strategie und Bündelung unterschiedlichster Techniken sowie ein Managementansatz zur Beseitigung von Ineffizienzen entlang der Wertschöpfungskette bzw. zur Rationalisierung der distribution in der Konsumgüterwirtschaft unter primärer Berücksichtigung der Verbraucherbedürfnisse und der maximalen Kundenzufriedenheit (Pull-Prinzip, verbrauchergetriebenes System). Hierbei wird eine neue, auf Vertrauen basierende Kooperation/Partnerschaft zwischen Handel und Industrie zu realisieren versucht. Von hoher Bedeutung für das Gelingen dieser unternehmensübergreifenden Optimierung ist neben dem organisatorisch-technischen Fit und dem strategischen Fit vor allem der kulturelle Fit der eingebundenen Unternehmen.
ECR has developed from the problem that in the entire supply chain, trade and industry have only optimized those (sub) processes that were in their immediate area of interest and decision-making (supply Chain controlling). As a result, suboptima arose - with regard to the entire process chain - and great potential for cost savings or increased customer satisfaction at the interfaces of the supply chain was not taken into account.

The aim of ECR is to identify and meet the customer's needs as precisely and quickly as possible. At the same time, the entire logistics chain is to be optimized across the company and activities that do not add value are to be reduced or dismantled. This requires retailers and manufacturers to jointly analyze the entire value chain and, if necessary, open up previously closed systems to one another. This includes in particular a co-organization of the flow of goods into an integrated supply chain as well as the
Exchange of internal and external data as part of a seamless integration of the information chain.

According to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), four strategy modules can be distinguished, namely:

Efficient replenishment (effizienter Warennachschub): As part of various goods and information-related concepts, suppliers and retailers jointly develop a forecast of consumer demand (Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment), integrate automatic, cross-company inventory management (Vendor Managed Inventory) and ordering systems based on modern information and communication technologies (Quick Response) and realize a continuous supply of goods (Continuous Replenishment).

Efficient Store Assortments (efficient range design): Suppliers and dealers jointly define an assortment.

Efficient Promotion: Suppliers and dealers work out a joint sales promotion concept that is compatible with the marketing goals of trade and industry, e.g. in connection with the desired product positioning.

Efficient Product Introductions: Suppliers and retailers already work together in product development in order to reduce the risk of failure when launching a new product.

While Efficient Replenishment has a strong logistical focus, the remaining three strategy modules are more geared towards technical marketing conditions.

Trade controlling is becoming increasingly important against the background of the increasing use of ECR. The use of modern information and communication technologies by ECR promotes the collection of internal and external data on the individual value-added stages for controlling, on the other hand, controlling generates impulses in the generation of key figures for ECR.

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