In-Store Implementation Guidebook – Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Independent Retailer

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The In-Store Implementation Guidebook – The Companion Guidebook to the ISI Study was developed by The Partnering Group working with the Project Leadership Committee and leading retailers and manufacturers in North America and was sponsored by Food Distributors International.

The In-Store Implementation Guidebook was developed for use by the wholesale-supplied channel – independent retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and sales agents.
This guidebook serves two purposes:

1. The FDI In-Store Implementation Study: Enhancing the Competitiveness of the
Independent Retailer (IS1 Study), was published in September, 2000. The study highlighted the need for trading partners to improve in-store implementation activities in three key areas – assortment, shelf, and display management. The study also identified and measured the significant opportunity for increased sales and profits if performance and practices are upgraded in these areas. This guidebook is the next step of this work and provides a “how-to” implementation manual for use by independent retailers and their channel partners to attain these competitive benefits.

2. This guidebook provides the foundation for the “In-Store Implementation Training Seminars,” to be conducted by The Partnering Group and sponsored by FDI. These education programs are designed to upgrade the skills and knowledge of the members of the wholesale-supplied channel to perform more effective in-store implementation work.

The Guidebook will enable you to:

– Better understand the current state of in-store implementation and the potential benefits of adopting the more effective implementation practices recommended in the IS1 Study.
– Understand the in-store implementation “best practices” processes recommended in the IS1 Study, which define:

– How to rapidly, effectively, and efficiently implement assortment decisions.
– How to effectively and efficiently implement in-store shelf management decisions.
– How to better design and manage in-store display activities.

– Use Self-Assessment Tools to evaluate your current in-store implementation practices and to identify specific improvement opportunities in assortment, shelf, and display activities.
– Identify the capabilities that independent retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and sales agent partners need to have within their organizations to deliver more effective and efficient in-store implementation programs.
– Develop an Action Plan that specifies the actions that you will take to capture the significant benefits from the improved in-store implementation programs identified in the IS1 Study.

To get maximum benefit from this Guidebook, we recommend the following approach:
– First, read the IS1 Study: In-Store Implementation: Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Independent Retailer: The report provides important information on the background of the study, as well as complete details of all the new business processes developed in the study.
– Second, consider attending an FDI-sponsored In-Store Implementation Practices Training Seminar that will assist you and other channel members in implementing the processes developed in the study.
– Third, present and explain the Guidebook and its purpose to the members of your management team so that they understand the value of using the Guidebook to achieve significant improvements in the performance of in-store implementation activities.
– Fourth, complete the various Self-Assessment and evaluation assignments contained in the Guidebook (assortment first, then shelf, then display management). Ideally, you should do this in group sessions to generate discussion and enthusiasm within your management team.
– Fifth, at the end of each section, reach agreement on the key action steps that will be taken within your organization. Do this in each section (beginning with assortment management) before moving on to the next section and gain agreement on the individual actions that make up the comprehensive Action Plan.

Since the findings of the IS1 Study provide the foundation for the information included in the IS1 Guidebook, it is important that you understand more about the IS1 Study. The next section of the Guidebook provides this background.

To obtain a copy of the full report or learn more, contact The Partnering Group email at