Suppliers are really important, especially in how they can engage with customers to lower their total cost of doing business. The auto-dispensing vendor managed inventory (VMI) kiosk that Grainger is currently deploying to early adopters such as Coke Consolidated is a great example of supplier innovation that can encourage the right type of buying and consumption patterns. In this case, Grainger faces a catch-22 – the solution may actually reduce consumption and spending (while driving SKU rationalization – not Grainger’s best friend!), but at the same time, it is likely to build tighter bonds with their customers.
Network Fees and Innovation: Are You Considering Supplier Opinions? [PRO]
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