Common Problems in a Typical Supplier ScenarioFor the purpose of examining the typical supplier/retailer relationship, let’s consider a fictitious c-store chain, Sandy’s Shops. Sandy’s is a regional company that operates a Shell-branded forecourt as part of its supplier agreement with the fuel supplier. Sandy’s also pays a premium on the gas it sells because of the brand value Shell holds. Since Shell’s brand image is at stake at this station, Shell routinely audits the forecourt. If Shell finds that this area is maintained according to brand standards, Shell will repay Sandy’s a portion of the gas markup.
The Case for Real-Time Data & Shared ResponsibilityIf Sandy’s had been self-auditing their forecourt on a regular basis, they would be able to report and respond to maintenance issues in real time. They wouldn’t have lost out on the money Shell pays back. However, Shell could also help their retail partner by sharing its audit results in real-time via a mobile platform, rather than sharing this report quarterly. Sandy’s wouldn’t miss out on 90 days of payment, and Shell would maintain a high brand image. When having a clean forecourt is in everyone’s best interest, suppliers and retailers should support one another. They can easily do so with mobile technology.
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