3rd National Source Tagging Symposium Findings From Retailers, CPG Manufacturers

During the third-annual National Source Tagging Symposium, which was hosted recently at CVS Health Headquarters in Cumberland, Rhode Island, leading drugstores and specialty retailers in attendance shared three critical factors for their source tagging success. These included the following:

  • Source tagging must be a group effort, not a solo effort by asset protection. The effectiveness of a source tagging program is greatly increased by involving multiple retail functions, including merchandising and operations, and coordination between retailers and supplier functions, such as category
  • Source tagging is an ongoing program that must offer win-win outcomes for both retailers and suppliers. The ongoing nature of the program should reflect loss prevention and packaging trends and keep up with the increasing pace of new product introductions and line extensions. These solutions should ideally be part of the initial product design.
  • Partnerships between category managers, packagers and retailers are crucial as new product introductions need to be focused on increasing sales and profits. When source tagging follows this comprehensive source-to-customer approach it can have a dramatic impact on sales and profits for these introductions.

A leading drugstore at the Symposium relayed a specific example of this last point from a cosmetics manufacturer launching a product line extension. Since the original product line was both a top seller and high risk, the manufacturer proactively contacted the retailer at the planning stages to ensure the newly designed packaging was protected from the outset. The new products have been best sellers and contributed significant profits to both parties.

These events are incredibly valuable to participants since they provide a forum for retailers and CPG manufacturers to work together on source tagging initiatives that will reduce their labor costs and shrink, while protecting brands and improving their in-store shopper experience. The 2016 Symposium boasted a double digit increase in attendance from 2015 with a record number of new CPGs and retailers.

This year’s presenters included experts from retailers and CPG manufacturers from across the globe. The symposium began with an open panel discussion conducted by Colin Peacock (ECR Community Shrink, OSA Group) who allowed participants to share their shrink pain points and best practices amongst other loss prevention professionals sharing a major goal in common of decreasing shrink/increasing ROI.

Additional source tagging road shows and innovative tours will be held around the globe throughout the year beginning this month. Attendees typically are represented by various vertical markets, from drug/pharmacy, to discount stores, to supermarkets, to general apparel and specialty accessories as well as cosmetic and pharmaceutical consumer package goods (CPG) manufacturers.

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