Traditionally the products were designed and manufactured by the manufacturing firms to be distributed by retailers and other agencies. This entailed only a very little communication between the manufacturer and the retailers. But the modern day business concepts have undergone tremendous changes with the relationships between different players of the industry are no longer defined by the old standards. In fact many retailers have begun manufacturing and many manufacturers have started their retail operations. Thus the traditional concept of supply chain model has been subjected to a radical change and it has become a supply complex. In order to obviate the complexities involved in the present day supply chain, CPFR acts as a transformational strategy. CPFR takes the business processes, people, and technology to higher levels of performance. The process of CPFR strives to promote "openness, information sharing, data exchange, visibility, and joint decisions". (Aghazadeh, Seyed-Mahmoud, 2003) Thus the ultimate aim of CPFR is being about total value chain collaboration among all the players in the supply chain who help to improve the value of the product to the end-customer. With this background this paper details of the challenges being faced by Texan Foods in the launching of full CPFR and also possible solutions for the effectiveness of the CPFR project.
CPFR - an Overview
"The concept of collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment has been promoted as a cure for what ails the food industry's supply chain." (Len Lewis 2007) CPFR has a greater role to play in the promotion of business for any business where there is a large network of supply chain is involved. The concept aims at improving the final value of the product at the hands of the customer. In this process the process links all the supply chain partners who have a role to play in improving the value. The use of the latest information technology is at the root of the success of any CPFR plan. Hence it is important that the companies collaborating with each other are technologically savvy. A definition of the process of CPFR goes like:
"Collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR) is an innovative and relatively new business process that allows supply chain partners to use their information technology for collaboration on forecasts of future demand, and for planning for future inventory replenishment. Usually, the partners involved in a CPFR initiative use the Internet to share data, exchange ideas, or otherwise collaborate with respect to inventory management tasks that are shared by the involved companies. At other times, the members of the alliance will meet in person to discuss various issues that arise in the weekly or monthly operation of CPFR." (Chad W. Autry)
Texan Foods - A Background
Texan Foods is a gourmet grocery chain founded in the year 1941 as a combination general store and family food market. Over the time the store developed into well-known medium sized grocery chain with about 65 store locations in South and Southwestern United States with most of the stores located in thickly populated areas. "The chain was known for the quality of its fresh produce, its wide variety
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