Value Creation in Category Management Relationships: A Comparative Analysis

BENSON, Michael (2017). Value Creation in Category Management Relationships: A Comparative Analysis. In: BAM2017 Proceedings. British Academy of Management.

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Category management is a collaborative approach between food manufacturers and retailers to manage product categories rather than individual brands. The purpose of the research is to explore value creation within category management and category partnership relationships through data resource sharing to meet changing consumer needs. Consumers are switching to unbranded label products in food retail categories for improved value. The research focuses on creating value in a collaborative relationship comparing branded and non-branded suppliers. It looks at the situation from both the manufacturer and retailer perspectives, and the pilot research findings have shown the role of the category captain is changing and becoming an integral part of the research. Category management is evolving to meet changing consumer and shopper needs. The shopper is the person who purchases the product on behalf of the final consumer. The role played by all the suppliers' is changing and the data findings are uncovering that a trusted relationship with the supplier is becoming more important than the traditional reliance on the category captain who was always seen as the most knowledgeable and trusted supplier. An understanding of retailer needs through a stronger collaborative relationship focused predominantly around the retailer strategies, along with the provision of more detailed and consumer focused insight are emerging as the secret to a long and collaborative category management relationship. Literature reviews had previously revealed the importance of data sharing from the growth in the use of technology by both the supplier and the retailer, however the interviews are starting to reveal that direct shopper feedback from face to face discussions is providing more valuable and meaningful insight to underpin the traditional quantitative data. The research methodology is taking a phenomenological stance using predominantly qualitative interviews. The pilot findings have indicated the need for deeper research using 'participant observation' by observing the supplier category manager and the retail buyer in their natural working environments, and tracing the relationship process from the activity at the supplier end through to the final meeting with the retail buyer. The author who is a newcomer to research is also completing an interview diary after each interview to assess his own performance and seek to make ongoing improvements to the interviews. There will be 20 interviews completed by Easter 2017, half with suppliers and the remainder with the full tier range of retailers. The analysis is currently in progress alongside further interviews and planned to be completed by September 2017. The final thesis write-up will be completed by December 2017, and the DBA viva planned for March 2018.

Item Type: Book Section
Schofield, Peter [0000-0002-9109-7674]
Hirst, Craig [0000-0001-9684-3659]
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 15 May 2020 13:36
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:08

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