Case study

Kimberly-Clark significantly improves on-shelf availability with Retail Insight’s ExecutionInsight solution

Global manufacturer gains total control over its OSA and achieve a 30x first-year ROI

Kimberly-Clark is a leading global consumer packaged goods manufacturer of personal care and tissue products.  With $18.8 billion in sales across many of the world’s most popular household products, their brand mix includes Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex, Depend, Kleenex, and Cottonelle.

Kimberly-Clark generates just over half its sales in North America and more than 10% in Europe, with the rest primarily concentrated in Asia and Latin America; half of its sales come from personal care products with tissue products accounting for a third of sales.

Retail Insight Solution

Takeaways

30x

First-year ROI

-12.5%

In total phantom inventory

2x

Improvement in field response rate

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Challenges and goals

In 2019, Kimberly-Clark embarked on a radical overhaul of its in-store operations and processes. They identified better use of data and analytics as a way to support in-store efficiency, streamline business processes, and improve sales. Kimberly-Clark realized that technology was at the heart of enabling this process change and sought out new systems capable of doing so.

Kimberly-Clark attributed a significant portion of its total lost sales opportunity in Walmart U.S. to phantom inventory – that’s product considered to be in stock but not available for consumers to purchase. Overcoming this complex challenge would require specialized retailer on-shelf availability knowledge and a solution that optimized their investment while measuring the impact of their retail merchandising support on sales.

Partnership and solution

To accomplish this task, Kimberly-Clark’s National Retail Operations team surveyed the data analytics vendor landscape and evaluated solutions. They ultimately decided to partner with Retail Insight who are global product availability experts with deep CPG and retail operations domain expertise with worldwide partnerships with businesses such as Diageo, Mondelez, Walmart, Asda, and Woolworths.

Upon selection, Retail Insight immediately became an extension of Kimberly-Clark’s Retail Operations team, bringing to life their unique approach of blending advanced analytics, mathematical modeling, and domain expertise to solve complex client problems.

The usability of Retail Insight’s product helped Kimberly-Clark to embrace a new way of working quickly. Using insights from the new solution, the various teams were able to monitor each store’s results to ensure field associates resolved the most important issues first.

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Project implementation

In less than 12 weeks, Retail Insight rapidly deployed its ExecutionInsight solution comprised of closed-loop on-shelf availability (OSA) alerting. ExecutionInsight identified the most important store and product-level issues and for the first time used data to tactically deploy merchandising resources where their intervention would make the greatest, quantifiable POS impact on Kimberly-Clark’s phantom inventory opportunity.

Retail Insight’s proprietary In-Store Intervention Evaluation (ISIE) headquarters tool systematically measured the impact of merchandising activities on retailer sales and provided management teams with an unbiased and objective ROI.

In tandem with the field implementation, key Kimberly-Clark staff were trained as users and super-users before the systems were rolled out. The project remained on schedule throughout, and each phase was completed on time and within budget. In collaboration with Retail Insight, Kimberly-Clark continues to develop the systems to increase the level of visibility, automation and accuracy.

Results

Retail Insight’s ExecutionInsight solution has provided Kimberly-Clark with insight into the stores and products having the most significant contribution to overall OSA performance. This insight is now being used as a critical input into future store coverage and budget planning. The manufacturer now has visibility of the merchandising intervention types (i.e. product placement, inventory adjustments, adding stock, etc.) that have the most and least significant retail sales impact. The Identification of common availability issues by store, item, and merchandiser/territory, distinguishing zero sales from phantom inventory was previously unseen, but is now visible. Kimberly-Clark now has the flexibility to define and influence the longevity period or sales credit associated with retail merchandising activities or interventions.

Through the deployment of RetaiI Insight’s ExecutionInsight solution, Kimberly-Clark gained visibility and total control over their impact on OSA. This change delivered a 30x first-year return on their investment.

“Working with Retail Insight has been the best position I’ve ever been in with a data partner in CPG. What truly sets Retail Insight apart is not only their retailer and analytics expertise but their unique ability to deliver an ROI that’s believable, trackable and measurable.”

Clint Kolb

Kimberly-Clark Senior Team Lead, Walmart Retail Operations

Summary

Transformative ROI with 30x ROI in the first-year alone.

2X improvement in field response rate when compared to the industry benchmark.

-12.5% in total phantom inventory which was a substantial reduction across all stores.

Increased in-store visibility, K-C now has an accurate, quantifiable view of in-store operations.

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