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 / Autumn 2007 / Issue 48(originally published by Booz & Company)


Partners at the Point of Sale

At heart, shelf-centered collaboration is a learning system. The pioneers who invest first — and who focus their attention on targeting their value chains by item, by store, and by day — are the ones who will thrive together. The others may well hang separately.

A Checklist for Shelf-Centered Collaboration

  • Does our value chain have cross-boundary teams set up to continuously analyze and improve it?
  • If so, is this analysis based on open sharing of relevant financial information for all participating companies?
  • Are we developing pricing structures that align each company’s incentives across promotions, customization, order processing, and logistics?
  • Does our supply network have timely access to operational POS data — by item, by store, and by day?
  • Do we use that data to improve assortment, promotion, forecasting, and replenishment?
  • Are our analytics based on daily performance by store, rather than weekly regional averages?
  • Do we have — or are we building — the information technology needed to sufficiently enable and respond to this analysis?
  • Is our primary organizational alignment by function and brand, or do we have integrated teams that manage whole value chains?

Reprint No. 07305

Author Profiles:

Rich Kauffeld ([email protected]) is a vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton based in New York. He has more than 20 years of consulting and senior consumer packaged-goods experience, and specializes in strategy, transformation programs, and supply chain management.
Johan Sauer ([email protected]) is a principal in Booz Allen’s Chicago office. He has more than 25 years of experience in the consumer and industrial products industries, with a specific focus on value chain optimization and developing next-generation supply chain capabilities.
Sara Bergson ([email protected]), is director of corporate strategy at PepsiCo in Purchase, N.Y. She was formerly a senior associate at Booz Allen, working with consumer products companies on growth and value chain strategies. 
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  1. Gerry Greenleaf, Dennis Donelon, and John Jensen, “Supply Chain Management: An Investigation of Collaboration in the Grocery Industry,” Grocery Manufacturers Association, 2003: Survey of retailers and manufacturers in the food industry reveals extent of and roadblocks to collaboration. Click here.
  2. Doug Hardman, David Messinger, and Sara Bergson, “Virtual Scale: Alliances for Leverage,” s+b, Fall 2005: How companies can use strategic alliances to build long-term capabilities in areas including manufacturing, logistics, procurement, research and development, marketing, and promotion. Click here.
  3. Maarten Jager and Steven Wheeler, “Building a Better Matchmaker,” s+b, Winter 2005: The “shelf” of an automobile dealership can sometimes be the Web site — through which carmakers, dealers, and car buyers can learn a great deal more about one another. Click here
  4. Richard Kauffeld, Matthew Egol, and Elisabeth Hartley, “Creating Value through Customization: Winning through Shelf-Centered Collaboration,” GMA Forum, September 2006: The potential of SCC as revealed through existing retailer and manufacturer customization initiatives, especially in consumer packaged goods companies. Click here.
  5. Edward Landry and Jaya Pandrangi, “Getting the Most from the ‘Feet on the Street,’” s+b, Fall 2005 : Describes how manufacturers can configure an optimal sales force mix for their particular retail channels. Click here.
  6. Melissa Master Cavanaugh and Catharine P. Taylor, eds., Moments of Choice: Collaborating at the Shelf for Profitable Growth (strategy+business Books, 2007): Lays out the components and relationships of a shelf-centered collaboration extended enterprise. To preorder copies Click here.
  7. For more articles on supply chains, sign up for s+b’s RSS feed. Click here.
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