Opportunities for Growth Highlight 2018 NGA Show
By Tom O'Reilly / March 2018Insights
The National Grocers Association is focused solely on the needs of independent grocers and each year invites independent retailers, wholesalers, industry experts, CPG manufacturers and technology providers to come together at The NGA Show to share insights and strategies to succeed in a dynamic and evolving retail environment.
The 2018 NGA Show didn’t disappoint, providing over 40 educational workshops covering a variety of topics for attendees to take part in. Good news for the more than 3,000 attendees estimated to be in attendance. The show also saw a 12% increase in retailer/wholesaler attendance this year.
One of the many highlights was keynote speaker and former CIA director, General Michael Hayden who shared unique perspectives on the complexities of managing large organizations during stressful times, the role communication plays in executing strategy and how to assess competitive threats. I thought these insights to be particular relevant to today’s retail environment.
Independent retailers can certainly appreciate the stress the industry is experiencing right now. Whether it be pricing pressure from discounters or new formats, figuring out how to compete in digital and e-commerce, or how to identify trends in shifting shopper behavior. Figuring out where to allocate resources to achieve the best return can be a daunting challenge. In the face of all these challenges, it’s important for retailers not to or lose focus on their strengths.
Opportunities for growth exist by drawing on the advantages local grocers possess over competitors – knowledge of local customers, neighborhoods and communities. The ability to harness that data and use it to build a true 360-degree view of the customer to guide decision-making can lead to more effective campaigns and more profitable promotions.
However, executives need to move quickly to position their organizations for success and it will require change. System silos, one-off solutions, and fragmented workflows are costing retailers each day. To be effective, a true end-to-end enterprise platform that replaces legacy systems and inefficient workflows is needed.
Integrated technology platforms provide a holistic view across business functions and capture all marketing and promotional activity within the system. They should enhance both internal and external collaboration, facilitate communication, provide actionable insights backed by reliable customer data, and forecast future performance. They should also automate and streamline these business processes.
Developing these capabilities will quickly allow independent grocers to strengthen customer loyalty and to compete more effectively against threats such as Amazon, providing a strong competitive advantage. Learn more about how the Aptaris platform helps our clients achieve these advantages here.
In addition to the education sessions, technology innovations, and networking opportunities that take place at The NGA Show, it’s also a time to celebrate the contributions independent grocers make to our neighborhoods and communities.
This year, Winsight Grocery Business (WGB) kicked off the inaugural, Remarkable Independents program and solicited nominations from vendors and distributors recognizing excellence as merchants, employers, and community stewards. Sixteen finalists were chosen across four categories:
- In-store Experience
- Community Stewardship
- Customer Engagement
It was an honor to participate in the event and we would like to congratulate all of this year’s nominees for your accomplishment and thank you for the service you provide to the communities in which you live.
With a new venue in San Diego next year, I’m anticipating a bit of a different flavor to the NGA Show in 2019 but as always, we’re looking forward to it.
Contributed by Tom O’Reilly, President and CEO, Aptaris
Tom has a deep understanding of the retail business from both the store and vendor perspectives. He brings decades of hands-on experience in advertising and promotions including new media innovations. As an entrepreneur, he has transformed each organization he has worked with. Tom is a forward-thinking leader with a history of driving innovation, growth and profitability. As an avid reader, Tom is always enthusiastically sharing cutting-edge ideas with clients and colleagues.