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NEW STUDY LISTS LATEST WAYS FOR SUPERMARKETS TO CUT DISTRIBUTION COSTS

 INDIAN WELLS, Calif., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study of the food industry concludes that new ideas and technology can help supermarkets slash distribution costs and become more profitable.
 The study, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), coins the term "replenishment logistics" to describe a wide range of operational techniques. The study urges grocers to examine every step in their distribution pipeline and outlines ways to reduce waste and maximize efficiency in today's highly competitive retailing environment.
 The research report, prepared by Robert Quinn of Mercer Management Consulting for The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council, is titled "New Ways to Take Costs Out Of The Retail Food Pipeline: Making Replenishment Logistics Happen." It is being released today at the Food Marketing Institute's Mid-Winter Executive Conference here.
 The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council is an independent body of food retailers and wholesalers whose activities are sponsored by Coca- Cola USA and Coca-Cola Foods. This is the 12th study issued by the Council since 1978.
 The study presents ideas to go beyond the food industry's promotion- oriented buying of goods -- which can result in large inventories -- to also include "just-in-time" or "replenishment buying" techniques. Many of these new approaches are already being used or tested by leading supermarket chains and major retailers in other industries.
 The Coca-Cola study spotlights four new directions:
 -- Continuous Replenishment Inventory Systems -- Automated systems for stocking and reordering products based on actual consumer sales.
 -- Flow-Through Distribution Systems -- Methods to expedite product flow by cutting inventories and better coordinating transportation and handling.
 -- Pipeline Logistics Organizations -- New personnel and organizational set-ups fostering overall distribution management.
 -- Pipeline Performance Measures -- Management control tools and procedures for assessing total pipeline performance.
 In addition, the report lists 19 specific cost-saving programs within these four broad areas, ranging from electronic data interchange to new incentive systems for logistics personnel.
 "Inventory management is a key weapon in the battle to reduce costs, provide benefits to consumers and help retailers be more competitive," said Jeff Gietzen, president of D&W Food Centers in Grand Rapids, Mich., and chairperson of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council. "Many retailing channels are recognizing this, and this new Coca-Cola study gives all food retailers ways to start immediately on their own programs," he added.
 This is a new mindset for the industry, according to Council member Ron Floto, chairman and president of Kash n' Karry Food Stores in Tampa, Fla. "This study may be the beginning of a thought process whereby retailers, wholesalers and suppliers truly work together to cut costs. And that's the ultimate partnership to benefit not only us in the industry, but the customer as well," Floto said.
 While listing many new ideas, the study does not advocate an "all- or-nothing" approach. Dan Cavellier, vice president of Retail Trade Sales Development for Coca-Cola USA, said: "A distributor can selectively use the ideas in this study to meet individual needs. It's a menu of choices for reducing costs, and we believe everyone in the food business will find it helpful in one way or another."
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Randy Donaldson of Coca-Cola USA, 404-676-3853/
 (KO)


CO: The Coca-Cola Company; The Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council ST: California IN: REA SU:

BN-RA -- AT012 -- 6515 01/19/93 15:54 EST
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Date:Jan 19, 1993
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