Case Lot Prep. – Learn how the Procurement Team’s Efforts Lead to Success

Last week, Team News gave a peek behind the curtain on how the distribution center prepares for case lot. This week, to continue the series, we spoke with the Associated Food Stores (AFS) procurement team to get their take on case lot prep.  

Like the distribution center, case lot is one of the biggest promotions the procurement team plans all year. I am truly grateful for Debbie Smith and our entire procurement team for all of the hard work and effort that they put into making this event successful each year!,” said Todd Bell, vice president of procurement.  

Manufacturer Projections 

  • Four to five months before case lot, the procurement team prepares manufacturer projections on product commitment. This is a critical step to allow any items that have supply or shipping issues to be removed from the ad.  

Distribution Operations Planning 

  • Working with the Farr West Distribution Center ops. team, the procurement group plans when retailer pre-committed orders will be pre-pulled so purchase orders can be placed. This information allows the logistics team to source the carriers needed to pick up the product and avoid an influx of inventory all arriving at the same time.  

Commit Team 

  • Managing all the commit orders that come into the system prior to case lot is no small task. Often, there are pallets and displays that are not available. This forces the team to manually delete items out of the system to ship open stock to retail instead. They work extremely hard on behalf of AFS retail members to make sure that they have as much product as possible 
  • Special thanks to Dari Perry, Tina Devisser, and Dez Skinner for their efforts in making case lot successful.  

Additional Orders Received 

  • Once the initial committed product is shipped, AFS buyers continue to monitor the orders coming in. If demand appears that it will exceed projections, orders can be placed immediately in hopes of expediting it before product runs out of stock in the distribution center.