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ECRM rolls out ‘Efficient Supplier Introductions’

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SOLON, Ohio — ECRM is introducing a technological solution designed to allow retailers and their buyers to maintain connections despite travel restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Efficient Supplier Introductions (ESI) are category-specific live virtual experiences during which suppliers present their products directly to category buyers.

“When the coronavirus pandemic started gaining momentum, we reached out to our buyer and seller community to learn what challenges they were facing,” said Kurt Repola, senior vice president of Marketing for ECRM. “For buyers, there was a surge of activities in the essential categories and resulting out of stocks, plus obviously there is the inability to travel that we are all facing. But the biggest pain point is a lack of time as many buyers are pitching in to help store operations. And because of this, for the supplier community, there is a lack of access. So we developed the ESIs to help these buyers source products virtually — including those essential products for which they may be out of stock — in a way that is not time-consuming and can be done from their home or office. For suppliers, it provides the access and engagement they may have trouble getting otherwise.”

How ESIs Work
For buyers, the ESI consists of a 2-hour presentation featuring 10 different category-specific suppliers, each presenting their capabilities in 10-minute increments. They have the option to present via video, slide deck or screen share or a combination of all three, depending on their needs.

An ECRM moderator will control the entry and exit of each participating supplier to ensure that each meetings begins and ends on schedule, and will facilitate buyer questions through the integrated chat feature.

When a buyer registers for an ESI, they have the opportunity to suggest specific suppliers listed on RangeMe they would like to see invited to the meeting. In advance of the ESI, each participating buyer will receive a schedule indicating the order of each supplier along with a link to that supplier’s RangeMe profile so they can prepare beforehand. In addition, the buyer Client Success Manager or Retail Director will offer tutorials, best practices and assistance as needed.
On the supplier side, each participant will have the opportunity to deliver a 10-minute presentation to relevant category buyers from multiple retailers, with their entry and exit controlled by an ECRM moderator.

Prior to the ESI, each participating supplier will have visibility into the participating retailers along with any information about the retailers needs and objectives that are shared with the ECRM team. Following the meeting, each participating supplier will receive the contact information for all participating buyers.

RangeMe will serve as the platform to compliment follow-up, including buyer sample requests, requests to meet at future ECRM programs and any additional next steps.

There is no cost to participate for buyers; we simply ask that each buyer participant commit to attendance for the full duration of the ESI. For suppliers, ECRM has created a range of low-cost options, with 25% discounts for RangeMe Premium members and 50% discounts for ECRM Program participants. For more details or to register, please see the links below:

Grocery & Foodservice ESIs
Includes the following categories of products:

  • Beverages: CBD, Coffee (Dry/Shelf Stable), Functional, Refrigerated, Wine, Beer, Spirits, Tea (Dry/Shelf stable)
  • Center Store: Snacks-Functional & Better for you; Snacks-Plant Based, CBD (Foods/Consumables), Valentines Day Candy, Condiments & Sauces, Baking, Ethnic Foods,
  • Snacks-Private Label
  • Foodservice: Fresh, Ingredients & Menu Offerings, Campus – Snacks & Packaged Goods,
  • Campus – Ingredients & Dining Menu Offerings, Frozen
  • Perimeter: Frozen- Keto, Paleo & Gluten-Free, Seafood (frozen & fresh), Dairy, Frozen-Ice Cream/Novelties, Bakery, Deli, Meat (Fresh & Frozen), Frozen- Plant Based/Vegan/Vegetarian, Prepared Foods & Meal Kits

General Merchandise ESIs
Includes the following categories of products:

  • Household Products: All Purpose Cleaners; Sanitizers/Disinfecting Wipes; All Natural
  • Cleaning; Laundry; Kitchen Cleaners; Air Fresheners/Air Care; Cleaning Tools/Accessories
  • Paper Products: Bath & Facial Tissue; Paper Towels, Napkins, Paper
  • PlatesCamping: Serving/Eating/Drinking Equipment
  • Housewares: Kitchen Storage; Kitchenwares/Food Preparation; Tableware –Serving/Eating/Drinking Equipment; Water Purification/Beverage Equipment
  • Home & Office: Stationary
  • Toys: STEM/STEAM; Sustainable/USA; Ecommerce/DSD; Arts & Crafts; Learning & Sensory Toys
  • Pet Products: Pet Products: Dog Suppleents/Remedies; Cat Supplements/Remedies; Dog Treats/Chews/Rawhides; Dog Food Advanced/Alternative
  • Home: Candles; Decor/Ornaments; Wall Furnishing/Frames; Plants
  • Impulse: Front-End ESI
  • Emerging Tech: Suitcase, Backpacks, Compt Bags, Cases, Travel; Innovative Tech Accessories
  • Outdoor Living: Outdoor Living: Coolers/Grill Accessories
  • Sports: Sports Equipment Accessories

Health & Beauty Care ESIs:
Includes the following categories of products:

  • Cough Cold & Health: Hand Sanitizers; Pain Reliever, Fever; Immunity; First Aid: First Aid Kits, Isopropyl Alcohol, Thermometers; Cough, Cold and Flu Remedies; Pediatrics; Natural Remedy/Homeopathic; International Sourcing – Health
  • Vitamin: Weight Management; Energy, Protein, Recovery Drinks; Herbal Supplements; Vitamin
  • Whole Body & Mind: Yoga and Meditation; Aroma Therapy; Cognitive Health; Fitness and
  • Muscle Therapy; Self Care and Spa Tools
  • Cosmetics, Fragrance & Bath: Vegan Cosmetics; Everyday Bath; Color Cosmetics;
  • International Sourcing – Beauty; Cosmetics Accessories; Bath Accessories; Fragrance
  • Skin, Hair, Personal Care: Natural Bath & Body/Personal Cleanliness; Natural Skin Care;
  • Multicultural Hair; Hair Accessories; International Sourcing – Personal Care

Pharmacy ESIs 
Includes the following categories of products:

  • Home Health Care: Hearing Aids/Hearing Devices; At-home Testing/Diagnostics; Diabetes-related Products; Connected Health; Adult Incontinence; Mobility/Bath Safety; Daily Living Aids; Compliance Products; Wound Care

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