Last year, an idea to have a Philippine Association of Supermarkets Inc. (PASI) awards for well-performing manufacturers/suppliers in the area of trade servicing was hatched. Twelve months after or during the recently concluded association conference at the Marco Polo Davao, the PASI Kabalikat Awards was formally launched.
“Kabalikat” is a Filipino word that stands for partnership. Hence, the awards program gives recognition to manufacturers and suppliers who are outstanding and consistent when it comes to the identified award categories.
These manufacturers and suppliers are grouped together based on the size or volume of their business with the trade. The largest 20 make up the Major Suppliers Division and the rest, the Key Suppliers Division.
The Kabalikat Awards highlights six areas for recognition. These are Coverage, Service Level, Promotions and Merchandising, Contribution to Growth, Data Alignment, and Innovations. Through this, the association believes that consumers can be better served.
When manufacturers and suppliers are given regular feedback on their trade servicing performance, improvements will be in order. And with the association’s nationwide presence, the Kabalikat Awards will carry with it the prestige of being outstanding on a national scale.
How does Kabalikat Awards work? All PASI members vote for their top suppliers in each category every month. Votes are collated and are then sent to manufacturers/suppliers via electronic mail.
The recipients can only view their score relative to the average, median, and the minimum and maximum scores in a category. After the end of the voting period (monthly), all votes for the year are tallied. The manufacturer/supplier who garners the highest number of points in a category is declared as best performing for the category.
First and second runners up are also given recognition. Winners are announced during the association’s annual conference.
In total, there are 36 awards (Gold, Silver, Bronze for each category with six categories and two divisions), plus 3 Overall PASI Kabalikat Awards.
Manufacturers/suppliers are expected to respond positively to the awards program. The PASI Kabalikat Awards veers away from the traditional award criteria based on trade support given to a retailer. It promotes excellence in sales coverage and trade marketing practices as well as efficient consumer response initiatives.
From a business development perspective, periodic performance feedback is the cornerstone for service excellence. The association has adopted this approach as a way of aligning manufacturer/supplier and retailer objectives with regard to consumer delight. The two must begin to view each other as partners in a common endeavor. When the consumer wins, everyone in the supply chain wins.
In recent years however, trade servicing has been reconfigured to align with key accounts management initiatives. Manufacturers/suppliers began to focus more on directly servicing retail accounts based on sales volume. The rest with smaller volumes were assigned to distributors.
With this development, trade servicing took on its own course with volume as the driver for what is perceived to be good account servicing. Less volume meant less trade service coverage. From a consumer standpoint, this does not make sense. A consumer in any segment and in any location deserves equal access and treatment.
Hence, the birth of the PASI Kabalikat Awards across formats and across geographical locations. Consider this as a first step in a long journey, a first step to bring balance to a business environment dominated by retail giants, fragmented with the continued survival and even growth of niche retailers, and traditional channels that have remained intact despite the encroachment of what we all now call modern trade.
In the end, there is only one consumer and one market: the Filipino consumer.
Print ed: 09/10