PROFILE

Dan Raftery

President, Raftery Resource Network Inc.

Dan has been a management and research consultant since 1986. He started his first consulting firm, Prime Consulting Group, in 1996 and turned it over to his partner in 2003 when he launched Raftery Resource Network.

R2N is a diverse team of independent professionals from consumer goods production and distribution industries, who solve business problems for clients in any segment of the supply chain. R2N functions as change agent for innovative solutions tailored to the individual client .

Dan has authored over three-dozen reports on a variety of leading-edge subjects for food, drug and housewares industry associations. For individual companies, he and his network team deliver custom assignments for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and service providers to the consumer goods industry. Dan is a regular columnist and featured writer for Advantage magazine.

Dan’s history in the food industry began in the mid-sixties in supermarket retailing. In 1985, Dan moved to Willard Bishop Consulting, Ltd., where he contributed to industry initiatives such as Efficient Consumer Response, Category Management, and Frequency Marketing. At Prime, Dan consulted to several key industry committees including those on invoice accuracy, pallet costs, and unsaleables. He has been the principal consultant on several industry reports in these areas and others, such as the NACDS/American Greetings Research Council and the FMI/GMA Case Pack Optimization Work Group. Dan regularly contributes to industry conferences and facilitates executive share groups and cross-functional action teams inside client organizations.

Dan can be reached by phone at 847-838-1177 or by email at [email protected]

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  • Posted on: 04/07/2017

    Should stores charge customers extra to use disposable cups?

    With the Dublin study showing only 12.5% increase in reusable cups, I'd say the way to change behavior is still unknown. We are a disposable society. The solution will need to fit that mold, not try to change it.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2017

    Why is digital advertising underachieving?

    The biggest problem here is the notion that there should be a transition, as stated in the question. Rather, it should be approached as an additional ad channel, mainly because of the increasing fragmentation in society. The mass market is no longer reachable by advertising in one or two channels.On the plus side, if you can define your segment as one that lives in the digital space, then you would transition to digital. Marketers find it increasingly complicated, for sure. Don't expect this to change any time soon.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2017

    BrainTrust throwdown: Is it inevitable that tech companies will dominate retail?

    I'm with Ryan on this one. Grocery retailers have traditionally been slow to adopt new technology systems, especially ones that seem to simply replace legacy systems that have not been fully amortized. Which explains how a transportation company with evolving, state-of-the-art IT (Amazon) could swoop in from the perimeter and threaten the survival of physical stores.Amazon has been pushing GM manufacturers to ship in "consumer-ready" packaging for a couple of years. Now they are talking with CPGs about this. I'm pretty sure Amazon isn't paying for the extra packaging."Enabled consumers" are the rage, but not the majority now and may never be. The future will still have a place for stores because they make life easier for everyone.Sure, the Anderson Consulting Store of the Future would be great and the IoT leans in that direction. But after all the VC money is burned, who will pay for the additional inefficiencies inherent in a direct to consumer supply chain?
  • Posted on: 04/04/2017

    Why haven’t customer surveys gone mobile?

    See above for lots of thoughtful comments and solid suggestions for succeeding in the digital survey approach. For sure, this method has not become the hoped-for go-to.Having done shopper surveys since before PCs came on the scene (Yes, they were highly manual and slow), I offer the following additional observations about surveys that may have been forgotten or discarded as too "old-minded."
    1. All survey cohorts are biased. Data relevancy is dependent on managing all aspects of the survey -- contact, length, questions, etc. -- to control for the desired level and type of bias.
    2. Face-to-face answers are different. Regardless of the method of non-personal data collection, people simply respond differently when talking with a real survey taker.
    3. People forget facts quickly but remember feelings for a time. If you want facts, you need to ask your questions right after the event you are studying. Store intercepts were my favorite. If you want residual feelings, you can wait a day or two.
    4. Everybody is too busy to take your survey. Unless they have a gripe, of course. For all others, you need to pay for their time. Cash works.
    There are plenty more, but I'm thinking no one is reading this, so I'll sign off now and go do the Dunkin' Donuts and the USPS surveys I got so far today. And now that I'm really worked up, they're going to get a piece of my mind.
  • Posted on: 03/10/2017

    Can calls for food transparency be answered digitally?

    SmartLabel is a great way for consumers who want to learn more about product ingredients to easily tap into a database dedicated to this purpose. And the all-important package graphics do not need to be compromised much. This should make everyone happy.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2017

    Has Walmart found a digital answer for empty store shelves?

    Agree with most of the challenging observations posted so far and add a positive one. The endless aisle concept is likely one of the reasons for Best Buy's turnaround. But they did not use it to cover for out of stocks as much as extending the in-store variety offering. Big difference. So is the sales person usage of the interface. Those elements differentiate the offering from what shoppers can easily do for themselves.
  • Posted on: 03/08/2017

    Will Dick’s Sporting Goods win by cutting SKUs?

    I'm with Phil Masiello on this. Vendor rationalization based on "investing" has never worked. This is all invisible to the shopper. Dick's risks becoming completely invisible and not in the popular "transparent" way. Even SKU rationalization is risky because there is a tendency to slip into vendor RAT. Margin dollars should rule retail, not margin percent.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Are chains cannibalizing their own in-store sales with e-commerce?

    I'll join the chorus. It would only be cannibalization if there was only one retailer. It's called competition and yes, that it the crux of the issue for any individual retailer. But I'd rather compete with myself.Another point here - Except for the "food deserts" we have been in an over-stored condition for awhile. Online has simply become the agent of natural selection.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2017

    Why in-store merchandising has to change

    Thoughtful comments by all, especially Mark Heckman's set-up. Pretty much all of the about points are correct and show the complexity of the challenge for the retail store. Efficient shopping vs. linger awhile. Planned purchase vs. impulse. Top margin items or top sellers at eye level. And on and on.Building on Heckman's qualitative recommendation, wise retailers find out what shoppers like and dislike about their stores and the competition; then make major changes or small tweaks with the feedback.Having delivered several projects like this for supermarket operators, one interesting conclusion was repeatedly drawn. Shopper perception does not always line up with fact. So, relying exclusively on quantitative data may not be the best way to attract new shoppers and keep the old ones.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2017

    Are vendors and stores headed for a fight over Amazon?

    Manufacturers who have resisted online sales or hesitated to distribute through Amazon either have unique products or have only a few more years to be in business. Selling through Amazon is much more complicated than just protecting a relationship with brick-and-mortar retailers. And it gets more complex each day.Oh, and any manufacturer who thinks their products are not available on Amazon must have been in the other Amazon for the past few years.Did anyone notice what Walmart.com did last week with their recent acquisition of Jet.com?
  • Posted on: 01/19/2017

    Will Walmart’s Scan & Go catch on this time around?

    A lot of good discussion here about what it will take for Scan & Go to succeed this time around, but little comment on shopper demographics. I'm not sure the same demographics apply to Amazon Go, Sam's Club and Walmart shoppers. Since this is leading-edge technology and Walmart is a mass retailer, it seems that scale might be an issue here. On the other side of the question, what would probably kill it again would be higher shrink in test stores.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    How will Walgreens benefit from its FedEx drop-off/pickup deal?

    Seems like another solid step forward in their march to be the neighborhood store. Could a similar arrangement with UPS be next?
  • Posted on: 01/11/2017

    Are reports on the death of newspapers greatly exaggerated?

    The data contain a spark of good news for marketers who recognize that mass marketing has diffused, but still exists. They are the ones quietly adding bench strength with individual focus and expertise in the various communication channels available right now. Often without the comfort of a measurable ROI.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2017

    Amazon, Hy-Vee and Safeway among retailers in USDA online food stamp test

    As the grocery industry continues to discover digital commerce, it just makes a whole lot of sense to make a payment option available to 60 million U.S. consumers, totaling $80 billion in 2015. Excluding the delivery charge should not be part of this discussion, just like covering the cost of gasoline is not. I expect to see online "food stamp" usage become even more important as Boomers age at home and forget where the grocery store is located.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2017

    What do Millennials want in store design?

    I'm with Chris Peterson on this one. Age is not a factor for these attributes. And I'm with several other contributors in cautioning against stereotyping this or any cohort for physical retail. The first step is to know your customers. The second is to learn what they want. Your customers first, then your competitors' customers.

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