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: 06/26/2017

    Is e-commerce making vendor compliance programs more important?

    The question is a bit misleading. The e-commerce supply chain is different than the traditional supply chain, notably in the delivery and inventory management components. Penalty charge-backs are a long hangover from the ECR party. At one time this form of negative reinforcement may have been a good idea to fix problems that all the positives of ECR left out. But now non-compliance charge-backs are simply a way to keep leaking boat businesses afloat. Chris Petersen notes that "in-stocks are the fastest way of growing revenue for both the retailer and the vendor." So maybe vendors should start adding up charges to their invoices when retailers are not compliant with planograms, or when they can't replenish shelf stock on time.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2017

    Can Walmart workers deliver better last mile results on their way home from work?

    This experiment will go away quickly. Professional delivery people are trained in how to deal with a range of hazards. I'm pretty sure Walmart employees are not.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2017

    Are off-pricers immune to apparel’s challenges?

    Off-price apparel retailers are in the cat-bird seat for at least the near term, possibly longer if they participate more aggressively in the online market. Add these to all the reasons in Tom Ryan's piece: immediate gratification and the shopping trip as entertainment. I fully expect more forays into off-price by the traditional retailers if they are to survive.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Is ‘Building the New Blue’ the right plan to complete Best Buy’s transformation?

    Rather than complain about "showrooming," Best Buy figured out how to play in the new marketplace and attract the empowered consumer. Investing outside the physical store is tough for most retailers to swallow, but Best Buy has done it wisely and it sounds like more of the same is planned for the future. Flexibility is the key to their success. If they can sustain that, they should be able to remain relevant.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2017

    Will Google change the game by linking clicks to in-store purchases?

    As Google, Amazon and Facebook advance their capabilities in this area, it will be important for some smart people to start developing hypotheses to actually test in this environment. There are two reasons: 1.) While this technology is definitely cool, it runs the risk of being labeled as a new technology in search of a meaningful application. One simple example would be to define the level of conversion that has a payback. 2.) Privacy advocates handcuffed retailer loyalty program data mining in the early days. Something very similar could occur here, especially given the additional concerns surrounding financial transaction security and hacking.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2017

    Will Five Below strike gold in California?

    Adding stores is only one part of a long-term strategy for surviving in today's shifting market place. Same-store sales need to hold up as well. That means continuing to attract their target market, which seems pretty limited and is one of the most fickle.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Will consumers finally pay for service?

    A segment of our society has always been willing to pay for service. But not, as some have suggested, a separate charge. Being able to afford buying the same thing for a higher retail in a higher service environment has been a status symbol forever.The challenge for higher-margin/service retailers is the erosion of this consumer group. Free delivery, extreme promotions, special events like Cyber Monday, Black Friday, etc, etc. bombard us daily. Even the upper crust is crumbling under this relentless message.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2017

    Should Amazon’s third-party sellers worry about Amazon?

    Amazon has proven to be the go-to place for an increasingly large share of shopping "trips," even though the fluidity of this marketplace causes issues for both sides of the buy/sell event. So far this doesn't seem to matter much. Although, some suppliers have implemented tighter buying contracts and Amazon has made a number of changes to cull out troublesome third-party sellers.This is not likely to slow down, maybe ever. So if the third-party seller is a rogue then yes, they should worry. Unfortunately, even legitimate vendors can get caught up in Amazon's monitoring processes. Vigilance is the key.
  • 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.

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