Just back from a visit to the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) offices in Washington, DC (KANE is an associate member). Interesting stuff. GMA is made up primarily of food and beverage manufacturers, as well as other manufacturers who sell through grocery stores and mass retailers. They represent the interests of these companies and act as the unified industry voice delivering value to members' bottom lines.
We were intrigued about joining the association because of our market focus on consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. We actively want to understand all issues that our customers face in delivering product to the store shelf. During our visit, we were encouraged to learn of GMA's significant focus on logistics and the supply chain. Two areas in particular grabbed our attention:
GMA's Sustainability Working Group aims to shrink the CPG industry's environmental footprint by fostering collaboration throughout the CPG value chain, organizing educational opportunities and spotlighting industry successes and opportunities. The group's initiatives include development of sustainable packaging and freight consolidation.
GMA's Logistics Working Group promotes best practices on getting goods to the retail shelf quickly and economically. One of the initiatives this group is studying is collaborative distribution – bringing together multiple manufacturers to share warehouse and freight capacity. That's a strategy KANE has actively promoted and we hope to become even more involved by supporting GMA efforts to drive horizontal collaboration across the supply chain.
If you're a CPG manufacturer and you want to learn more about the GMA, check out its yearly supply chain conference, co-sponsored with The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), an association of grocery retailers. Typically held during the first quarter, it's a great, targeted conference for manufacturers of food, beverage and consumer products looking to develop more efficient supply chain processes with retail customers.