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An invitation for suppliers to innovate

Jason Tarry

Chief Product Officer
Welwyn Garden City, UK

11 May 2016

It’s been a year since I last stood up in front of suppliers at the Tesco IGD Trade Briefing and set out some of the things we’d do differently as a business. Today, I’ll be speaking to many of the same suppliers again. It’s great to be able to go back and highlight some of the fantastic things we’ve achieved together over the last twelve months, as well as set out some of the exciting new improvements we have planned for the coming year.

We’ve done a lot to change how we operate as a business and as a Product department. We changed the structure and are a new team whose ambition it is to be known as fair, professional, knowledgeable and helpful.

We’ve also made lots of improvements including becoming the first UK retailer to publish our payment terms with our suppliers, resulting in a fair, transparent and consistent approach across the supply base. As part of this, we introduced payment terms of 14 days for hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses across the UK. We’ve also grown our Supplier Network to more than 5,000 members, and have set up a special helpline for suppliers to solve any issues which might arise, within 48 hours.

These improvements haven’t gone unnoticed with our suppliers, with more and more telling us they feel more positive about their relationship with us. I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made, but my team and I know there’s more to do. We need to ensure more suppliers find Tesco simple, transparent and easy to deal with and give them the confidence to invest in innovation that’s right for our customers.  

"We need to ensure more suppliers find Tesco simple, transparent and easy to deal with"

So what’s next? 

If last year was characterised by lots of change,  this year its about building on that. We’re completely focused on serving customers a little better every day, and we want to help our suppliers focus on that too. That's why we’re launching a new food invoice query team which will be a single point of contact for price and invoice queries with the ability to resolve issues with speed. 

And we’re also introducing a dedicated team to help new suppliers during their first six months working with Tesco. As many small businesses will tell you, it can be quite daunting working with a large company for the first time, so we hope suppliers can draw on our knowledge and expertise in those crucial first months.

By building trusted and transparent partnerships, we want to free up our suppliers to concentrate on what they do best. 

"We want to free up our suppliers to concentrate on what they do best"

Innovate. Use their expertise. Help us develop unique and differentiated products for our customers.

It’s only by working more closely and simply together to grow our shared business, we can focus on the things which are important to our customers. 

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