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Skyers invites suppliers to help co-create Wakefern’s ‘store of the community’ model at June Elevation Forum meeting

BY DSN STAFF

Photo at bottom right: Elevation Forum founder Dan Mack with Wakefern VP health and beauty care Chris Skyers and category managers Anthony DiTaranto, Amanda Hoffman, Neetu Aneja and Nick Lenker.

 

NEWARK, N.J. — The American consumer has an extreme case of Attention Deficit Disorder. And though it may be largely self-inflicted, it nonetheless makes the job of breaking through exponentially more difficult for retailers and brand marketers.

“People spend 46.9% of their waking hours distracted,” said Elevation Forum founder, strategist and coach Dan Mack, firing the opening salvo last month at the most recent meeting of Mack’s Elevation Forum, which assembles leading sales and marketing executives from a number of fast-growing health and beauty companies in the CPG industry, to examine emerging trends and challenges, and explore new opportunities for growth in the market. “Ninety-one percent of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach every hour of every day. We are literally training ourselves to be distracted and losing the ability to remain present. And it costs us.” 

Headlining the June 8 event was Wakefern VP of health and beauty care Chris Skyers and four members of his team — category managers Amanda Hoffman, Anthony DiTaranto, Nick Lenker and Neetu Aneja — who talked about why their company is distinct, how it has become an “innovation incubator” for the industry, and why it’s becoming more important for retailers and manufacturers to partner and co-create innovation on behalf of the consumer.

“We are a purpose-first organization, that’s why we are special,” Skyers explained. “How can we inspire you and your team? The best partnerships are ones where companies each have their own purpose and initiatives. The fun is aligning our purpose with theirs [and creating] a solution for the customer. How can you help us optimize our purpose driven Store of the Community model?”

According to Skyers, the future of beauty in the supermarket channel lies in “refined assortments based on consumers in community. Every neighborhood deserves a custom assortment. It is important that you share your brand story in such a way that we can effectively bring it to our store owners,” he said.

Forum members followed Skyers’ remarks with an in-depth discussion on the critical importance of co-creation in the innovation process. Citing data from Bellomy Research, Mack noted, “70% of consumers want involvement in designing the products they buy. And 86% of consumers expect brands to be engaged with customers,” he said.

Co-creation is no longer a choice, Mack argued, calling it standard operating procedure for the very best organizations are partnering to drive radical innovation. But it requires an ongoing relationship and consistent communication between companies and customers of their brands. It also means remaining present in the broader innovation process. 

“How well do you carve out time to co-create with your top customers?” Mack asked. Companies that excel at co-creation tend to involve the customer very early in the process, enjoy the transparent sharing of ideas, offer uncommon insights, emphasize mutual learnings and make sure that they have the right people in the room during important meetings. Effective co-creation encourages deeper relationships, creativity, and forges larger relationships, Mack said.

“You should use co-creation to gain market and customer insights versus involving customers in concrete product development,” he explained, referring to research from BI Norwegian Business School. “The value of customer co-creation is that it deepens relationships and takes advantage of all the knowledge in the room. It is an art form and is a best practice.”

The next Elevation Forum will be held in September, in Bentonville, AR. Walmart VP of OTC marketing Annie Walker will be the featured speaker and the theme for September event will be “Leading in a 24/7 World.” For more information, visit http://mackelevationforum.com/.

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McKesson expands value-based payment technology with acquisition of HealthQX

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWTON, Mass. – Last month McKesson Health Solutions released a national study finding value-based reimbursement has firmly taken hold but that payers and providers are struggling to operationalize some of the fastest growing payment models.

In response, McKesson Health Solutions announced Tuesday it has expanded its portfolio to include ClarityQx value-based payment technology through the acquisition of HealthQX. This technology enhances McKesson’s ability to help customers rapidly and cost-effectively transition to value-based care by automating and scaling complex payment models, such as retrospective and prospective bundled payment.

“The growth of bundled payment is something payers and providers can’t ignore, and we want to ensure our customers have all the tools they need to succeed,” stated Carolyn Wukitch, SVP McKesson Health Solutions. “These new value-based payment analytics, reconciliation and automation capabilities complement our value-based reimbursement suite, because they give our customers the capabilities to prepare for and scale bundled payment.”

Payers and providers are under immense pressure to operationalize bundled payments. Bundled payment is projected to be 17% of medical reimbursement by 2021, making it the fastest growing payment model. And the CMS is now mandating bundled payment in one out of every five metropolitan areas as part of its goal to make alternative payment 50% of reimbursement by 2018. Yet just half of payers and only 40% of providers are ready to implement bundles, and nearly 75% don’t have the tools they need to automate these complex models.

Now, with the addition of ClarityQx, McKesson can offer health plans a more complete portfolio that can automate their medical policy, payment policy, value-based reimbursement models, provider management and contract management.

Health plans use ClarityQx for analytics and for automation of retrospective bundled payment models and McKesson’s Episode Management to support automation of prospective bundled payment. Pairing ClarityQx with McKesson’s Episode Management gives health plans the ability to automate retrospective bundled payment processes today and move to prospective payment as they are ready.

In addition to ClarityQx, McKesson’s Network and Financial Management portfolio also includes McKesson Episode Management prospective bundled payment automation solution, McKesson ClaimsXten advanced claims auditing rules engine, McKesson Reimbursement Manager, McKesson Contract Manager, McKesson Provider Manager and McKesson Payer Connectivity Services.

ClarityQx was developed by HealthQX, a vendor of value-based payment analytic solutions for health plans and providers, which McKesson acquired in June.
 

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Western Union renews deal with Rite Aid

BY Michael Johnsen

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Western Union on Tuesday announced the renewal of its relationship with Rite Aid.

Consumers at Rite Aid locations will continue to have the ability to send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions across the United States or across the globe to more than 200 countries and territories, in minutes.

In addition, consumers can purchase money orders and pay their bills at Rite Aid locations nationwide.
“At Rite Aid, we are committed to meeting not only the health and wellness needs of our customers and communities, but their everyday needs, too," stated Tony Sadler, VP store operations Rite Aid. "Our relationship with Western Union allows us to offer customers even more value by providing a reliable option when it comes to moving money or facilitating bill payments, with convenience and a high level of customer service.”
 

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