Headquartered in Commerce, California, Smart & Final Stores, Inc. (Smart & Final) is a multi-billion-dollar chain of warehouse-style food and supply stores. Over the past 145 years, Smart & Final has developed through a series of mergers and expansions and the company now operates approximately 304 grocery and foodservice stores under the “Smart & Final,” “Smart & Final Extra!” and “Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice” banners throughout the Western United States and Northern Mexico. While Smart & Final stores target both households and businesses, Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice stores are primarily focused on serving foodservice professionals, operators of small restaurants, catering companies, businesses and nonprofits.
The company needed a modern solution that would provide an intuitive and secure interface in order to establish structure and a defined automated process for its strategic sourcing, which was previously handled in traditional fashion. In addition, Smart & Final required full event traceability for audit or reference purposes.
In November 2012, Smart & Final turned to Neogrid, a global technology provider of end-to-end supply chain management solutions, and its e-sourcing solution. Neogrid Strategic Sourcing is a secure, cloud-based software that offers easy event creation and unique, real-time communication. The software’s RFx functionality (covering Surveys, RFIs, RFPs and RFQs) includes multi-round events, customizable template library, questions weight and supplier scoring, event-trigger emails and messages and event reporting.
Neogrid’s professional services consultant gathered customer information and configured Smart & Final’s account in Neogrid Strategic Sourcing within one week. Neogrid also provides continuous 24-hour, 5-day-a-week support for the U.S.-based Smart & Final e-sourcing team to ensure quick, easy event creation for a rapid return on investment.
Frank Rizzi, director of strategic sourcing, Smart & Final, said, “At Smart & Final, we strongly believe in putting the customer first. Neogrid’s full-service management team and Neogrid Strategic Sourcing solution offers a standardized, repeatable process that has assisted us in doing just that.”
The intuitive platform, pre-designed templates and easy reporting functionalities allowed Smart & Final to increase its e-sourcing activity by 48 percent since implementation. The increased activity was managed without adding any additional resources to its procurement team. That means in a single week, a user can run an average of three and a half esourcing events and negotiate with 20 suppliers simultaneously.
“With our growth, supplier diversity has become extremely important. Our size has created capability challenges with previous suppliers, and as a result of our size, new suppliers are lining up daily to work with us,” concludes Rizzi.