Monday, October 22, 2018

SUPERVALU and UNFI


SUPERVALU is now part of UNFI. The transformative transaction we announced in July has successfully closed. This afternoon we issued a press release which you can read here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/unfi-completes-transformative-acquisition-of-supervalu-300735117.html

Today marks a significant day in our combined companies’ history; together, UNFI and SUPERVALU emerge as North America’s preeminent food wholesaler. We look forward to engaging you as we execute our “build out the store” growth strategy and deliver for our customers. Together, we’ll bring retailers the best of both companies: a complete, store-wide product offering, innovative natural, organic, multi-cultural and private brand products, and a full suite of professional services, all backed by our industry expertise, vast distribution network, and associates’ commitment. These competitive advantages position our customers for sustained success.

Our suppliers play a critical role in our retailers’ operations, and the new company’s size and scale represents additional opportunities for you.  We now serve over 45,000 stores in all 50 states, as well as Canada, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Our 250,000 SKUs and 5,000+ private brand products span the entire store. We’ll have immediate cross-selling capability as a result. Our teams are eager to discuss how we can best serve our customers going forward.

We’re excited to work with you and share future plans as we integrate these two great organizations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Supplier Management team with any questions.

Friday, October 19, 2018

October 2018 Supplier Update

UNFI & SUPERVALU

On July 25, 2018, UNFI entered into an agreement to acquire SUPERVALU.  Since then, our respective teams have been planning for a smooth integration of our two businesses.  Once complete, this transaction will transform the combined company into North America’s premier wholesale distributor for our diversified and long-tenured customers.

SUPERVALU announced yesterday that the acquisition is expected to close on October 22, 2018. As an important supplier to UNFI and/or SUPERVALU we wanted to provide you with some key information before the transaction closes.

Specifically, please note that:
  • You will continue to receive P.O.’s for both UNFI and SUPERVALU Distribution Center locations separately.   
  • UNFI will continue to use the same DUNS numbers that either UNFI or SUPERVALU are using today. 
  • Supplier payment terms in place at both companies have been reviewed.  In general, the most favorable UNFI/SUPERVALU terms will be applied to all P.O.’s received after 12:01AM October 22, 2018 (or the date the transaction closes, if later).
  • Supplier agreements and other programs have been reviewed as part of the integration planning process.  After the closing, our supplier management teams will be reaching out to you to discuss the agreements in place and next steps related to our combined purchases.
  • Please continue to work with the respective UNFI or SUPERVALU supplier management, merchandising and procurement contacts that you currently do to conduct business now and after closing.


Once the transaction is finalized, we’ll be in touch with more details and information. Bringing together UNFI and SUPERVALU is a significant and exciting undertaking.  Thank you in advance for your assistance in helping us make this successful.  Your continued support to ensure the strong execution of current plans and programs is expected and appreciated. 

Supplier Management (SM) Updates

An updated list of UNFI Supplier Managers (SMs), contact info, line, and category assignments can be found here on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.

Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) Updates

An updated list of UNFI Inventory Planning and Replenishment contacts and assignments can be found here on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.

Customer Moves 

To improve our customer experience, UNFI is making the following customer moves for picking and shipping orders.

  • Three Whole Foods NorCal stores have moved from Rocklin to Gilroy effective 9/30/18
  • Earth Fare refrigerated, frozen, and repack items (bars, HBC, and supplements) have been moved from Atlanta to Richburg effective 9/30/18
  • Fairway specialty business will be moved from Hudson Valley to Dayville to consolidate the customer into one DC effective 10/22/18


Purchase Order Confirmations

Please see these frequently asked questions about the Purchase Order (P.O.) confirmation process.  By confirming a P.O., you are confirming receipt of the P.O. itself.  If there are disputes regarding quantity, pricing, and/or pick-up/ETA date, please reach out directly to your buyer or buyer’s assistant.

Q. How long do I have to confirm a P.O.?
A. 24 business hours from P.O. receipt.

Q. As a supplier, where do I send P.O. confirmations?
A. P.O. confirmations should be sent to either iparconfeast@unfi.com or iparconf@unfi.com.  Please see P.O. cover sheet to determine the correct e-mail for your P.O..

Q. Why is it important that I confirm a P.O.?
A. UNFI needs to know that you have received the P.O. for logistical planning, i.e. arranging pick-up or appointment planning at the DC.

Q. If revisions are necessary for the P.O. such as quantity, pricing, or ETA, who do I reach out to?
A. You should reach out directly to the buyer assigned to your orders.  UNFI item number is required on all communications regarding quantity or item discrepancies.

Q. What if I don’t know who my buyer is?
A. The name of your buyer is referenced on the P.O. that is sent to you.

Deductions and Accounts Payable Responsibilities 


Accounts Payable

Please click here to see the most recent AP representative updates.  Here is a list of subjects to reach out to AP with questions on:

  • Pay Terms – East & West
  • Payment Inquiries – East & West
  • RTVs (IDPs) – West Only
  • Concealed Damages
  • Detention Fees – East & West
  • Invoice Chargebacks – West Only
  • ClearVue/Spoils/Freight Allowances – West Only
  • Pallet Payments – East & West

Deductions

All deduction disputes require this form and backup be sent to deductions@unfi.com.  All requests for backup on deductions should be sent to deductionsbackup@unfi.com.  Please note “BACKUP REQUEST” in the subject line and state in the body of the e-mail the full deduction invoice number while attaching a copy of the check stub associated with the payment in which the deduction was taken.

All inquiries on deductions listed here or those listed below should go through the Deductions team.

  • RTVs (IDPs) – East Only
  • Invoice Chargebacks – East Only
  • ClearVue/Spoils/Freight Allowances – East Only


IX-ONE Update

In order to support the ever-growing list of retailers who require and rely on IX-ONE membership from their suppliers, UNFI is asking all of our suppliers to join IX-ONE before year end.

IX-ONE is our industry’s choice for dependable product data and images.  If you are not familiar with their services, please visit their website here and then click here to begin the membership application process.

In addition to the very impressive list of retailers requiring IX-ONE membership, UNFI trusts IX-ONE data to:

  • Fuel our e-commerce content
  • Power our GDSN functionality
  • Drive our flyer programs
  • Expedite our item setup process

Suppliers not in IX-ONE are at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to suppliers whose products are cataloged within the IX-ONE exchange.

Click here to get started or here if you would like to request more information from IX-ONE.

Shipping and Handling Information

Please refer to UNFI’s Shipping and Handling Guide for details pertaining to packaging and shipping.

Labeling Requirements


  • All orders must be palletized.
  • All shipments must have a release/PO number and consignee name clearly marked on the front and back of each pallet.  This is very important as we consolidate freight for many of our divisions.
  • Each Bill of Lading must be accompanied by a detailed packing slip for each release/PO being delivered or picked up.

Shipping: Small Package Shipments


  • Cartons must be clearly marked with box count (1 of 2, 2 of 2, etc.)
  • A PO number must be written on each carton
  • A packing slip must accompany each PO.  If enclosed in carton, please clearly identify said carton.

Friday, September 7, 2018

September 2018 Supplier Management Updates

In order to serve our Supplier partners more efficiently, UNFI is announcing the following structural changes to our Supplier Management team effective immediately.  To see a complete line listing of the department, please click here.

Broadline Team


Maureen Hines – Director, Supplier Management, Broadline

Maureen has been promoted to Director and will now oversee the Supplier Management teams reporting to Chere Hedges in Rocklin, CA, Joseph Roy in Providence, RI, and the newly promoted to Group Manager, Amie Thayer in Chesterfield, NH.

Amie Thayer – National Group Manager, Broadline

Reporting to Maureen, Amie will manage a team of Ginger Lynch, Nicholas Clemente, Aaron May, Melissa Farkas, and Don Jenks.

Jared Clark – Supplier Manager, ClearVue 

Jared will be replacing Amie in managing a ClearVue desk.  His backfill will be named shortly.

Wellness Team


Lisa Madsen – Director, Supplier Management, Wellness

Lisa has been promoted to director and will now oversee both the integrated broadline team for Select, and a smaller team dedicated to suppliers unique to the Philadelphia and SNW DCs. Together, both teams will work to create programs and opportunities to expand the Wellness categories.

Nicole D’Amico – National Group Manager, Wellness

Reporting to Lisa, Nicole will oversee the team responsible for all brands unique to the Philadelphia and SNW DCs.  She will also manage our growing MAP Management program. Stephanie LaCasse will be the Supplier Manager for all brands that are unique to these DCs.

To Be Announced – National Group Manager, Wellness 

This person will report to Lisa and lead the rest of the integrated broadline Supplier Management team responsible for managing brands across all other DCs: Valarie Rozokat, Robyn Romano, Tracy French, Tracey O’Reilly, and Alana Mahdalik.

Support & Services Team


Nancy Semmelrock – Director, Supplier Support Services

Nancy has been promoted to Director and will now oversee the Supplier Support Services Team.  Julie Roper, Gail Moran, and Brenda Smith will report to her.

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 2018 Supplier Update

Supplier Management (SM) Updates

An updated list of UNFI Supplier Managers (SMs), contact info, line and category assignments can be found here on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.

Over the course of the next few months, the following Supplier Manager assignment changes will take place:

  • Candy will move from David Lotti to Kimberlee Prata
  • Canned Fish/Meat and Soups will move from Kimberlee Prata to Jessica Clancy
  • Frozen Pizza/Pasta will move from Lori Davis to Aaron May
  • Butter and Soft Cheese will move from Aaron May to Tracy Dearborn

Until you receive further communication, please continue to direct all questions to your current SM.

Inventory Planning and Replenishment (IPAR) Updates

An updated list of UNFI Inventory Planning and Replenishment contacts and assignments can be found here on UNFI’s Supplier Support Site.

UNFI Sales Team Updates

Please see the links below for the most current listing of UNFI Sales Reps for all three regions.

Atlantic Region Sales Directory
Central Region Sales Directory
Pacific Region Sales Directory

Late Disposition Fees

Managing slot space in our Distribution Centers (DCs) is extremely challenging given the number of items moving in and out on a daily basis.  In order to effectively control capacity, UNFI requires that any items discontinued by the supplier or that have undergone a UPC, size, and/or pack change be removed from our DCs within fourteen (14) days, or by the agreed upon pack change disposition date.  Suppliers may choose to pick up or donate these items.

Effective September 1, 2018, UNFI will assess a Late Disposition Fee to suppliers that have not made arrangements to have discontinued products picked up or donated within 14 days.  If items in question are due to a pack change, product must be dispositioned by the agreed upon disposition date to avoid the Late Disposition Fee.

The following fee schedule will apply:

  • 15-30 Days - $500 per item, per DC
  • 31-60 Days - $750 per item, per DC
  • Over 61 Days - $1,000 per item, per DC and immediate donation

Please reach out to your Supplier Manager for more information.

Turnover Order Process and Guidelines

UNFI has embarked on a two-phase approach to improve our Turnover Order Process.

Our first phase is effective immediately.  We are requesting that all turnover orders be submitted according to our UNFI National Order Form or on a form with a broker or supplier letterhead.  This letterhead must be in the exact same layout as the UNFI National Order Form.

We will be changing our current guidelines for the order processing lead time to 48 hours nationally.

All turnovers must include this information and follow these guidelines:

  • Broker/supplier rep name, phone number, company name, and e-mail address
  • All pertinent account information, Customer PO if required, ship date, UNFI item number(s), product description (including pack size), and discount information
Each form should have one order per account, per form, per ship date.  Please note that orders will not be processed unless there is a discount.

With any questions, please reach out to Michele Nielsen at mnielsen@unfi.com.

Food Safety and Quality Update: Recalls and Withdrawals

UNFI is dedicated to ensuring safe, quality food for the general public and fully supports your efforts in guaranteeing the same.

We highly encourage you to review the link below to familiarize yourself with the new processes.  Highlights include required supplier and product information, fees associated, supplier communication expectations, and UNFI main contacts.

Product Recall & Withdrawal Policy

We will go live with our revamped Recalls and Withdrawals Policy on July 30, 2018.  With questions and concerns, please contact Ahhria Fosdyck, National Director of Food Safety & Quality, at afosdyck@unfi.com.

Select Wellness Update

As the landscape for wellness categories continues to change and evolve, we must continue to do the same in order to ensure that our associates, our customers, and our suppliers have the best opportunities for success.  As we examine our go to market strategy for the coming months, we are confident that a new approach is necessary in order to continue to support all channels of customers.

Effective July 30th, 2018, Select Wellness will be part of the overall broadline strategy for UNFI.  We will continue to maintain a dedicated team of Inside Sales Representatives and Specialists that will support UNFI’s overall wellness sales and strategy, and sell wellness as a unique category to our customers.  Customers can continue to decide if they want to receive their product on their UNFI truck or via UPS in smaller quantities.

In short, it’s business as usual for you.  Your SM at Select Wellness and your SM at UNFI (if you are with both today) will remain as they are today.

As we transition, you will have a single point of contact with whom to conduct your business.  Should you have any questions during this transition, please contact your Select Wellness SM.

We are excited to discover what’s next and thank you for your continued support.  I am confident that this evolution will bring the highest level of service for both our suppliers and our customers.

New Marketing Opportunities

Category Management

Ever wonder what the next trend like “Paleo” is going to be?  Or how your brand compares to your competition as a driver of growth in a category?  UNFI’s Category Management team has these answers and many more.  Grow your brand by knowing your landscape.  For more information, click here.

Circular Family Features

You will now have the option to have display multiple flavors of the same price point and product type in the feature block.  Not all items need to be considered feature items.  For more information on circulars, click here.

New Item Introduction Packages

Get the word out on your new items.  Have a discussion with your SM to decide which tier is appropriate for running the right programs at the right time for your new items.  For more information click here.

And as always, with any marketing or promotion related questions, please reach out to your SM.

Competitive Freight Rates

Even during this difficult time within the transportation market, UNFI Logistics continues to utilize our national carrier partners and dedicated fleet, allowing us to offer below market rates to all of our warehouses.  In addition, some of the advantages of using UNFI’s Freight Service include:

  • We take ownership of your product at the moment we pick it up, reducing your liability.
  • We pay the unloading and appointment fees for you, which keeps your costs down.
  • We plan the fastest, most cost-effective way to move your products, leveraging our extensive network
  • We have state-of-the-art supply chain technology for highest quality control

For more details, please e-mail Stacy McGhehey at Ship4U@unfi.com.