Santa Maria exceed retailer expectations.


SKUtrak®: the UK’s leading grocery flow-of-goods tracker helps leading supplier Santa Maria exceed retailer expectations.

At this year’s IGD Trade Briefing Sainsbury’s said it had 3 expectations of suppliers: “Deliver the basics”, “Help us unlock value together”, and “Talk to us”. The following case study shows how Santa Maria has been meeting and exceeding these expectations since 2014 through their effective use of SKUtrak®.

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Santa Maria, a leading producer of World Foods & Flavourings, is a branded supplier of Sainsbury’s. Gareth Phillips, the Sainsbury’s Business Account Manager, is faced with the same situation as most suppliers: retailers are demanding more of their suppliers. They are expected to provide outstanding service levels on a daily basis.

Sainsbury’s demand the highest levels of service from us, so we need to keep on top of our game to deliver that.
— Gareth Phillips, Sainsbury's Business Account Manager, Santa Maria
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That’s where SKUtrak comes in. Suppliers are provided an enormous amount of data on a daily basis. They can easily spend hours collecting and processing that data before they ever get the opportunity to gain anything from it. SKUtrak automates the process, providing people like Gareth with the opportunity to see and interact with their data in a way they never have been able to before.

Now, Gareth is able to look at sales & delivery data every day along with stock holding at depots & at store. He can therefore take appropriate action to address any shorts quickly, before the situation escalates and affects availability. He comments: “Without SKUtrak, I wouldn’t be able to see that level of data easily.  It’s difficult to find the time to get that level of data, but because it’s a headline in an email [the Daily KPI email all users receive], I can see it and then we can take appropriate action.”

SKUtrak is changing Gareth’s relationship with logistics. He is able to keep his finger on the pulse of service, monitoring with minimal time investment. “We’re starting to get a routine here where our logistics team know I’m going to contact them when there is a short,” notes Phillips. “So they pre-empt that by saying ‘this is the reason why we shorted those cases.’ I’m spending less time being reactive to shorts and more time being proactive about managing the business.” Every time logistics tells Gareth that there is going to be a short, it means Gareth can contact key stakeholders, including his buyer to try and mitigate the impact on Sainsbury’s. Logistics is now operating with increased accountability. As Gareth says, “having data helps me get to that position.”

Because Santa Maria has adopted SKUtrak across the Sainsbury’s account, everyone is operating from the same data. Internal conversations are revolving around data. And it’s saving time, preserving performance, and helping Santa Maria become a collaborative supplier – something Sainsbury’s wants all of their suppliers to achieve.

If you supply Sainsbury’s or Morrisons’ supermarkets then register today for the Free editions at, or contact us to receive news and updates on SKUtrak.

As the SKUtrak audience continues to grow - more and more suppliers are benefiting from the improved visibility of the flow of their products to retailer stores and onto shelf. Santa Maria are able to react to the daily alerts that SKUtrak generates which helps them develop an improved trading relationship with Sainsbury’s and ultimately increase sales
— Chris Needham, SKUtrak Product Manager, Atheon Analytics
Making better use of available data is now a commercial imperative for all suppliers. In the era of fewer high-low promotions, and reduced SKU counts, suppliers need to look for marginal gains in improvement through data-led decision making. Being able to articulate insights in a collaborative way genuinely changes the relationship between buyer and supplier
— Ian Hall, Commercial Director, Atheon Analytics
Callum Harrison