ECR concept was introduced by GS1 India (earlier EAN India) in 1999 leading to the setting up of ECR India as a not-for-profit body in July 2000 with the participation of leading retailers, CPG companies and logistics providers. These included Hindustan Unilever (earlier Hindustan Lever), P&G, J&J, Nestle, Godrej Consumer Products, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Transport Corporation of India, Foodworld, GS1 India and CONCOR who constituted its founder members. GS1 India is the Secretariat of ECR India and this body is affiliated to ECR Asia.
Several projects were undertaken by ECR India which included the following:
1. Out-of-Stock Study
Extensive studies were undertaken through field surveys at select outlets of participant retailers across the country to measure extent of 'out of stocks' of category 'A' (100 of the highest selling SKUs) fast moving consumer goods of leading CPG companies. This data was compiled each week over an extended period of a few months to arrive at an actual measure of extent of OOS to cross check with existing perceptions. The results showed significant OOS situations which then led to root cause analysis between retailers and CPG companies to understand why this was happening and take corrective actions to fix it through collaborative initiatives.
2. Data flow standards Study
A Data flow standards study was undertaken to facilitate seamless data exchange and querying between the trading partners with resultant benefits of speed, accuracy and cost reductions to all stakeholders. As part of the study, global standards (GS1 standards) for universal and unique identificaction of products (SKUs)/consignments, entities, locations etc were recommended for adoption, in line with global best practices. Key performance indicators (KPIs) related to customer service, quality, flexibility and cost effectiveness of distribution were defined and recommended for adoption as well.
3. Collaborative logistics study
The study focussed on how infrastructure in the distribution chain related to warehousing facilities offered by T&L companies could be shared by CPG companies and retailers, leading to cost reductions in transportation, higher throughput, sustainable practices, lower administration costs through outsourcing of distribution to 3PLs etc.