Design Process

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

    • To define the Package Design & Compliance (PDC) team’s “design” process ranging from initial project setup to posting of final product photography. This process applies to all Exclusive Brand products that go through the design process, including food, supplements, pet food, body care and consumer products.

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES

    • Project Lead (PL) – Responsible for monitoring all aspects of design process while project is in the design phase. Works with internal teams, vendor and printer to complete package design and printing.
    • Design & Compliance Team Leader (DCTL) – Provides guidance on photography needs, confirms brand design/architecture and reviews all labels to provide input as needed and applicable, including claims, compliance and overall project guidance.
    • Art Director – Provides guidance on photography styling, attends photoshoots, creates packaging and review and comments on proofs. Helps assign and divide project workload amongst graphic designers and reviews labels for proper use of brand standards.
    • Designer – Creates labels and reviews and comments on proofs.
    • Marketing Specialist – Requests product samples for photography, attends photoshoots and coordinates with IX-ONE and internal photographer to have product photographed and posted to Cumulus.
    • Print Production Specialist (PPS) – Reviews dielines and printer specifications forms to ensure workability and completeness of information provided. Releases print files, reviews PDF/color proofs and provides comments and approval to vendor/printer.
    • Product Compliance & Nutrition Analyst (PCNA) – For food, pet food and supplements, works with PL before project is released to ensure alignment on labelling conventions, releases project to design, follows up on vendor review comments as needed and reviews labels as part of final internal routing. Receives notification from Prodika when labels are released for proofs and uses notification as trigger to have final specifications signed off on.
    • Compliance Specification Analyst (CSA) – For body care and consumer products, releases project to design, follows up on vendor review comments as needed and reviews labels as part of final internal routing. Receives notification from Prodika when labels are released for proofs and uses notification as trigger to have final specifications signed off on.
    • Buyer – Provides input on callouts or label content as applicable and is copied on all vendor and printer correspondence to be aware of project process status.
    • Product Developer (PD) – Receives notification that project has been sent to vendor review. PD reviews labels and provides feedback as applicable.
    • Testing Specification Analyst (TSA) – Receives notification that project has been sent to vendor review. TSA reviews labels and provides feedback as applicable.
    • Certifications Manager (CM) – Receives signature request from Prodika when labels are released for proofs. Workflows signature request when all needed documentation is received.

 

  • PROCEDURES

  • Project Set Up
    • Project Lead receives signature request for Prodika S1 Vendor Orientation and Information Gathering workflow.
      • PL sets up project folder on Private_Label (\\atx-nas\pdrive) (Q:) drive in
      • PL reviews any potential notes from the Prodika Conduct Meeting and Review Documents with Vendor and EBT section. If applicable, notes are saved in the appropriate sub folder.
      • PL downloads documents to appropriate folders. Dielines and printer spec form are saved in the Design Info folder, if applicable, PCR form and Claims Review and Development Recommendations document are saved to the Product Info folder.
      • If documents are not uploaded and needed or notes are unclear, PL emails Buyer with request.
      • If packaging samples have not been received, PL emails Buyer with request.
      • If photography is needed, PL emails Design & Compliance Team Leader, Art Director and Marketing Specialist to ensure photo shoot has been scheduled and planned.
      • If photography is needed, MS requests samples from Buyer and emails Photographer with shot list and availability request for both photographer and stylist.
      • Once all documentation and packaging samples are received, signature request is workflowed to GO.
      • PL sets up milestone in Central Desktop.
        • If applicable, PL assigns Review Dieline and Printer Specification Sheet task to Print Production Specialist.
        • If applicable, PPS reviews dielines and printer specification forms. PPS sends out questions to Vendor/Printer as needed.
  • Project is Released to Design
    • Product Compliance Nutrition Analyst or Compliance Specification Analyst releases project to Package Design & Compliance.
    • PL initiates Prodika S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. Activity and workflows to Design in Process.
      • PL reviews release to design email for project notes.
      • PL copies NFPs/SFPs from email, copies and pastes to a word doc and saves in Product Info Folder.
      • PL runs Prodika Label Design Checklist Report for each SKU and saves to Product Info folder.
      • PL updates checklist for formatting, adds in UPC, ensures kosher symbol is added and information provided within checklist is in line with labeling conventions, etc.
      • If needed, PL emails PCNA/CSA with questions.
  • Project is assigned to Designers
    • Once project is ready, PL assigns to Designers in Central Desktop, or if a PCR, marks up current PDFs and passes off folder.
    • Designers create labels, print out labels and pass to PL.
    • Designs are routed internally between PL, DCTL and Designers until all revisions are complete and labels are ready for Vendor Review.
  • Vendor Review
    • When labels are ready, PL stamps each PDF with Vendor Design Sign-Off stamp and send PDFs to Vendor.
      • If PDFs are small enough, they are attached to the email. If they are too large to send via email, they are uploaded to Hightail and a link to download is provided in the email.
    • Vendor is asked to review and also have printer review.
      • PL copies Buyer, Associate Buyer, DCTL.
      • PL forwards vendor review email to Product Developer and Testing Specification Analyst.
    • PL workflows Prodika S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. activity to Vendor Review.
    • When comments are received from Vendor, PL reviews comments.
      • If needed, comments are passed back to PCNA/CSA and PL waits for response to move forward.
      • If not needed, PL marks any applicable revisions and passes to Designer.
      • Designer completes revisions and PL and DCTL reviews updated PDFs.
      • After revisions are complete, PL stamps each PDF with Vendor Design Sign-Off stamp and send PDFs back to Vendor.
        • At second round of Vendor Review, Supplements and Body Care PDFs are sent to Quality Standards and Legal for their review and feedback.
      • If labels are approved, Vendor signs each PDF and returns to PL.
  • Final Internal Routing
    • Once signed vendor approvals are received, PL initiates Final Internal Routing.
    • PL workflows Prodika S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. activity to Internal Design Signoff.
    • PL reviews PDFs and passes to PCNA/CSA.
    • PCNA/CSA reviews PDFs and if needed, asks PL questions regarding label information that is different from specification, if applicable.
    • Once PCNA/CSA has completed review, PCNA/CSA passes labels to DCTL.
    • DCTL completes review and passes to designer for final file preparation.
      • If any final revisions are needed, Designer passes back updated labels to PL for review before final files are created.
      • PL reviews final changes and passes back to Designer for final file preparation.
  • Release of Files
    • Designer preps final files by completing the Printer Release Checklist.
    • Once complete, Designer sends email to PPS and PL notifying them files are ready to be released to the Vendor/Printer.
    • PL provides notes to PPS regarding best contacts and proof type to request if needed.
      • If this is a new label, a color proof will be requested. If the project is a PCR and we have recently reviewed color proofs, only PDF proofs will be requested.  If the project is a PCR and the last printing was not up to acceptable printing standards, a color proof will be requested.
    • PPS releases files to Vendor or Printer and requests PDF proofs, color proofs and drawdowns as needed.
      • Drawdowns are only needed for brand colors or designs that are spot color only.
      • If needed, PPS will send out color targets to the vendor/printer to provide an example of acceptable color standards.
    • PL workflows Prodika S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. activity to Released for Proofs.
      • When Prodika S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. activity is workflowed to Released for Proofs, a signature request is sent to the Certifications Manger and additional notifications are sent to PD, TSA and CSA.
      • PL creates Printed Packaging Consumer Unit for each SKU.
      • PL attaches the PP CU to the Trade Specification Consumer Unit.
    • Vendor/Printer provides PDF proofs, color proofs and drawdowns as needed.
      • If PDF proofs are provided, those are saved to the appropriate job’s Design Info folder for reference and ease of upload to Central Desktop.
      • PDF proofs are saved to project folder for record and ease of upload to Central Desktop.
      • PDF proofs are routed internally via Central Desktop to Designers and printed out and physically routed to PL.
      • Color proofs are routed internally through PPS, Designers, PL and DCTL.
    • PPS provides comments to vendor/printer.
      • New PDF proofs, color proofs and drawdowns are requested as needed and as timeline allows.
    • PPS emails vendor/printer with approval.
      • PPS makes copies of each proof and drawdown and places in project folder.
      • If any changes post-release file updates are needed, PPS assigns task in CD to designer to update files.
        • Design makes updates to files and prints out final PDF for PL.
        • PL update PP CU with final PDF.
      • PL workflows S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. activity to Photography & Flats Received.
      • If any post-release changes that affect label content are made, PL emails CM, PD, TSA and CSA.
  • Label Flats & Photography
    • As part of First Production/Redesign Requirements, PD requests flats for each packaging substrate and packed product in finished packaging.
      • PD provides flats to PL.
      • PL updates electronic flats filing system.
      • PL files flats in cabinet according to vendor name.
      • PD places packed product in photography bin.
    • Marketing Specialist creates weekly list of product received for photography.
    • MS sends list and meets with IXONE contact to provide packed product for photography and information capture.
    • IXONE provides marketing shots to MS.
      • MS downloads shots and provides along with list to Photographer to upload to Cumulus.
      • Photographer posts to Cumulus and notifies MS when complete.
      • MS notifies PL wen photos are posted.
    • When flats and photos for each SKU in project are received, PL workflows S3-S4 Product Label Design / Label Compliance v1. activity to Completed.

 

  • Stakeholder Approval

Title

Department  

Approval Date

Team Leader

Packaging & Compliance  10/27/2016

Product Compliance & Nutrition Team Leader

Innovation & Quality

10/26/2016

Product Compliance & Nutrition Analyst

Innovation & Quality

10/28/2016

Buyer

Exclusive Brands

11/1/2016

Product Developer

Innovation & Quality

10/28/2016

Testing Specification Analyst Global Food Safety Support

10/28/2016

 

Label Reprint Approval Process

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

 To create a consistent method for managing label reprint approvals for Exclusive Brands (EB) items.

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES
  • EB Buyer/Associate Buyer – Approves or disapproves label reprint approval requests from vendors.
  • Packaging & Compliance Project Lead – Manages the reprint approval alias, sends official reprint approval or disapproval emails, tracks reprint approvals, and ensures vendors are participating in the process.
  • Product Developer – Sends out the first production or redesign requirements to the vendor and tracks completion of requirements.
  • Vendor – Emails label reprint approval requests and current version of labels to be reprinted to label reprint approval alias.
  • Exclusive Brands Executive Coordinator (EC) – Approves or disapproves vendors from participating in the label reprint approval process.

 

  • EXCEPTIONS
  • If a vendor does not want to participate in the label reprint approval process, the request must be approved by the Exclusive Brands EC.
  • Label reprint approval process is not required for Seasonal In/Out Items.

 

  • PROCEDURES

4.1 Vendor is notified of the label reprint approval process.

4.1.1 Vendor is made aware of the label reprint approval process in the Request for Proposal (RFP) Letter.

4.1.2 Vendor is reminded of the label reprint approval process in the first production or redesign requirements that are sent out by the Product Developer.

4.1.3  After Product Developer sends an email notification that all first production or redesign requirements have been met for a project, the Packaging & Compliance Project Lead emails the vendor reminding them to submit future reprint requests to the alias.

 

4.2 Vendor submits label reprint request for approval.

4.2.1 Vendor emails label reprint approval requests to the reprint approval alias: label.approval@wholefoods.com

4.2.2 Label reprint approvals should include the below information:

4.2.2.1 The current version (PDF) of the label or package to be reprinted.  PDFs larger then 8mb cannot be received.  Please separate PDFs into multiple emails or upload to a file share site and provide a link to download.

4.2.2.2 The quantity of packaging intended to be reprinted for each item, including the quantity in terms of weeks on hand.

4.2.3 All requests will be answered within 5 business.

4.2.4 A request to reprint should not include any product or packaging changes.

4.2.5 Label reprint approval email example:

 

Please see below and attached reprint request for your approval.

 Product Name SKU Item to be Printed* Current On Hand Inventory of boxes  (in cases) Amount of Open Orders (in cases) Amount of Boxes Left After Open Orders Are filled (in cases) Amount To Reprint (in cases) Amount Left After Open Orders and Reprint       (in cases) Estimated Weeks to Use Up Remaining Stock      (in cases)**
Capellini organic 9948243110 Box 5,208 2,240 2,968 1,400 4,368 13
Fettuccine organic 9948243111 Box 4,460 1,680 2,780 700 3,480 13
Linguine organic 9948243174 Box 5,438 1,600 3,321 1,050 4,371 13
Spaghetti organic 9948243173 Box 4,584 2,880 7,241 1,050 8,291 12
WW Linguine organic 9948241089 Box 4,921 1,040 2,297 1,050 3,347 14
WW Spaghetti organic 9948241088 Box 6,895 1,520 3,033 1,050 4,083 13
Penne rigate organic 9948243175 Box 10,121 2,250 4,645 2,000 6,645 13
WW Penne rigate organic 9948241090 Box 4,056 1,710 3,192 2,000 5,192 17
Fusilli organic 9948243176 Box 3,602 1,455 3,983 1,760 5,743 15
Shells organic 9948243114 Box 3,337 1,515 3,996 220 4,216 14
Farfalle organic 9948243177 Box 4,039 1,965 2,074 2,000 4,074 15
Orzo organic 9948243112 Box 3,762 1,645 2,117 2,000 4,117 16

Artwork Link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3qxat4ckk2fubht/AACIJc3-RwPKRuJK4prJeVqua?dl=0

 

4.3 Label reprint approval request received.

4.3.1 Packaging & Compliance Project Lead receives the reprint approval request from the email alias.

4.3.2 Packaging & Compliance Project Lead reviews the PDF and makes sure it is the most current version of the label.

4.3.3 Packaging & Compliance Project Lead forwards the request on to the Buyer for review and approval.

 

4.4 Label reprint approval reviewed.

4.4.1 Packaging & Compliance Project Lead alerts Buyer of label reprint approval request by forwarding email from supplier to Buyer for review and approval.

4.4.2 Buyer compares the label quantity requested verses the current annual movement found in data cubes or in the vendor report to ensure it is about 90 days’ worth of inventory.

4.4.2.1 If it is more than 90 days’ worth of inventory, Buyer will note that Whole Foods Market (WFM) is only responsible for 90 days’ worth of packaging.

4.4.2.2 Buyer emails their approval or disapproval to label.approval@wholefoods.com, not to the vendor.

4.4.2.3 Packaging & Compliance Project Lead emails the approval or disapproval communication to the vendor via the label reprint approval alias.

  

 

  • STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL

Title

Department

Approval Date

Executive Coordinator

Exclusive Brands

9/1/16

Team Leader

Innovation & Quality

Team Leader Packaging & Compliance

 9/5/16

Timeline for New Projects

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

To establish a timeline to launch a product on time.   Defining critical milestones to ensure accurate project flow.

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES
  1. Buyers/Associate Buyers – Creates timeline and communicates it to internal team members and vendors
  2. Vendor – Agrees to timeline
  3. Innovation & Quality (IQ) Team Leader – Signs off on timeline
  4. Packaging & Compliance Team Leader – Signs off on timeline
  5. Data Specialist/Analyst for Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) – Signs off on timeline

 

  • EXCEPTIONS

Project timelines are subject to change and you should consult the appropriate team leader if you encounter extenuating circumstances that cause a delay in the project timeline.

  

  • PROCEDURES

Project timelines are stored and tracked in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.

 

4.1 Award Business / Project Kick Off

4.1.1 Business has been awarded, project has been created, all documents have been uploaded to the PLM system, facility has been approved and product formulations are finalized. Testing has been approved by WFM Legal and by Testing Specification Analyst (Whole Body Only).

 

4.2 Product Compliance Specification Review / Release to Design (3 weeks)

4.2.1 Product compliance specification undergoes review by IQ Team to verify accuracy, completion and adherence to WFM quality standards and applicable government regulations. Vendor answers questions regarding compliance specification, including the finalization of all label-sensitive information and then the products are released to the Packaging & Compliance Team.

4.2.2 IQ Team has 3 weeks from “Project Kick-off” to complete the “Release to Design” milestone.

 

4.3 Packaging Design & Label Approval / Release to Print and Final Art (6 weeks)

4.3.1 Packaging & Compliance team creates packaging graphics and, after reviewing internally sends artwork to vendor for label approval.  Vendor ensures accuracy of all label information and confirms compatibility of artwork with printer.  Vendor must approve and sign off on artwork.

4.3.1.1 It will take at least 4 weeks to shoot photography – this can typically be worked in to the total 6 weeks for Package Design and Label approval but Team will advise if additional time is needed due to photography scheduling.

4.3.2 Once artwork is signed off on, final design files are electronically sent to vendor/printer.  Then a hard copy color proof is created by the printer.  The Packaging & Compliance Team must sign off on color proof before the vendor is allowed to print packaging.

4.3.3 Packaging & Compliance Team has 6 weeks from “Release to Design” to complete the “Final Art” milestone.

 

4.4 Printing Packaging (varies)

4.4.1 Packaging print time can take 2-10 weeks depending on the type of packaging and where the packaging is being printed.  The timeline must account for the time it takes to get the printed packaging to the production facility.

4.4.2 Different packaging types have different print lead times.

4.4.2.1 Labels 2-4 weeks, Paperboard (cereal boxes, pizza boxes, etc.) 4-6 weeks, Tetra 6-9 weeks, Tubs 4-6 weeks, Cans 6-8 weeks

 

4.5 First Production / Release to Ship (2 weeks)

4.5.1 First production can take up to 2 weeks or more, depending on what first production testing is required.  All product must remain on hold until the vendor has completed all first production requirements.

4.5.2 It can take 5-10 business days to receive testing results.  This varies depending on the type of testing that’s required.

4.5.3 First production samples are reviewed and evaluated by the IQ Team within 24 hours.

 

4.6 Ship Date (varies)

4.6.1 Shipping to the Distribution Centers (DC’s)  can take 1 week to 4 months.

4.6.1.1 A vendor’s lead time is the longest time it will take to get product from the production facility to the DC.

4.6.1.2 Most imported products have a 3 month lead time.

 

4.7 Launch Date / In DC Date

4.7.1 This is the date the product is in the DC and ready to be distributed to stores.

4.7.2 Non-perishable products should arrive in all DCs by the 1st of the month prior to the category reset.

4.7.2.1 For example, for a June reset, product should be in all DCs by 5/1.

4.7.3 Perishable products should arrive in all DCs by the last week of the month prior to the category reset.

4.7.3.1 For example, for a June reset, product should be in all DCs the last week of May.

4.7.4 Products that ship through a consolidator must be ready to ship by the 1st of the month two months prior to the category reset.

4.7.2.1 For example, for a June reset, product should be in the consolidator by 4/1.

 

Example of PLM Timeline Schedule:

timelinefornewprojects

  • STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL

Title

Department

Approval Date

Executive Coordinator

Exclusive Brands

 8/30/13

Team Leader

Packaging & Compliance

 9/2/13

Team Leader

Supplier Quality Assurance

 9/6/13

Team Leader

Innovation & Quality

 8/30/13

Team Leader Data Management

9/13/13

Request for Proposal (RFP) Internal Review

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

To promote consistency of how & where documents are stored before and during a project.  To ensure all team members involved in a project will be able to access necessary documents.  To ensure all sub-teams complete necessary tasks prior to the Buyer awarding business.

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES
    • Buyers / Associate Buyers – responsible for saving documents in appropriate folders
    • Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) Team  – access the folders to find the documents needed for projects
    • Product Developer – Reviews the Compliance Specs and conducts the roundtable discussions
    • Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS) –  Completes the facility risk assessment

 

  • EXCEPTIONS – N/A

 

  • PROCEDURES

A recap showing where to store particular documents for a project.

 

4.1  Any documents relating to a project are saved on the P:\ Drive, as well as uploaded into Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.

4.1.1  Example:  P:\EBT RFP’s and new projects\Fiscal Year\Category\Project

4.1.2  Save all project documents in the Fiscal Year (FY) folder that the project is launching in, and name the folder according to the category hierarchy saved in the Category Responsibilities document on the Exclusive Brands SharePoint.

1

 

4.2  If a Request For Proposal (RFP) was sent out, there will be an RFP folder within the Project folder.

4.2.1 The RFP folder contains all the RFP documents that were sent to the bid participants.

4.2.2 As vendor bid submissions are received, a RFP Response folder is created and subsequent subfolders are set-up for each vendor participating in the bid.

4.2.3  Within each vendor folder, there are folders set-up for GFSS, IQ, and Procurement.         

4.2.3.1  GFSS folder contains audits, corrective action plans (CAPs), supplier surveys and Hazardous Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) charts

4.2.3.2  IQ folder contains sample submission form, compliance specifications (spec), internal specs, certificates of analysis (C of A) and other technical supporting documents

4.2.3.3  Procurement folder contains the signed RFP letter and RFP bid sheet.

2

 

3

 

4.3  Once all documents have been received from the bid participants, i.e. IQ and GFSS documents, email the respective team members with a hyperlink to the appropriate folders on the P:\ Drive.

4.3.1 Email the SQA Team Leader, the Data Specialist/Analyst for SQA and the SQAS with a link to the GFSS folder, which includes the facility documents, plus a link to the internal specs.

4.3.1.1 If there are multiple facilities associated with a project, set-up a separate sub-folder for each facility within the GFSS folder.

4.3.1.2 Reference the Email for Requesting a Risk Assessment template to ensure you are including all pertinent information when requesting a risk assessment.  Refer to P&P “Email Templates” for additional information.

4

 

4.3.1.3 Reference the SQA FRA Checklist Document to ensure all documents have been collected for the SQA to complete the facility risk assessment.

5

 

4.3.2 Email the Product Developer with a link to the IQ folder, which includes the compliance specs, internal specs and claims review.

4.3.2.1 Once all RFP samples have been received, email the Product Developer and cc the Testing Analyst to set-up a roundtable discussion.

4.3.2.2 Reference the Email for Requesting a Roundtable Discussion template to ensure you are including all pertinent information when requesting a roundtable discussion.  Refer to P&P “Email Templates” for additional information.

 

4.3.3 In the emails give an overview of the project as well as a due date for them to complete their evaluation by.

4.3.3.1 It usually takes 1 week for the SQA team to complete their risk assessment, but this can vary depending on the number of facilities that need to be reviewed.  Provisionally approved facilities will require follow-up and can include an on-site visit.

4.3.3.2 It usually takes 1 week for the IQ team to complete their evaluation, but this can vary depending on the number of items that need to be evaluated.

6

4.4  Once business is awarded, create a Business Award folder within the Project folder.

4.4.1 Create subsequent subfolders for the vendors that are being awarded business.

4.4.2 Within the Vendor folder create subsequent subfolders for IQ, Procurement, and Compliance.

4.4.2.1 A GFSS folder isn’t needed as all GFSS documents were received during the RFP.

4.4.3 IQ Folder contains compliance specs, internal specs and C of A.

4.4.3.1 IQ documents might not be needed if all documents were received during the RFP and no formula changes were made.

4.4.4 Procurement Folder contains the Bid Sheet_Private Label Order Guide (PLOG), the Global New Item Setup Form (contains space planning info) and the W-9.

4.4.5 Compliance folder contains Printer Specification form, die lines and high resolution images.

   7            

 

  •  STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL
Title Department

Approval Date

Executive Coordinator

Exclusive Brands 8/30/13

Team Leader

Packaging & Compliance

9/2/13

Team Leader

Supplier Quality Assurance

3/21/14

Team Leader

Innovation & Quality

9/3/13

Team Leader Data Management

9/13/13

Exclusive Brands Project Tracker

 

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

To ensure consistency with each Buyer’s Tab within the Exclusive Brands (EB) Project Tracker.  To create a streamlined organizational structure for the EB Project Tracker to make it easy for all support teams to find and update pertinent project information.

 

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES

 

  • Buyer/Associate Buyer – To manage all project information on their respective tab.
  • Logistics Analyst – To manage project information in the Logistics section of each project, to manage each Buyer’s Canada Design Projects page and each Buyer’s In & Out Projects page.
  • Design and Compliance Team Leader- To manage project information in the Design section of each project.
  • Product Compliance & Nutrition Analyst – To manage project information in the IQ section of each project.
  • Testing Specification Analyst – To manage project information in the Testing section of their Buyer’s projects.
  • Product Developer- To manage project information in the IQ section of their Buyer’s projects.

 

 

 

  • EXCEPTIONS

The Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) Team does not make notes in the Project Tracker.

  

 

  • PROCEDURES 

The EB Project Tracker is a tool to house all project information.  All information should be kept up to date and as “real time” as possible.

 

4.1 Buyer’s Sections/Tabs

4.1.1 Each Buyer will have their own tab within the EB Project Tracker.

4.1.2 It is the responsibility of the Buyer to keep the Current and Upcoming Project pages organized.

4.1.3 The Buyer should use the project templates on the “Templates” tab when setting up a project.

4.1.4 General project information or a short project summary go in the Buyer’s Notes section.

4.1.5 In the SQA section, the Buyer should list the name of the facility and location, if the vendor has more than one facility location .  If it’s a new facility, the buyer should also list the date they received the Facility Risk Assessment (FRA) from the SQA Team and the SQA approval status.

 

Buyer Tabs

eb1

 

Project Pages

eb2

 

Project Summary

eb3

 

4.2 Project Pages

4.2.1 Current Projects

4.2.1.1 Only projects that have been input into the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) System should be entered on this page.

4.2.1.2 The Buyer creates the project section for each project.

4.2.1.3 The project timeline should mirror the timeline that is in the PLM system.

4.2.1.4 The Buyers should remove projects from the page once all tasks in the PLM system are complete.

4.2.1.5 Projects for Canadian dedicated UPCs and packaging go on this page and should have a coordinating project in the PLM system.

4.2.1.6 New Seasonal Item projects go on this page and should have a coordinating project in the PLM system.

 

4.2.2 Upcoming Projects

4.2.2.1 All projects that have not been input into the PLM System go on this page.  For example, all Request for Proposals (RFPs), in progress Product Change Requests (PCRs), etc.

4.2.2.2 The Buyer creates the initial project section for each project.

4.2.2.3 Projects move to the Current Projects page once the project has been entered into the PLM system.

 

4.2.3 Canada Design Projects

4.2.3.1 Canadian sticker projects go on this page.  These items do not have dedicated Canadian UPCs.

4.2.4.2 The Logistics Analyst creates the initial project set-up and manages all project information for each project.

 

4.2.4 In & Out Projects

4.2.4.1 Repeat seasonal items, that do not have a project in the PLM system, go on this page.

4.2.4.2 The Logistics Analyst creates the initial project section for each project.

 

4.3 Miscellaneous Information

4.3.1 All support teams are responsible for keeping their respective project information up to date.  The EB Project Tracker is a tool the Buyers use to manage all projects and ensure all deadlines are being met.

4.3.2 All project information should be updated each week by end of day Friday.

4.3.3 This tool should not be used in lieu of phone calls, emails or face to face interaction between team members.

4.3.4 The Buyers review their project’s statuses in the bi-weekly project meeting.

4.3.5 Ensure your computer is connected to the WFM Network when making project updates.  This ensures proper synchronization

  

 

  • STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL

 

Title

Department

Approval Date

Executive Coordinator

Exclusive Brands 1/8/16

Team Leader

Logistics

 1/18/16

Team Leader

Packaging & Compliance

 1/22/16

Team Leader

Supplier Quality Assurance

 1/18/16

Team Leader  Innovation & Quality

 1/13/16

Documents Needed to Start a New Project

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

To ensure that each team has the correct documents needed to complete a project in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) System .

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES
    1. Buyer/Associate Buyer – Collects all required documents and uploads them to the PLM System
    2. Vendor – Completes all required documents
    3. Compliance Specification Analyst – Uses the Compliance Specs
    4. Packaging & Compliance Project Lead – Uses package Die Lines and Printer Specification Form
    5. Product Developer – Uses the Compliance Specs
    6. Testing Specification Analyst –  Uses the Compliance Specs and Internal Specs
    7. Product Compliance & Nutrition Analyst – Uses the Compliance Specs
    8. Associate Research Analyst – Uses the Bid Sheet
    9. Sr. Financial Analyst – Uses the Bid sheet and W-9
    10. Data Specialist/Analyst for Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) –  Uses Audits, Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), Hazardous Analysis & Critical Control Points (HAACPs), and Supplier Survey
    11. Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS) –  Uses Audits, Corrective Action Plans (CAPs), HAACPs, and Supplier Survey
    12. Exclusive Brands Counsel – Reviews testing results

 

  • EXCEPTIONS

SQA Templates and Documents are not needed for existing manufacturing facilities as long as new items are within the same product categories.

 

  • PROCEDURES 

Each team needs certain documents to complete their activities in the PLM System.

 

The Innovation & Quality templates can be found on the IQ SharePoint Site:

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The Supplier Quality Assurance templates can be found on the SQA SharePoint Site:

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All other templates are saved at the P:/ Drive:

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4.1 Templates Sent to the Vendor:

4.1.1 Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA)

4.1.1.1 Supplier Survey –

4.1.1.1.1 This is required for all manufacturing facilities.

 

4.1.2 Innovation & Quality (IQ)

4.1.2.1 Compliance Specification

4.1.2.1.1  Sections A, B & C

4.1.2.1.2 Compliance Specs must be reviewed by Product Developer to ensure completeness and accuracy of information.

4.1.2.2 Claims Review and Development Recommendations Workbook

 

4.1.3 Procurement

4.1.3.1 PLOG

4.1.3.1.1 Vendor fills out the orange shaded cells

4.1.3.1.2 Password: 550

4.1.3.2 Global New Item Set-Up Form

4.1.3.3 W-9 (new vendors only)

4.1.3.4 USD EFT Packet (new vendors only)

4.1.3.5 Signed RFP Letter

4.1.3.5.1 For new and existing vendors for all new item projects.

 

4.1.4 Packaging & Compliance

4.4.1 Printer Specification Form

 

4.2 Documents Received from the Vendor:

4.2.1 SQA

4.2.1.1 Third Party Food Safety Audit

4.2.1.1.1 Audit must have been completed in past 12 months and must be in English.

4.2.1.1.2 Entire audit (about 30-40 pages) must be submitted, not summary or audit certificate.

4.2.1.1.3 Audit must be completed by an approved audit company.  WFM Acceptable Audit Company and Lab List  is included in a Request for Proposal (RFP).

4.2.1.1.4 This is required for all manufacturing facilities.

4.2.1.2 Corrective Action Plan (CAP)

4.2.1.2.1 CAP can be included within the audit or can be sent as an attachment

4.2.1.2.2 CAP must be in English

4.2.1.3 Social Responsibility Audit

4.2.1.3.1 Required for all products that are not produced in the USA, Canada or Europe

4.2.1.3.2 Audit must be completed by an approved audit company.  WFM Acceptable Audit Company and Lab List  is included in a RFP.

 

4.2.2 IQ

4.2.2.1 Internal Product Specifications

4.2.2.1.1 Can include (but is not exclusive to) nutritional analysis, microbiological analysis, pH, Brix, moisture

4.2.2.1.2 An example internal product spec is included in a RFP

4.2.2.2 Nutritional or Pre-Production Testing

4.2.2.2.1 Optional – ask the Product Compliance & Nutrition Analyst and Testing Specification Analyst if these are needed

4.2.2.3 Pre Production Testing Requirements and Stability Testing (Whole Body Only)

4.2.2.3.1 Supplement Facts Panel, Ingredients and Directions for Use required for review

4.2.2.3.2 Buyer sends testing results to Testing Specification Analyst and EB Lawyer for review

4.2.2.3.3 Testing Specification Analyst must approve 30 days of stability results

4.2.2.4 Product Samples for Retains and Preparation Instructions Validation.

4.2.2.4.1 Ask the Product Developer if these are needed and how many samples are needed.

 

4.2.3 Packaging & Compliance

 4.2.3.1 Die Lines – these should be vector files and typically are ESP or Adobe Illustrator files

4.2.3.2 High Resolution Images

4.2.2.2.1 Optional – ask the Packaging & Compliance Project Lead if these are needed

4.2.3.3 Packaging Sample

4.2.3.3.1 Unique Inner packaging, outer packaging, lids, seals, etc.

4.2.3.4 Product Samples for Photography

4.2.3.4.1 Optional – ask the Packaging & Compliance Project Lead if these are needed and how many samples are needed

 

  1. STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL

Title

Department

Approval Date

Executive Coordinator

Exclusive Brands

8/30/13

Team Leader

Packaging & Compliance

9/2/13

Team Leader

Supplier Quality Assurance

9/6/13

Team Leader

Innovation & Quality

9/6/13

Team Leader Data Management

9/13/13

Claims Review & Claims Meeting

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

To ensure the Buyers are holding Claims Meetings for all necessary projects.  A Claims Meeting is held prior to a Request For Proposal (RFP) being sent out or prior to the first roundtable. The Claims Review outlines the scope of the project and identifies desired claims.

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Buyer – completes the Claims Review and schedules the Claims Meeting
  • Product Developer- reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims to Claims Meeting
  • Testing Specification Analyst- Reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims and testing requirements to Claims Meeting.  Confirms if shelf life validation is needed for project.
  • Packaging & Compliance Team Leader/Brand Manager- reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims and brand suggestions to Claims Meeting
  • Product Compliance & Nutrition Analyst – reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims to Claims Meeting
  • Innovation & Quality (IQ) Team Leader – reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims to Claims Meeting
  • Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA)Team Leader – reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims to Claims Meeting
  • Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS) – reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims to Claims Meeting
  • Quality Standards – reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested claims to Claims Meeting
  • Logistics Analyst – Reviews the Claims Review and brings suggested discussion topics to Claims Meeting

 

  • EXCEPTIONS

It’s the Buyer’s discretion if they want to have a Claims Meeting for Product Change Requests (PCRs) or for simple line extensions.

 

  • PROCEDURES 

Claims Reviews are required for all projects and for all roundtable requests.

The Claims Review document can be found on the P:/ Drive in the below folder.

claims-review

 

4.1 The Buyer fills out the Claims Review

4.1.1 There are separate tabs for Food and Non-Food/Whole Body projects.

4.1.2 All items included in a RFP have to be listed on the Claims Review.

4.1.3 The order of the items on the Claims Review should mirror the order of the items on the RFP Bid Sheet.

4.1.4 It’s not necessary to use all columns for all items.  You should only fill in the columns that apply to that item.

 

4.2 The Buyer identifies potential claims

4.2.1 There are multiple ways to identify claims for the Claims Review.

4.2.1.1 For line extensions, look at similar Exclusive Brands items

4.2.1.2 Look at National Brand Equivalent (NBE) items

4.2.1.3 Look at internal branded equivalent items

4.2.1.4 Look at other retailers’ similar private label items

4.2.2 Types of Claims

4.2.2.1 Brand – list the proposed brand.

4.2.2.1 Item Description – list customer facing/marketing name including the flavor and any other defining characteristics.

4.2.2.1 Size & UOM – list the net weight and unit of measure.

4.2.2.1 Target Retail Price – list the ideal retail price.

4.2.2.2 Key Product Attributes – Non-GMO, Organic, Made in the USA, specific certifications, etc.

4.2.2.3 Competitor (NBE) Items & Claims – list the item you are targeting as a comparison and list any competitor claims you want to match

4.2.2.4 Special Diet Claims – Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, etc.

4.2.2.5 Performance/Benefit Claims – Non-Food and Whole Body – List the main functions of the product.  For example, As Gentle as “NBE,” No Side Effects, Removes more pesticide residue than water alone, Clean rinsing, etc.

4.2.2.6 Nutrient Content Claims – Low Fat, Low Sodium, High Fiber, No Sugar Added.  Also list nutritional guidelines for manufacturers, for example, sodium should be equal to or less than 100 mg per serving or nutritionals should match or be better than NBE item, etc.

4.2.2.7 Packaging Claims – BPA Free can lining, Compostable, Recyclable, Made from 25% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Content, etc.

4.2.2.8 “Free From” Claims (Primarily Body Care) – Non-Food and Whole Body – This claims indicates that the product is free from a substance or ingredient.  For example, no parabens, fragrance free, no sulfates, etc.

4.2.2.9 Testing Claims (Primarily Body Care) – Non-Food and Whole Body – This claims indicates testing related claims.  For example, dermatologist recommended, tear-free, etc.

4.2.2.10 Additional Comments – Use this for additional comments like ingredient recommendations, ingredients to avoid, descriptive language you would like to include on the label.  For example, New Improved Recipe, Great Tasting Lemon Flavor, Clean Burning, etc.

 

4.3 The Buyer schedules the claims meeting

4.3.1 Schedule the meeting at least 1 week out.  Always include a call-in number.

4.3.1.1 This gives the other sub-teams time to review the Claims Review and to come to the meeting prepared with additional claims/topics to discuss.

4.3.1.2 If time allows, claims meetings can be scheduled during the Buyer’s weekly Project Meeting.

4.3.2 A meeting invite should be sent with verbiage outlining the project as well as attaching the Claims Review.

4.3.3 The Buyer should invite the Associate Buyer, the Product Developer, the Testing Specification Analyst, the Product Compliance and Nutritional Analyst, the Packaging & Compliance Team Leader, the Project Lead, the Logistics Analyst, the SQAS and the SQA Team Leader.  Quality Standards should be invited to all Body Care and Supplements Claims Meetings.

4.3.4 Majority of Claims Meetings should be scheduled for 1 hour.

4.3.5 During the Claims Meeting, the Buyer should take notes and send out a revised Claims Review after the Claims Meeting.

4.3.6 For a visual reference, the Buyer can bring examples of NBE items or samples of products and/or packaging to the Claims Meeting.

 

4.4 The Claims Review is included in the RFP Packet that is sent out to all vendors participating in the RFP.

4.4.1 The final Claims Review should be stored in the Project folder on the P:/Drive.

 

4.5 The Claims Review is uploaded to the PLM system once the PLM project begins.

  

  • STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL

Title

Department

Approval Date

Executive Coordinator

Exclusive Brands 12/21/13

Team Leader

Packaging & Compliance

1/15/14

Team Leader

Supplier Quality Assurance

12/27/13

Team Leader  Innovation & Quality

12/23/13

Category Review

  • PURPOSE / OBJECTIVE

To ensure the Exclusive Brands (EB) Procurement Team has an outlined process to complete a thorough category review.  By having an agreed on process, all stakeholders will be included in the category review process.  This will lead to  better communication as well as a more cohesive team environment.

 

  • PERSONS AFFECTED / RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Buyer/Associate Buyer – Completes category review templates, coordinates request for proposals (RFPs) and conducts vendor meetings.
  • EB Executive Coordinator – Reviews all category review templates and schedules meetings with appropriate global purchasing team.
  • Various Global Executive Coordinators – Reviews all category review templates and provides feedback to EB Team.
  • Product Developer – Helps complete category review templates and pulls Mintel market data.
  • Global Space Planning (GSP) Team – Creates planograms for category review template.

 

  • EXCEPTIONS

Line extensions or small program changes will not need all of the below templates and meetings scheduled.  Buyers should ask the EB Executive Coordinator for guidance on what due diligence is needed for each project.

 

 

  • PROCEDURES 

4.1 Category Review Schedule

4.1.1 Buyers should reference the  Category Review Schedule to determine how far out development work should begin.

4.1.1.1 The most current Category Review Schedule can be found on the Exclusive Brands SharePoint site under category reviews.

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4.1.2 Majority of the categories have 1 reset per fiscal year, but some categories can have up to 2 resets per fiscal year.

4.1.2.1 No resets are scheduled for November or December due to those months being key holiday periods.

4.1.3 The schedule is reviewed each fiscal year by the Global Grocery team and is subject to change.  The new schedule is released in July before the new fiscal year begins.

4.1.4 The National Reset Month is the launch month for the corresponding categories.

4.1.5 Buyers should present their program proposal at least 2 months prior to the Global Grocery Category Review month in order to hit the National reset month.  Please reference the “Category Review Call” column.

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4.2 (1st Meeting) High Level Category Review Template

4.2.1 All category review templates and example presentations can be found on the P:/ Drive.  The category review templates build off each other.

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4.2.2 All final presentations are uploaded to EB SharePoint in the Category Reviews Section, in the folder for the corresponding fiscal year and month that the product is set to launch.

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4.2.3 Buyer requests Mintel Market Insights via quarterly email sent out by the Product Compliance and Nutrition Analyst.  This information can help vet ideas to determine if they are innovative or have enough differentiation.

4.2.3.1 Mintel Market Insights will include the below information:

      • # of products launched in last 3 years
      • Branded versus PL
      • Top 15 or more brands
      • Top 15 or more PL brands
      • Product launched by pack type and material
      • Top 15 claims for that category
      • Top 15 nutritional claims
      • % change in claims in the last 3 years
      • Top 15 ingredients in that category
      • Trending or novel ingredients in that category
      • Top 15 flavors in that category

4.2.3.2  If ad hoc Mintel Market Insights are needed, Buyers should request this information from their Product Developer.  These requests will take 2-4 weeks.

4.2.4 Create slides for each category/subcategory/class you are reviewing.

4.2.4.1 1st Slide

4.2.4.1.1 The current program assortment goes on this slide.  If pertinent, include pictures of current items from Cumulus.

4.2.4.1.2 Find Regular Costs and Regular Retails from the latest version of the Grocery Masterfile.

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4.2.4.2 2nd Slide

4.2.4.2.1 Use the below category definitions when answering the questions on the 2nd slide.

      • Value –  Item is entry point into the category.
      • National Brand Equivalent (NBE) – Item is a direct match to a well-known, national brand item.
      • TJ’s Match – Item is a direct match to a Trader Joe’s item.
      • Premium – Item has unique, defining characteristics, which position it above the category entry point (value).
      • Differentiation – Item contains attributes (flavor, certifications, ingredients, etc.) that distinguish it from its NBE or Private Label Equivalent.
      • Innovation – Item might be first to market and/or is on or ahead of trend.
      • Private Label Equivalent (Me Too Item) – Item is currently being sold in other retailer’s private label assortment.  Item has been identified as a void in our assortment.

4.2.4.2.2 Email the Engine 2 Team to find out their current or future role in the category.

4.2.4.2.3 Only answers questions #6 and #7 if new items have been launched within the category in the last 24 months.

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4.2.4.2.4 Only pull private label sales for the Last 52 Weeks, Ident Category Sales.  All negatives should be in red.  Pull sales from the most recent family data cubes, that can be found on the Global Data & Analytics Team SharePoint site.

 

4.3 (2nd Meeting) Proposed Sku Mix Category Review Template

4.3.1  Power Point Slide

4.3.1.1 Pull sales from the most recent family data cubes that can be found on the Global Data & Analytics Team SharePoint site.  All negatives should be in red.

4.3.1.2 Discontinued items from the Current Program are in red type.  New items in the New Program are in green type.

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4.3.1.3 Suggest external competitors to comp shop.  Potential retailers could be Wegmans, TJ’s, Target, Kroger (Fred Meijer or King Soopers), HEB/Central Market, Sprouts, Walmart, Costco (ad hoc).

4.3.1.4 Suggest if planograms will be needed for the 3rd Meeting Template.

4.3.2 Financial Reports

4.3.2.1 The following financial reports need to accompany the PowerPoint Slide:

      • Category Review Category to Class Performance
      • Category Review Brand Performance
      • Category Review Item Performance

4.3.2.1.1 The above reports can be ran from MicroStrategy.  The report templates are saved below:

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4.3.2.1.2 The reports need to be run for the last 12 and 52 weeks.

4.3.2.1.3 After pasting the MicroStrategy report on the Data tab, go to a Report tab and place cursor in pivot table.  This will allow the “Options” toolbar to appear.

4.3.2.1.3.1 Click “Refresh All.”

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4.3.2.1.3.2  Click “Change Data Source.”

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4.3.2.1.3.3 If necessary edit the Table/Range to ensure that the all rows on the Data tab are being captured.  Each Report tab has to edited separately.

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4.3.2.1.4 All 12 week and all 52 week reports should be organized in separate zipped folders.

4.3.2.2 Sku Rat

4.3.2.2.1 A sku rat should be included along with the other financial reports.  The most recent sku rat can be found on the EB SharePoint site in the corresponding fiscal year and national reset month/round folder.

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4.3.2.2.2 Use the sku rat to review all EB item performance nationally as well as regionally.

 

4.4 Category Review Template (3rd Meeting)

4.4.1 Trend Data

4.4.1.1 Trend data should identify the current category trends.

4.4.1.2 The trend data should be quantitative information to supports the program proposal.

4.4.1.3 The slide shows 3 different examples of trend data that can be included to support the program proposal, but there are multiple sources for trend data.

      • Mintel – this information was sent over by your product developer for the 1st meeting template (reference 4.2.2).
      • Trade Publication, like Store Brands Decisions
      • Vendor Presentations

4.4.1.4 Always list the source of data.

4.4.2 Business Overview

4.4.2.1 All financial information can be found in two different places.

4.4.2.1.1 First, it can be pulled from the most recent family data cubes that can be found on the Global Data & Analytics Team SharePoint site.

4.4.2.1.2 Secondly, it can be copied and pasted from the financial reports from the 2nd Meeting (reference 4.3.2).  If the data in the reports is over 2 months, you should update the reports you need for these slides.  Not all reports need to be reran.

4.4.2.1.3 All negatives should be in red.

4.4.2.2 Pull the # of skus by brand from the 2nd Meeting sku rat by looking at the % of store selling by sku (reference 4.3.2.2).

4.4.2.2.1 Items must have at least 50%-60% store penetration to be included in the sku count.

4.4.2.3 Add notes to slides to point out pertinent category trends that support the program proposal.

4.4.3 Internal Competitors

4.4.3.1 This slide is only needed if there is a brand that your program proposal is targeting or will be competing with.  This brand would have been included in the Business Overview slides.

4.4.4 External Competitors

4.4.4.1 Your Product Developer will complete these slides with information from Mintel.

4.4.4.2 Buyer should give at least 2 weeks to complete these slides and will identify which external competitors need to be comp shopped.  This was determined during the 2nd Meeting (reference 4.3.1.3).

4.4.5 Planograms

4.4.5.1 During the 2nd Meeting, it was determined if planograms are needed (reference 4.3.1.4).

4.4.5.2 If they are needed, the Buyer emails the GSP Team Leader requesting planogram creation support.

4.4.5.2.1 In the email, details are given as to the specific objective to be achieved, the scope of the work, and a due date.

4.4.5.2.2 Buyer also requests current planograms to use as a reference point for the new planograms.  Medium and small store set planograms are needed.

4.5.5.3 GSP Team Leadership will respond within 5 business days and in doing so shall provide a specific TM contact to act as the point person to assist in POG creation and review.

4.4.6 Program Proposal

4.4.6.1 Projected sales are calculated off the unit sales determined for each sku.

4.4.6.2 Identify TJ’s items by listing “– TJ’s Match”, “- TJ’s Fixed” or “- TJ’s Bandwidth” after the product description.

4.4.6.2.1  List the TJ’s Retail for these items.  The TJ’s Retail can be found on the latest version of the Competitor Price Match List.

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4.4.6.3 The External Competitor Retails are a summary from the External Competitor slides (reference 4.4.4).

 

  • STAKEHOLDER APPROVAL
Title Department Approval Date
Executive Coordinator Exclusive Brands 10/7/14
Team Leader Innovation & Quality 10/16/14
Team Leader Space Planning 10/22/14
Associate Coordinator Global Grocery