Kroger, a leading United States-based grocer, pursued a multifaceted approach to achieving increased product compliance rates by employing UL software, professional services and real-time inventory transparency tools at multiple points throughout their retail operations.
Product compliance requirements must be determined on an individual SKU basis based on several product attributes, most importantly, chemical composition and physical state. This dataset allows for an accurate determination of regulatory impact on the retailer at the local, state and federal level specific to the transportation, storage, safe handling and disposal procedures.
Collecting and validating product attribute data during the product onboarding process, followed by identification of the regulatory classifications per product, is a massive undertaking for retail compliance teams without the aid of a technology solution. Once retailers prepare all of this data, they face another challenging task: connecting front-line staff with this information so they can safely handle and audit product assortment compliance.
A robust product compliance program helps mitigate risk to staff and consumers’ physical safety. Safety issues also impact brand reputation and can result in enormous fines from regulatory agencies.
Read more about Kroger’s experience with UL’s WERCSmart supply chain compliance program and how they increased in-scope product compliance rates to over 90%.
WERCSmart, ItemSync and ItemScan: An effective combination to ensure product compliance
UL’s WERCSmart is an advanced supply chain compliance software solution enabling retailers to evaluate compliance across their product assortments. WERCSmart enables retailers to easily collect and validate product attribute data and uses an industry-leading regulatory engine and hazard review process to determine the accurate regulatory classifications for each product.
By implementing WERCSmart registration as a mandatory step in their product onboarding with suppliers, Kroger validates product compliance and safety information as well as regulatory classifications before a product hits the shelf.To get the most efficient use of the data, Kroger has integrated WERCSmart regulatory compliance product information with their item scan technology. This provides frontline staff with instant access and clear instruction for safe product handling, transport and disposal. Instant access to critical data helps remove any potential guesswork by simply scanning the product’s bar code, mitigating risk and regulatory fines.
“Since using WERCSmart, ItemSync and ItemScan as product onboarding and auditing tools, we now can quickly identify compliance gaps in our selling channels.”
Moving beyond product compliance
In addition to driving significant improvements in product compliance, Kroger leverages WERCSmart’s validated product data to evaluate chemical safety and sustainability attributes in UL’s PurView product transparency platform. PurView enables Kroger to curate, develop and sell safer products throughout their product assortments and private label brands.
PurView uses the product data collected and regulatory rules in WERCSmart to empower Kroger to build custom assessment frameworks based on their products’ full material composition and sustainability attributes — all while protecting confidential supplier information. PurView enables Kroger to evaluate product assortments against their chemical policy and restricted substance list and qualify products for their sustainable product curation program. With PurView, Kroger is best positioned to meet the consumer demand for safer and more sustainable products, provide transparency to customers and strengthen trust and loyalty.
UL offers retailers key insights that lead to safer, smarter product onboarding and proactive risk mitigation.
Discover how your organization can benefit from UL’s retail compliance and transparency solutions.
For more information, visit ul.com/services/retail-supply-chain-transparency.