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Happy Valentine's Day! Today we celebrate love and partnerships, whether it's with your significant other or between your favourite retailers and their suppliers.

Just like a great relationship, retailers and their customers value partnerships too. So go ahead and treat yourself (and your loved ones) to the latest IMS Evolve blog all about why relationships are key to the success of the modern food retail sector: 

Valentine’s Day is all about showing your partner just how much you value them. From the mad dash to the petrol station to pick up a last minute bouquet of flowers, to the panicked supermarket visit trying to pick up ingredients for a home cooked meal, one thing is for sure… you can always rely on retailers to provide you with the goods you need to celebrate the day.

But, just like those hopeless romantics who are rushing to grab the last Valentine’s cards, the food retail sector is a perfect example of something which couldn’t function without well-suited partners.

So, for this Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a checklist of why relationships will be the key to the success of the modern food retail sector.

Trust your partner

Like any other relationship, successful digital transformation requires trusted partners to implement effective strategies. From reducing food waste to optimising energy usage, digital transformation is key to creating a greener food retail sector and optimising retailers’ operations. But, digitalisation can be costly, disruptive and difficult to drive true value from… without the right partner. Finding a digital partner who knows your industry, understands your specific needs and challenges and, perhaps most importantly, can work with your existing hardware, is key to a successful digital journey and to unlock the financial and environmental benefits of digitalisation.

Ensure total transparency

Being transparent with your partner is the foundation to any happy relationship. For retailers, it’s important to take this literally.

Improving visibility, transparency and traceability across the cold chain is critical in releasing the benefits of digitalisation across the entire supply chain and driving significant value in operational efficiencies and waste reduction. The full power of digitalisation is realised when all component parts of the cold chain participate: every organisation in the chain must be willing and open to full transparency with one another about everything from temperature data to location information. It is only when this level of visibility and total transparency across the whole cold chain is reached that huge efficiency benefits will be unlocked and the path to a more collaborative, innovative future enabled.

Sometimes, you need to let others in…

Potentially more of a ‘what not to do this Valentine’s Day’ for most… but for retailers and the technology industry alike, it is imperative we continue to search for collaboration opportunities and forge valuable partnerships in order to continue progressing and building a more efficient, sustainable, innovative and future-proofed retail landscape.  

Governments, the private sector, and civil society need to work in tandem to transform mind sets and evolve the ways in which we collaborate. We should strive to be more than siloed entities buying or providing, but instead look to work together to fuse ideas and transform the way we work to release bigger and better outcomes for retailers, the consumer and the planet alike.

The word ‘relationship’ comes up a lot on Valentine’s Day and can encompass all manner of partnerships. At IMS, we are wishing all our retailer partners a happy day and we hope that you enjoy these three important tips for successful collaboration in the food retail sector: trust your partner, ensure total transparency, and be open to inviting others in.