The CPFR Collaboration Report

To create our first quarterly report on the state of CPFR, we went straight to the owners of the CPFR trademark, the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association (VICS), and spoke with Jim McLaughlin, Chairman of the VICS CPFR Committee. Here's the report:

According to McLaughlin, who is also a Gillette executive, the VICS CPFR initiative is going international, is broadening its collaborative relationship base to reach further up the supply chain and will move into two new areas in the future, exception resolution and promotional planning.

Testimonials received by VICS in response to its CPFR initiative show the approach is correct and the desired results are being achieved. Says McLaughlin, "it is doing more than we had hoped."

Although the adoption rate of the 9-step VICS CPFR process is gaining momentum, what is not completely clear is how many companies have actually gotten beyond the first 3-4 steps to achieve full functionality.

Just out of curiosity, we went to the VICS Web site ( to determine how many of our own RIS News "Top 50 Retailers" are pursuing the CPFR initiative with VICS. It appears that seven, or approximately 15 percent, are currently involved.

McLaughlin says CPFR is not about to launch a "next generation", however VICS does have a new work product that was finalized in December 2001 and sent to both the VICS membership and the membership of the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI), the voluntary body created to improve the performance of the international supply chain for consumer goods (

Going Global

GCI has indicated it will endorse a globalized version of the North American VICS CPFR standards. As a result, CPFR team membership under VICS auspices is soon expected to have international representation from Latin America, Europe and Asia.

McLaughlin says, "In Q2 2002, we will release the extended CPFR process guidelines and recently approved messaging standards," adding that VICS is also targeting an additional release of process guidelines and associated technical schema for late 4Q 2002.

As CPFR goes forward, VICS intends to drill down more deeply to bring more process detail to the nine steps and make the inclusiveness of CPFR broader and deeper from a standards definition approach.

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