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CVS Caremark receives Logistics Best Practice Award

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has been awarded the 2011 Supply Chain Distinction Award North America in the Logistics Best Practice category, which recognizes companies that drive logistics excellence throughout the organization through the development of efficient, sustainable and cost-effective strategies.

The awards were announced last week at the annual Supply Chain Logistics Summit held in Dallas, Texas.

"Our 7,300 CVS/pharmacy stores serve more than 4 million customers daily, so it is critical that our distribution network operates at best-in-class efficiency to ensure that the products our customers want are delivered to our stores in a timely manner," CVS Caremark SVP supply chain and logistics Ron Link said. "Receiving the Logistics Best Practice Award is a testament to the outstanding and innovative work accomplished by our logistics team, our suppliers and transportation providers, and our colleagues from around the company."

CVS Caremark received this year’s award for a multi-year process improvement and technology integration program across its entire distribution network that significantly reduced the cost of operations while improving productivity and customer service.

Central to the CVS Caremark Logistics organization’s success was a cultural and change management framework called Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence (PRIDE) that accompanied the implementation of several process and technology improvements over a four-year period. This included the integration of a new warehouse management system for inventory and workflow, a labor management system for performance measurement and employee incentives, a route optimization program for managing store delivery schedules and routes, and an inbound freight appointment and visibility system.

CVS Caremark’s implementation of PRIDE and supporting processes and technologies across 18 distribution centers involving more than 7,000 associates resulted in significant productivity improvements, a reduction in costs and inbound transit times, and improved on-time store delivery performance, the company said.

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Gnawin’ Forever positions itself as a new kind of chew toy

BY Allison Cerra

MEADVILLE, Pa. — Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has expanded its Better Than treat brands to include an interactive chew treat and toy for dogs.

New Gnawin’ Forever is an edible treat held between a virtually indestructible, refillable and reusable housing unit that encourages dogs to use their canine teeth instead of their molars, resulting in an extended chew time, the company said.

The Gnawin’ Forever ultimate interactive chew toy currently is available for $26.98 on PetFoodDirect.com, along with a two-pack of refills (sold separately) for $9.99.

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NRF boosts holiday forecast

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation is putting its faith in the holidays by upgrading its spending forecast for the season.

After initially anticipating sales growth of 2.8%, the NRF said it now expects holiday sales to rise 3.8% to $469.1 billion. The projection may be lower than the 5.2% increase the retail industry saw last year, but the group said a number of factors, such as strong year-over-year sales and the fact that not all consumers have completed their holiday shopping lists, could provide the industry with a great gift after all.

“After strong sales reports in October and November, along with a successful Black Friday weekend, retailers are cautiously optimistic that this season will turn out better than initially expected, bringing added stability to our recovering economy at a time when America needs it most,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “However, a number of factors, including the debt crisis in Europe and continued political wrangling in Washington, could impact consumer spending this holiday season and into 2012.”

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