Winston Weber &Associates: A Consulting Firm That’s Shaping the Future of Retail

Win Weber

Win Weber

Driving industry change with leading-edge thinking, Winston Weber & Associates Inc is one of the top companies on our radar. The company is viewed as a high-value resource in strategic planning, organization restructuring, business processes reengineering, category management, supply chain optimization, trade promotion, amongst many other value-adding business functions. Winston Weber & Associates is a consulting firm that caters to retailers, wholesalers, distributors, consumer products manufacturers, sales and marketing companies, and information providers. Their client experience covers over 15 countries.

IndustryWired had an interaction with Win Weber, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder of Winston Weber & Associates, to understand more about their work and industry standing.

 

What is the Company Known For?

Winston Weber & Associates has years of experience in the consumer sector that includes food, beverage, alcohol, health and beauty care, household products, apparel, luxury goods, automotive aftermarket, entertainment, toys, home improvement, and industrial safety clothing. They have worked with companies in nearly every retail channel, sales model and distribution model.

With a worldwide reputation as one of the original architects of category management, Winston Weber & Associates are well-known for their ability to translate their in-depth understanding of retailer and consumer products manufacturer dynamics into highly productive, performance-based collaborative relationship strategies and plans.

 

The Journey So Far

In the words of Win Weber,Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, his journey to Winston Weber& Associates had many stages. After graduation from college he spent only fifteen months before being promoted into a management position and within ten years was promoted to his first executive position in management. This was followed by senior executive positions in major consumer products companies, including the presidency of two Sales Divisions. In every management position his primary focus was on upgrading performance through organizational restructuring, process re-engineering and competency enhancement.

He then decided to move beyond corporate life to work for his own company where he could contribute to the growth of many companies and the consumer product industry. This resulted in the founding of Winston Weber& Associates, Inc in 1985, with a goal to have a global perspective and provide leadership thinking with practical, implementable solutions.

As a company, they employ a controlled growth strategy with an emphasis on providing more value and client return on investment than other large consulting firms staffed mostly by junior consultants with minimal business experience.

According to Win, more value and client return on investment means an uncompromising emphasis on quality and trust, a “say it as we see it approach” and the ability to consistently exceed client expectations. These qualities and dedication of the company to provide leading-edge thinking with implementable solutions have helped the company achieve its goal and the reputation they have today.

 

The Role of the CEO

One of the company’s senior consultants describes Win Weber as an icon of the consumer product’s industry someone who knows transformational change when he sees it. The CEO had his finger on the pulse of the industry 35 years ago when he introduced an innovative business model for retailers and manufacturers and since then has a tight grip on the industry.

 

Driving Industry Change

Many throughout the industry value Winston Weber & Associates leading edge thinking. The company is credited with introducing the concept of retailer and supplier partnering to the grocery and chain drug channels in the 1980s. This concept was later introduced in Australia, Mexico and Asia. Since then, the company has been involved in strategic collaboration and is recognized as an industry expert in that area. In 1990 they introduced Category Management to the U.S.  a concept that today is practiced worldwide by grocery retailers, mass merchants, chain drug stores and more.

Today, 35 years later Winston Weber &Associates is introducing the replacement for Category Management with a new business model referred to as Shopper-Centric Retailing. This new business model, with its core Shopper Solutions Planning, is now indorsed by the Food Industry Association, and is expected to be the future for years to come.

Winston Weber & Associates is also introducing the industry’s first and highly advanced Shopper Solutions Planning Change Enablement TrainingSM.This builds on the universally required competencies of Non-Routine Cognitive Skills:  abstract reasoning, systems thinking, and the ability to experiment that allow management teams to continuously adapt and excel. This means bringing together the foundational skills introduced by category management with the shift to shopper-centric strategies and processes driven by the current digital revolution.

 

What Sets  Winston Weber& Associates Apart?

The consulting company fosters a culture of feedback both internally between the consultants and with the clients. They have a very open and collaborative environment internally with all members of the consulting team which encourages them to express their ideas, opinions, and experiences. With the goal to promote thinking outside the box, the company believes that forward-thinking and innovation enables employees to think beyond conventional ideas and practices, which drives leading-edge thinking.

Winston Weber& Associates also partners with companies who complement its forward thinking, For example, Next Orbitis a company with a cloud platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning from POS and other data to generate predictive and intelligent alerts. An AI-centric product suite focusing on the consumer experience driven by making the  right product available at the right price for  the right consumer at the right location, this has proven to be an on-shelf product availability solution.

Another partner to this consulting company is Foodspace Technologies, a company with a product attribute solution that uses AI, ML, vision technology and NLP to automatically assign 98 million total attributes to 45,000+ grocery industry products accurately. It can process 5,000 products per hour. No other company has this capability.Product attribute accuracy will be essential with the expected growth of online sales.

 

Something to Be Proud of 

With a steady high industry position, Winston Weber& Associates has been recognized by a number of publications as “One of those innovators who is changing the world for the best”,“One of the 10 most recommended service providers”, and “One of the 50 innovative companies to watch”.

 

Challenges Nearing the Finish Line 

Winston Weber& Associates has faced some challenges to get to where they are today. One of them is differentiating itself from the few large and many medium and small-size consulting firms. This is compounded today by the continued consolidation though out the industry. In other words, medium and small-size consulting firms will not survive long term without a clearly defined value proposition and a key point of differentiation.

 

The Road Ahead 

According to Win Weber, today’s shoppers are craving more than mere transactions; they want solutions tailored to their lifestyles, personalization of information and promotions that support the solutions they are seeking in-store and online. Evolving beyond ingrained business policies and practices to a fully integrated shopping experience is the key to industry growth. Due to COVID-19 and the “new normal” it has created, online is estimated to be 25% of grocery sales by 2025, for which the company has been preparing for and is 100% aligned to meet these challenges.

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