Case study

Supplier crowdsourcing reduces product complaints by 17%

With over 7,500 private label products, a major multi-national retailer recognised that it was impractical to review every single piece of customer feedback for their entire product range. Inevitably, technical managers and product managers could only focus on major incidents - the ‘tip of the iceberg’.


At a glance

This retailer worked with supplier collaboration specialists Supply Pilot to implement online quality dashboards that shared customer feedback with suppliers, resulting in a 17% reduction in complaints in less than twelve months.


Food & Drink

Materially important issue

Customer feedback

Step of the process
Data-Driven KPI Activation
Platform elements used
Supplier engagement Supplier scorecards
Number of suppliers



Product complaints reduced by 17%


…we want to communicate that our value stretches beyond price and into quality.


Chief Customer Officer Multi-National Retailer


The worldwide growth in private label retail is, in large part, due to their higher retail margins - typically 5 to 20% higher than comparable proprietary brands (Source: McGoldrick). But long gone are the days where private label means ‘the cheap alternative’. Private label teams are required to put a high priority on product quality.

The issue is that with thousands of products, it is impractical to review all customer feedback and therefore the focus is on only major incidents - such as product contamination or risk to life. However, this is only part of the story when it comes to product quality.


A few hundred minor comments on one product may be below the radar for a retailer’s quality manager. But this is vital information which the supplier of that product is eager to see and keen to act upon. The solution was to crowdsource reviewing the feedback to the 500+ private label suppliers. Supply Pilot implemented a solution to collate contact centre feedback and provide this information within their platform. This gave suppliers on-demand access with the added ability to segment the data by product, category and type of feedback. The solution empowered suppliers to understand product performance and drive product improvements.


As a result, suppliers were able to be more proactive and engaged around product quality, with the measurable impact that product complaints reduced by 17% within the first twelve months.

The accepted industry cost of a complaint is in excess of £20 per complaint (simply for the complaint handling process). For this retailer, the 17% reduction in complaints equated to an average of 5,000 complaints per month. This allows us to calculate savings of over £200k per year, plus the reduction in vouchers and product replacements and the potential cost of lost or dissatisfied customers.

Key facts

500+ suppliers

for private labels

7,500+ products


17% reduction

in complaint

£200k savings

estimated per year

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