„Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”, whose first issue appeared in September 2010, is the result achieved by the Romanian Distribution Committee (C.R.D.), since its founding in 1996 until today, in terms of quality standards, in terms of both format and content of such a publication. Working with famous Romanian authors and internationally recognized external collaborators has made it possible to achieve a high scientific level of the articles signed by those who, in fact, take part in the Editorial Board.
As both have showed, the magazine (http://www.distribution-magazine.eu & http://www.distribution-magazine.ro/) and C.R.D.’s website (Link 1) „Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine” is the result of a true partnership, by bringing scientists and practitioners together proving the passionate pursuit of knowledge for wisdom, the real passion for acquiring and sharing this knowledge inviting the readers to maturing interdisciplinary dialogue and building a transparent culture network.
“Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine” is pledging for partnering in knowledge distribution, a critical shift in mindset and inviting you to take full advantage of this opportunity to contribute to a great agenda of sharing results by bringing confidence in these critical times. Our magazine is building a transparent culture network to approach the knowledge distribution in an open manner, focusing on innovation and re-innovation. Knowledge is a public good which has no value if it is not put it into practice.
And regarding “Physical Distribution” it is known that it is representing “The Frontier of Modern Management” as Peter Drucker showed in 1965, by definig it as “the whole process of business… one area where managerial results of great magnitude can be achieved.” Within this framework, if the conversation pertaining to knowledge distribution is to be directed or biased in any direction of – for instance – distribution as a commercial activity of transporting and selling goods from a producer to a consumer, then we must consider the Supply Chain Management first. Supply chains have become increasingly complex and time-sensitive, the economic success of the company being intertwined with the actions of its suppliers and applying value chain principles creating customer value and competitive advantage thanks to an adequate combination of a superior supply chain, committed customers and loyal consumers. There are consistent challenges such as quickly understanding the impact of the rapid changes and optimizing the response to these changes, while fighting both against the bullwhip effect caused by increasing demand uncertainty and for supporting product innovation, demand management, supply management and response management. In these critical times there is a real need: to become more demand-driven; to make fundamental changes in the way of thinking about the supply networks; to treat supply chain thinking as a philosophy that pervades the entire company.
The partnership producer – distributor – consumer pleads today for identifying a set of capability standards to ensure both the buyer’s satisfaction and organizational effectiveness, supply chain management, having as strategic precursor the design of supply chain management, modifying the rules of competition and being considered as essential for integrating the business which has to better, faster and closer identify and solve clients’ problems . Due to the fact that the consumer’s behaviour represents an essential factor for the future of the organization’s viability, the close relation with the consumer is important so that understanding his preferences and the signal he sends occurs as soon as possible. In these critical times of the renaissance of innovation as an essential instrument in the knowledge economy there is a definite need to: become more demand-led; make fundamental changes in what concerns the way of thinking regarding the supply networks; treat the supply chain management as a philosophy which crosses the entire organization.
The formation, in 1996, of the Romanian Distribution Committee (C.R.D.) as a Scientific Association – Romanian legal private non-governmental person, apolitical, non-profit, open-associative type (through the association of 42 founding members: academies, institutions, research centers; non-governmental institutions; organizations, unions, employers’ federations and Commerce and Industry unions formed on branches of activity and products; Chambers of commerce, industry and agriculture; bilateral chambers union; comapnies in the distribution and production field, SMEs, export-import companies, public figures), represented a milestone (C.R.D. is mentioned in “European Marketing Information Sourcebook, 1st edition, Euromonitor International” ,page 132; following, reference is made to CRD in the study “Marketing issues in transitional economies”, Springer, 1st edition, August 31, 1999, Rajeev Batra, William Davidson Institute, Business & Economics, page 167) for acknowledging the specific Romanian undertakings of adapting to European and world economic structures. Otherwise, even in the „virtual world”, this fact was recorded in „Position Paper, Chapter16”: SME (http://www.mie.ro / Negocieri/Romana /Documente_ pozitieRom/CAP16-DP), at point 3 – „ Capacity to implement the acquis communautaire ”: „that in the field of commerce and distribution, in 1996, the Romanian Distribution Committee was established as a a legal association, affiliated to the International Association for the Distributive Trade” (scientific and pedagogical association – A.I.D.A. Bruxelles, Link 2).
Since the second half of 1996, C.R.D. published (in a partnering relation with the Romanian Foreign Trade Center ) a Documentary Summary (opening the Collection “Information and Documentation Synthesis in the distribution field”) “Distribution in Europe”, as a Supplement of the Journal “Romanian Trade Monitor” (Link 3)
C.R.D. collaborated with Valahia University in Targoviste between 1997-1998 on the magazine „Distribution today and tomorrow”, the Scientific Coordinator of the magazine, Theodor Purcarea, being, for example, the author of several articles: „Distribution. Where to?”, in no. 1, 1997; „To learn and think in the information era”, in no. 2, 1997; „Trade and Distribution facing increased competition” in no. 3, 1998; „The 24th International AIDA Congress in Bucharest”, in no. 4, 1998; „Romania’s connection to the circuit of special events of the world of distribution, in no. 6-7, 1998.
A proof of the quality of the scientific preocupations of C.R.D. was also the fact that the European Rapporteur for “Green Book of European Trade” sent – on the occasion of the works of the 1997 CRD General Assembly – the project in question ( of the „Green Book”, whose translation was later published by INCE, Romanian Academy, thanks to the collaboration with C.R.D.), at the same time giving thanks for the contribution that C.R.D. brings to the professional growth of trade.
In 1999 a series of results of the researches conducted by C.R.D. were displayed, namely in a work of reference published by the Romanian Academy, INCE, in “Observer. Romanian Economic Research”, Study notebook no.9/1999, with the title “The consumer – manufacturing enterprise partnership”, the opportunity of optimizing the correlation: promoting the consumer (in the context of the reform of national trade, including developing logistic distribution structures adapted to local needs) – preserving competitive markets (in the context of the globalization of economy) was pointed out, as in the following year other conclusions were brought forward, in works such as, for example, « Marketing. Evolutions, experiences, conceptual developments», Ed. Expert, 2000.
As C.R.D.’s status clearly points out the importance of seeking to promote sustainable development, in 2000, CRD organized, together with the “International Foundation Health – Environment – Sustainable development ” and in partnership with “ION RATIU” Romanian Parlamentarians Club , the Symposium ”The Economy of Ideas and Sustainable development”, first reported by the Magazine”Tribuna Economica”, no. 18/3 May 2000). The discussions that took place at the Parliament House, on the occasion of the works of the Symposium on May 16, 2000, were based on a study (“Sustainable development : principles and action”, Beniamin Cotigaru, Theodor Purcarea, coordinators, Millenium Publishing House, May 2000), interdisciplinary research representing a turning point in developing a national strategy for sustainable development (Link 4). In this study the focus, from the very beginning, is centered on the need for enterprise reconstruction on the basis of negociated competency, in the context of spiritualization of economies. It was also discussed, in the context, the opportunity to exploit the model of Product Development Research/CDP in meeting sustainable development, CDP representing product trajectory as a specific methodological instrument. In Anexe 1 the Research-Developemnt Programe (with 4 subprogrames) “Sustainable Development” is presented , coordinated by the “ International Foundation Health – Environment – Sustainable development” and “Romanian Distribution Committee”, non-governmental and non-profit organizations).
It is important to mention that, starting with 2000, C.R.D. emphasized the impressive European solution to the first key stage of category management (deciding upon the definitions of categories and measurement criteria), as well as the importance of the existance of a complete dynamic picture of the integrated supply chain management of all producers and distributors in a country. CRD analyzed and debated, since its formation, the framework which generated the export of the best managerial practices in the field, including the effects of involving certain global dominators in the food distribution in our country. Otherwise, for example, representatives of Carrefour, Metro and Cora accepted CRD’s invitation, participating on March 13, 2001, at the Parliament Palace, at the International Symposium « The distribution of fresh products », a real professional turning point, with corresponding effects. The symposium appeared as a turning moment and later, in the weekly journal”European Business”, no.21/ 3-9 November 2004, which pointed out, in the context, the outline of the ECR Romania Association’ structuring
On the occasion of the Jubilee Session with the topic „ Engineers’ managerial training. Traditions and perspectives”, held at Politehnica University in Bucharest, 9.06.2001, C.R.D. made its views known regarding knowledge imperatives at the level of the relation engineer – manager (Link 6).
C.R.D. actions were enrolled in a common endeavour for the normalization of the competitive environment, to prevent inefficiency and to increase the overall level of performance, for partnerships and loyal competition in the distribution process, to increase welfare by offering the possibility of options. It is worth remembering, in this context, the aspects mentioned in the 1997 Report (page 561), 1998 Report (pag. 66-67), 1999 Report (pag. 53) and 2001 Report( pag. 64 ), of the Competition Council, concerning the collaboration with the Romanian Distribution Committee.
In 2004 C.R.D. signaled, for example, a series of priorities within the approach of the distribution –related issues: why, how, when and at what price will the identification via radio frequency be imposed, in the context of the significant advantages that it will bring especially at the level of supply chain management (SCM); contribution of a uniform standard, bar code and electronic message to the optimization of logistic performances; the way in which it can optimize the compatibility between logistics constraints and the the quality imperatives of service and products offered; the three pillars of packaging: product, logistics, the environment; legal quality and practical priority issues, during the elaboration of a global strategy for transport, handling and warehousing; productivity improvement and reduction of costs in the partnership producer – distributor – logistics provider; new geomarketing applications and so on.
C.R.D. sent another essential message in what concerns promoting the partnership in spreading knowledge (“Clear trends in managing information in Romanian enterprises. The evolution, strategies and magazines of the future”) on the occasion of the Symposium QBIT – IBM – Geac with the topic “Informatics solutions compatible with European audit. A necessary step in the view of receiving the status of functional market economy” and whose works were carried out at Crowne Plaza Bucharest, 27.05.2004. The same year, C.R.D. announced the outline of the ECR Romania Association structure, as a reunion of a critical mass of professionals, which would then be represented in ECR Europe, idea launched by the Romanian Distribution Committee (C.R.D.) in 1996 (when the first conference ECR Europe took place and when the person who became Head of the ECR Department of CRD participated at).
In 1996 C.R.D. organized the first National ECR Symposium, in partnership with Valahia University in Targoviste, and in 1999,on the occasion of the third National ECR Symposium organized by C.R.D. a Point of view was elaborated (“Modern distribution and information technology as a strategic resource”) and sent to the Parliament, the Government and the academic environment, also taken into consideration by the media. This happened in the context in which in the previous period of time, in the world, working groups were constituted for the development of a global standard in the distribution field, the executive management being ensured by the representatives of the ECR and VICS leadership (“Voluntary Industry Commerce Standards”), as well as of some prestigious transnational distributors and producers.
In 2006, the Romanian Distribution Committee, in colaboration with Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and UGIR 1903 organized the Symposium (launching a partnership project) with the topic “Institutional-spiritual reconstruction of enterprises, requirement for sustainable development in the knowledge society”, a nationwide premiere. Also, the volume that contains this project, which appeared in April 2006 at ASE Publishing House and in which, at page 488, reference is made to „RESPAD Trophy” offered by CRD, among other things emphasizing the correlation between real success and the vision of the training team (Link 7). In „Additional information regarding the event”, distributed on the occasion of the works of the symposium, the hope was expressed as to what concerns the significance „of a new partnership of public-private interests post-accession in the European Union where the education and research, employers and administration, business governance will find solutions concerning common problems of our lives regarding enterprises competitiveness, polution of the environment and poverty, the control of risks that the evolution in the new complexity of the world of uncertainties generates…” (Link 8).
It is relevant to remember that the many televised debates, starting with March 2008, on the topic of the so-called „war of supermarkets”, would have been much more grounded if it had been taken into account that anyone could have read in electronic format just a year before in „Competition’s Review”, March 2007 (File. Distribution market), the article “The fastest impact of Romania joining the European Union. The reality and the particularity of distribution” (Theodor Purcarea, pag. 38-43, http://www.competitions.ro/revista/competitions_review_mar07.pdf).
On April 9, 2009, as a result of the partnership , under the patronage of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Bucharest City Hall, between the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” – Bucharest, Romanian Distribution Committee and A.I.D.A. Brussels, the Conference SANABUNA 2009 was held at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” , which approached the imperative of reflection and responsible action on the issue “health -food – wellfare”, seeking to identify that new necessary direction of attitudes that would allow the establishment of a partnership between the public and the private sector meant to offer proper solutions for influencing the change in behaviour in order to improve the economic – social health and responsability. The participants at the conference included representatives of the Romanian Parliament, Ministries, Romanian Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences, Romanian Distribution Committee – A.I.D.A. , several Universities (Romanian American University Bucharest, Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu, Politehnica University Bucharest, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Artifex Bucharest, Valahia University in Targoviste, George Baritiu University Braşov), as well as economic operators which assume corporate social responsability and sustainable development. The event’s interdisciplinary character allowed covering certain new aspects, starting from the harmonization of the preocupations related to building a truly better life, in the context of the pressure of the awareness concerning the connections between health, food and the different aspects of businesses and the imperative of identifying the right answers in the confrontation with the wellfare reform, reconfiguring consistent ways with fundamental values, education being in the center of the adaptation, and solidarity could not be neglected. The conclusion was that the speech and action on the issue „food-health-wellfare” must and can be modified in order to preserve our life, opening up our mind and hightening the spirits to cross the “ocean of mistrust” whose huge waves crash against the shores of economic-social constructions, going beyond the fragments of understanding, interacting, getting involved, communicating and learning how to realize the proper change of our behaviour as producers, distributors and individual and organizational consumers of the product that became part of our culture. „The therapist” lies in each of those who commit to entering the partnership for „health-food- wellfare”, a partnership which can restore trust in life and in the market. People health lies in the centre of sustainable development and adapting the business accordingly.
In May 2009 C.R.D. suggested (Link 9) organizing a series of debates aiming at the reconcilliation of the market with the public policy aspirations. Restoring the trust relationship between those who govern and those who are governed, seeking to identify ways to ensure the integrity of public policy, it is of real interest in a dramatically transformed world in which neither the markets nor the nonrepresentative sistems work alone. The lack of consensus regarding going out of the crisis represents a real drama of the current public policy, being necessary to acquire wisdom of the policy of public choice. Competition is the the key leader of performance and innovation which feeds economic growth, thanks to fair and open competition the best product winning and the market forces prevailing. The signals regarding the changing of the nature of competition intensify, that increasingly takes place inside corporate-controlled networks, emphasizing the necessity to apply in the global industrial network of some fresh engineering principles carefully building political calibrated institutions and following the approach through the whole system of human businesses, both private and public. It is necessary that the approach based on the market helps in implementing the ambitions of the social reform. The situation is even more pressing in a global context in which it is considered that calculated dishonesty and the application of the double standard, characteristic to the agreement between the political power and the financial power, raise strong barriers to the responsible intelligent decisions.
Between 25 – 27 May 2009, on the occasion of the 56 Congress of the International Association of French Economists (AIELF) – « Compétitivité, solidarité et croissance économique mondialisée », organized at Targoviste following Valahia University’s invitation , with the support of the National Agency for Scientific Research, C.R.D. representative (Theodor Purcarea) introduced the topic „La distribution en Roumanie dans l’intersection concurrence-coopération et la provocation représentée par la problématique « alimentation – santé – bien -être ». Quelle chance pour le « rêve européen» dans le contexte de la crise économique mondiale?”.