CPGs Can Win Retailers and Consumers by Harnessing Layers of Data

To stay ahead, forward-thinking CPG companies are focusing on a new best practice – harnessing layers of real-time data from a tightly-integrated, closed-loop platform to win at the shelf more consistently. With consumers calling the shots and data serving as the new currency, CPG brands are willing to go through a top-to-bottom business transformation to stay relevant (and profitable.) One of the biggest changes taking shape revolves around trade promotions and how those events are executed and managed.  You see, this transformational period has CPGs working to elevate and personalize the overall brand experience, and that includes how resellers, distributors, and retailers deliver and execute promotions to the consumer. When data is scattered across ERP systems, CRM tools and static spreadsheets, it’s impossible to get a clear picture about your business, let alone your customer.  The recent partnership between CPGToolBox and PolSource, both ISV partners of Salesforce.com, offers CPGs a way to pull data together and better manage the millions of dollars earmarked annually for trade promotions. The trifecta of Salesforce.com, CPGToolBox, and PolSource lets CPGs pull more data together in one place. The benefits of this closed-loop system built around Salesforce.com enables CPGs to tap into its world-class, international ecosystem: the renowned CRM system; the Community Cloud to develop meaningful and data rich relationships with resellers; Einstein to leverage AI and machine learning; and PolSource to capture real-time field sales that can be fed into CPGToolBox to analyze trade spend. By connecting data sources, a wealth of insights can be leveraged to influence every consumer and create smarter transactions with every retailer.  For example, TPM processes for global...

Has Omnichannel Retailing Changed Traditional Trade Promotion Management Practices?

The editors at CGT Magazine asked the top Trade Promotion Management solution providers to weigh in on omnichannel retailing. Our own Rick Pensa had this to say in the magazine’s February issue: Q: HOW HAS THE MOVE TO OMNICHANNEL RETAILING CHANGED TRADITIONAL TRADE PROMOTION MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AT CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES?  I think omnichannel retailing has forced Consumer Goods companies to really re-think their go-to-market strategies.  The path to purchase is hardly a straight line anymore. Traditional opportunities such as store circulars and display programs are still important, and still effective among certain customer sets. But there are new vehicles to integrate and measure. The trade promotion management playbook manufacturers have relied upon for decades has to change. When it comes to Amazon, it’s impossible to manage that partnership using spreadsheets – there too much big data. Yet companies insist they can push a square peg through a round hole. Omnichannel retailing is forcing manufacturers to integrate digital and traditional promotions to fully understand ROIs. That is a challenge if your company is still relying on spreadsheets.  Consumers are tech savvy, so I’m always baffled as to why so many CG manufacturers are slow to adopt technology.  Q: ARE TRADE PROMOTION MANAGEMENT SOLUTION VENDORS HELPING CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES ADDRESS THESE NEW CHALLENGES? Data is the new currency; and a TPM solution empowers CG companies to manage, mine and analyze real-time data in one place. In today’s omnichannel landscape, retailers are under a lot of pressure to drive in-store traffic and optimize shelf space. Manufacturers armed with fact-based data and what-if scenarios derived from a trade promotion management solution will be...

It’s the End of the Month…

It’s the end of the month and you need volume…lower the price.  It’s the start of the month and you need profit…raise the price.  In the beverage business, these types of scenarios can be monthly occurrences. When this happens, are all the stake holders – sales, finance, trade promotion managers – scrambling to see if they can make it work?  Does it become chaotic with spreadsheets scattered across the desk and on the wall?  In the end, does anyone know if money was made or lost? As a beverage manufacturer and distributor, can you relate to this level of chaos?  It’s the same across carbonated beverages, water, juice, or coffee. There is a way to eliminate these issues and get answers to the following questions at a moment’s notice: How much money did we make? CPGToolBox can provide reports and scorecards that outline results from previous promotions. Different retailers, the same retailer, last year or last month.  Just point and click. Can we afford to do this promotion again? CPGToolBox allows you to look at any settlement management to determine balance of budget for the year. There are also reports to quickly view the ROI. Does it make sense to feature cans or 2-Liters? CPGToolBox outlines the results of any package promotions previously conducted. You can view cost, lift, the raw dollars spent, and what promotions are upcoming on the calendar. The answers are right at your fingertips with CPGToolBox.  The Salesforce-based platform can provide you and your company with money savings in the form of time, ROI evaluation, dollars spent on a specific promotion, and settlement management.  Free...

Are You (Literally) Sick of Planning Promo Activities?

Is it that time of year where you get sick?  Sick and frustrated when you begin the planning process for next year’s forecasting and promotional activity.  Do you feel like you are in a planning war zone with 10 excel spreadsheets open and printouts of analytics all over your desk?  This process does not inspire a lot of confidence that things will go easily or well, does it? Account Managers, Brokers and their teams who support the planning process experience this feeling too often, and the struggle is real.  Compiling data that is outdated and inconsistent in timing and format is so time consuming.  Frankly, Account Managers and Brokers experience difficulty trying to manage all their retailers and outlining a quality plan for each of them. Picture this…a clean desk and only one application open on your computer screen to work from.  What if you had all the necessary information on a single screen providing actionable insights so your Account Manager and Brokers could plan insight-driven events quickly and in a simple to use format? How about we give that transparency to the rest of your organization as well. The bosses can stop asking for daily updates or requesting a customer report you simply don’t have time to complete. CPGToolBox knows where you are and how you can put the planning nightmare behind you.  Our Salesforce.com based application is lightning fast and easy to learn. We keep the planning process simple and straight forward. You gain visibility and our tool does all the hard work. Check us out and setup a quick demo so we can help you improve...

CPGToolBox Named Among 30 Most Trustworthy Companies

The Silicon Review is known for its lists.  The online platform, which serves as a neutral source for IT decision makers to learn about solutions providers, just released its list of the 30 Most Trustworthy Companies of the Year…and CPGToolBox made the cut! Being recognized as trustworthy is not as flashy as landing on the Forbes list of billionaires, but it’s significant in today’s cyber-oriented business environment. As a service-oriented TPM solution provider, a long-term partnership with a manufacturer who chose CPGToolBox over the competition is built on trust. Clients trust us with their data and its security. They trust us to hit implementation deadlines. Clients trust we will pick up the phone when they call.  Trust is earned in this business and being named to The Silicone Review’s Most Trustworthy Companies of the Year is a badge CPGToolBox will wear with honor. So, what makes a company so trustworthy? The Silicon Review interviewed the CEO of CPGToolBox that you can read...

How to Prevent Overspend Surprises

Are you frustrated with overspend “surprises?”  Are you challenged with a better way to keep track of how much you’re spending?  Tired with not knowing at any given time how much money you’ve accrued and spent?  Wouldn’t it be great to get a report whenever you want that would show you this exact information?  If so, CPGToolBox has the solution. CPGToolBox can customize a “Checkbook” that allows you to track in real time, the dollars you’ve accrued, plan to spend and have spent at any point in the year.  We can customize it in a way that shows year to date, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually the status of your spending and how much you have remaining to spend.  CPGToolBox can build this information at a very high level or down to the account and event level depending on who is looking at the information.  The data can even be segmented by brand, category or business unit for your Marketing department or down to a funding “bucket” or GL code for Finance. Having this information available at any given time eliminates unnecessary time wasted by exchanging emails and answering questions about how you might be planning to spend your trade dollars.  It provides the visibility to other departments they need to understand what is going on at any point in time.  The reality is account managers no longer have to spend hours calculating their actual spending against their plan or what they’ve accrued – we have reports that will do it with a push of a button.  This saves them time to focus on looking at their most successful...