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  Compiling data that is outdated and inconsistent in timing and format is so time consuming.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...

Information is Power for SMB CPG Manufacturers

How would you like to make your annual planning process easier and faster?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could set your goals down to the account level with the push of a button?  How about pushing a button to get a complete list of your events to focus on only the most successful ones?  If you’re a medium to smaller sized CPG company – wouldn’t you like to be able to compete more effectively with your larger competitors and partner more successfully with your retailers? For many CPG manufacturers, the annual planning process has begun, and for others it will be starting up soon.  CPG manufacturers go about the difficult, manual and often time-consuming task of gathering lots of information (usually from several different sources) to better understand where they were successful and where they weren’t.  Understanding which events drove the most incremental sales, which ones were the most efficient in terms of trade spend, and where they spent their dollars and how much, often takes time to calculate and gather because most, if not all, of their information is kept in spreadsheets. Larger companies that joint plan with their retailer partners have the advantage because they have a larger resource pool to provide analytics and many have sophisticated systems that provide information quicker. But what about the medium to smaller companies fighting for space within their respective categories?  Many of these companies don’t have the budgets or the resources to provide the analytics necessary to compete or even get their foot in the door.  However, they may not have the red tape larger companies do and are...

Annual Planning Doesn’t Have to Start From Scratch Anymore

The annual planning process is a ritual most CPG companies embark on each year. The process consists of evaluating current year progress and making projections for the coming year in terms of expected sales and level of investment with their retailer partners.  Some companies take a “top down” approach, others take a “bottom up” approach and many are doing a combination of both. Planning can be a time-consuming process because of how these projections are kept.  You see, many CPG companies “start from scratch” and create elaborate, formula filled spreadsheets that are incredibly detailed, but very manual to update and keep current. The process looks like this: Planning usually starts at the top with senior level executives creating an overall growth target and “pushing” that target down.  Marketing and Finance may also get involved in the process by driving growth targets for each of their brands, and potentially down to the SKU and account level. Building something down to the item level by customer in a spreadsheet can quickly become overwhelming to maintain and keep accurate. Because of the “manual” nature of keeping things in a spreadsheet, human error usually causes some confusion and planning delays. After all, it’s natural for business managers, finance, marketing, and sales executives to ask multiple questions about entries and formulas used for specific items and / or customers. Wouldn’t it be great to simplify this process and make it much faster and much more efficient?  That’s where CPGToolBox comes in.  Our annual planning Target Management functionality allows senior executives to create an overall growth target by business unit.  With a push of a...