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Can one TPM solution fit all?

The simple answer is a resounding yes!

Managing trade funds is complex. However, the basics of managing trade funds is not different, particularly between  the small and medium size CPG manufacturers. There just aren’t 10 ways to clear dedictions that are all “best practices”.  Continue reading

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Are you flying blind?

You wouldn’t fly a plane blindfolded because you can’t see where you’re going – whether it’s looking out the window or at the instrument panel. The same holds true for effectively managing your trade spending. If you don’t have both a TPM solution and syndicated consumer data you are really flying blind. Yet, amazingly, many – with some estimates as high as 40% – small CPG companies do not spend the now relatively small amount of dollars on securing solutions to see where 10-30%+ of their topline revenue is going.  Continue reading

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Does searching for and implementing a Trade Promotion Management solution have to be long, hard, painful and costly?

Not today. Years ago it used to be.

Then the TPM solutions from major software providers were all customized, costly, long processes that were also not that effective. Now the better TPM solutions can be implemented often within 12- 16 weeks or less since the product already exists in the cloud and your users just log in. All you have to do is add your data and configure it to your hierarchies for the retailers and products. TPM solutions are created with the ability to integrate to all of the ERP systems.

This isn’t as scary as it sounds and it’s done at every company so you are not unique. Then the set-up costs and monthly subscriptions are really very reasonable in both the absolute, and particularly when you view them as a very small percentage of the millions of dollars you spend on trade promotions to ensure they are controlled and effective. Continue reading

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Are you drilling down to the weekly results by major SKU at each retailer or just reading the averages?

You should be drilling down because there’s gold in them hills! It’s easy to speak to averages because it requires less work. But averages hide important details.

For example, your average price doesn’t tell you how much of your volume is sold on deal, or that one major deep discount blowout sale drove so much volume in 2 weeks that it is impacting the entire year’s average. You could be too high or too low of your pricing goal vs your competition most of the year but the average hides that. What if you didn’t get that sale next year?  Continue reading

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Is finding the right Trade Promotion Management solution the beginning or the end of your journey to trade promotion effectiveness?

While light years ahead of Excel spreadsheets, and so a major step in the right direction, securing a trade promotion management solution is really just the beginning. Great you have one. Now you need to make sure everyone is properly trained on it so they maximize its usefulness. Then you need to conduct diagnostics to track proper compliance, meaning that the users are putting in all their volume and deals by retailer by promoted group. Too often the users take a short cut and leave out data they don’t think is necessary. This leaves major data holes making proper tracking and reporting down the road impossible, which could lead to disastrous over or under spending.  Continue reading

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You are not alone! If you are concerned about the cost and efficiency of your trade promotion spending you have company

Studies indicate that (1) 2/3 of CPG executives are concerned about the cost and efficiency of trade spending, (2) 50% or more of the trade promotions do not meet objectives (3) 18% of CPG manufacturers admit they have no mechanism to measure effectiveness, (4) over 40% of the trade promotion events are not ranked or analyzed and (5) there are big capability gaps in critical areas of TPM products such as promotion planning, reporting and analysis, and account profitability. The net result is that 70% of the CPG manufacturers surveyed indicate the number one area they want to improve is their trade promotion effectiveness.  Continue reading

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Those TPM Services; we need all of it!

In a recent Adesso User Conference we presented our Trade Promotion Activation Services to our clients and they were not only impressed with the unique range of capabilities for a solutions provider, many expressed high levels of interest in utilizing these services for their company. When we finished and asked what they thought of them, one senior executive said “we need all of it”Continue reading

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Your TPM Solution. Here Today. Gone Tomorrow?

With the consolidation of several Trade Promotion Management solution providers there is valid concern among clients about whether their version of the TPM solution will be around and supported in the near future.

The fact is it’s not just hard, it’s next to impossible to merge two different solutions. It’s also inefficient. The provider has to make a choice for which one they are going to support going forward. Several of the major TPM “influencers” in the industry have indicated that this problem is real and getting worse. Continue reading

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The 5-Point Trade Promotion Management Solution Evaluation Checklist

1. Get to know the management team.

This is a major company decision and the people behind the TPM tool are critical. Check their backgrounds on LinkedIn and their websites. Does the management team have client side / CPG manufacturer experience working with major CPG brands and sizable trade budgets? The best TPM solutions are designed not by the IT development team but by CPG TPM manufacturer side experts who know how the solution should be used.  Continue reading

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Believe it or not – many small & medium size CPG’s are still using Excel to manage trade spending

At this point it’s tragic. It’s 2014, but believe it or not – many small and medium size CPG’s are still using Excel to manage trade spending

While the number of SMB CPG manufacturers using Excel has gone down from 2/3 in the mid 2000’s, some estimates have it as still more than 1/3 of the thousands of SMB’s are still on Excel – a 1990’s technology. Here’s the problem. Trade spending is just too complex. If you’re efficient and on top of it you can keep track of what you said you were going to spend by promotion by retailer. But once those deductions start coming in it’s a nightmare. Try to get a big picture perspective and you can’t aggregate anything meaningful. Cross your fingers and hope for the best when all the deductions are in then spend an enormous amount of time trying to find the variances. And that’s just deductions. Trying to do planning or getting reports with different views by retailer, or by brand, or by promotional event, or by region is impossible.  Continue reading

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