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.
One of the differences between the TPM solution providers is still in the product features, usability and analytics / reporting functionality, but all have made progress over the years. However, major differences exist when it comes to the ability for the provider to help you not just manage your trade spending, but to make is easy, risk free and effective.
Therefore, look for a TPM solution provider who has both flexible terms, as well as, a range of complimentary services:
- For example, do they have the trade expertise to help you analyze your trade spending and offer suggestions on alternative trade marketing strategies by retailer? For that, you need a team that are more than just software people, you need trade experts with CPG manufacturer side trade experience at major manufacturers to gain best practices insight.
- What about their ability to offer outsourced administration services? Rather than worrying about training an administrator who leaves in 6 months, think about how easy it would be to have someone who knows the solution down to the minute detail to be at your service.
That unique provider is out there. Seek and ye shall find.