How to select your trade promotion optimization vendor: A comprehensive checklist

Explore the essential factors for selecting the right trade promotion optimization vendor with our comprehensive checklist.

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Considering moving from trade promotion management to something more.... precise? Not sure where to start or what to ask of the vendors you might be considering? Fear not, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a checklist of specific questions that you and your team should ask potential technology vendors before selecting a trade promotion optimization solution:

1. Solution capabilities:

  • What specific trade promotion optimization capabilities does your solution offer out of the box vs. what do we have to build from scratch?
  • Can your solution handle multiple product categories, brands, and regions simultaneously?
  • How does your solution accommodate seasonality, inflation, and demand fluctuations?
  • Can your solution handle custom plans and models unique to our business? If so, please provide us with examples of how you would do that.
  • Can your solution model the impact of changes in regular price and/or distribution or only promotion price? 
  • Can your solution analyze the complete category for our products, including the competition? 

2. Data integration and quality:

  • How does your solution handle data integration from various sources, such as sales, inventory, and customer data? What about lift data and third-party retailer data? 
  • What data cleansing and validation processes are in place to ensure data quality? 
  • Can your solution handle both structured and unstructured data? 

3. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI and ML) expertise: 

  • What is the expertise of your data science and machine learning teams? Do they work only with CPG customers or across multiple industries?  Are they dedicated resources or shared with other teams? 
  • Can you provide examples of successful trade promotion optimization projects you've implemented for CPG companies? 
  • How frequently do you update your AI and ML models to adapt to changing market conditions? 

4. Customization and scalability: 

  • Can your solution be customized to meet our specific business needs and objectives? 
  • If so, how so, and what resources will be required from our team and your team to personalize the models and the product for our needs? 
  • How scalable is your solution to accommodate our company's growth and changing requirements? 

5. Data privacy and security: 

  • What measures do you have in place to ensure data privacy and security? 
  • Are you compliant with industry-specific regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, and how do you address these requirements? 
  • How do you monitor this issue and ensure that any issues and breaches are communicated to us in a timely manner? 

6. User experience and training: 

  • How intuitive is the user interface of your solution, and what training and onboarding support do you provide? 
  • Can you provide user testimonials or references from other CPG companies that have implemented your solution? 
  • What support is available to us post-implementation to continue to fine-tune our models?

7. Integration with existing systems: 

  • How easily can your solution integrate with our existing IT infrastructure and software applications? 
  • Do you have experience integrating with common CPG industry software (e.g., ERP, CRM, supply chain, Neilsen/IRI data)? 

8. Cost and return on investment (ROI): 

  • What is the pricing structure for your solution, and what are the ongoing costs?
  • Can you provide a detailed ROI analysis or case studies demonstrating the financial benefits of your solution? 

9. Support and maintenance: 

  • What level of technical support and maintenance services do you offer? 
  • How quickly can issues or technical challenges be resolved? 
  • What resources are available to us when we have questions or need to fine-tune the models or update the data sources?

10. Future roadmap:

  • What is your product development roadmap, and how do you plan to evolve your solution in response to market trends and technological advancements in AI and ML? 
  • Are there any upcoming features or enhancements that would be relevant to our needs? 
  • Do you have a customer advisory board on this product to help shape and prioritize features and functionality? 

11. Vendor reputation and references: 

  • Can you provide references from other CPG companies that have implemented your solution? 
  • What is your company's track record in delivering successful trade promotion optimization projects? 
  • What staff in your organization is dedicated to this product—both in development as well as support 

12. Contract terms and exit strategy: 

  • What are the terms of the contract, including service-level agreements (SLAs) and termination clauses? 
  • What is the process for transitioning away from your solution, if necessary? 

Asking these specific questions will help the IT team in the CPG company evaluate potential technology vendors thoroughly and make an informed decision when selecting a trade promotion optimization solution.

Discover a trade promotion optimization solution that aligns with your business goals. Contact our team to learn more about the CPGvision platform.

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