When is it time to implement a new trade promotion management system?

Throughout this blog, we’ll walk you through when it might be time to implement the right TPM solution.

When is it time to make a change in how you manage your trade spend? For some companies, legacy systems can’t be patched anymore. For others, the business becomes too complex to account for all the factors that need to be considered. Sometimes it’s simple growth in sales, distribution, and spend that requires more accuracy, more collaboration, more transparency, and more accountability. Hopefully, it’s not the result of an audit that didn’t go well!

As your organization grows, teams naturally evolve and grow as well to keep up with trade promotions and reconciliations. The more personnel that need to be involved in planning, execution, analysis, and reconciliation, the less likely old or manual systems will suffice. 

If you find yourself in an environment with multiple teams and multiple processes and spreadsheets to manage activities it’s a good sign you are ready for the right trade management software. While Excel and Google sheets can be helpful at the beginning of establishing TPM processes, manually entering in information line by line can be tedious and a challenge to organize, let alone maintain as things change.

Below, we’ll walk you through when it might be time to implement the right TPM solution. With the right system, you can simplify, automate, and streamline your internal processes to properly manage trade spend. 

Implementing a TPM solution- Striking the right balance 

Before implementing a TPM solution, ensure leadership and key stakeholders are aligned on company goals, and evaluate whether the current systems and processes can get you there. Assess what product features and benefits are most important to achieving these goals, both in the short and long term. To narrow this down, think about what will allow you to scale your business efficiently, and meet your company objectives. 

It’s important to understand the balance between careful assessment vs the opportunity cost of continuing to operate inefficiently. You don’t want to rush into a bad decision - assessing the short and long-term requirements that will define your success will enable you to focus on picking the right vendor partner in a timely manner.

1. Assess your data


Once you’ve defined what success looks like, there are some pragmatic assessments you need to do to ensure you can get there. TPM is data-hungry.  First, you’ll need to assess and gather the data you have available from legacy systems or even disparate spreadsheets. With multiple teams managing trade spend in your organization across different documents, it’s a given that there will be misplaced information, incorrect links and multiple versions of the same information.

You’ll need to comb through this information before implementing a TPM system. To do so, ensure you have:  

              • Clean master data in your ERP for products, accounts, pricing, etc., along with your sell-in data.
              • Sell-through data (if appropriate) from distribution partners
              • Sell-out (Point of Sale) data from your major customers 

2. Level of Trade investment

There comes the point when an organization’s trade spend might reach a level where the investment in trade is too risky to continue management in outdated systems or manual spreadsheets. 

As a rule of thumb, many CPG companies will start to look into a TPM solution once their trade investment hits somewhere between $10-$20 million. You only need a small efficiency improvement in trade spend to have a huge ROI on TPM software. If you would like more information on how to prove your business case with ROI analyses, including a template for calculating yours, please click here

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3. Alignment with internal resources


To effectively roll out a TPM solution, you’ll need to assess whether your organization has reached a point in time where they can manage the change. Should you receive pushback from key stakeholders you need for buy-in or lack internal “cheerleaders” to help you cross the finish line, it’s going to be challenging to get the rest of the organization on board with the new system, even if the organization badly needs it... 

Ensuring IT, sales, and finance teams are aligned will help the project stay on track. Key issues to discuss with the cross-functional team before embarking on a project include::

                • Problems/goals (as discussed above)
                • Budget
                • Timelines- for project implementation and planning activities
                • Resources that will be required for implementation as well as ongoing system management and administration
                • Key processes that determine ownership like approvals and workflows 
                • Technology stack requirements

Partnering with an executive sponsor who can help champion the project and push it across the finish line is a key enabler of success. This will ensure resources across departments are aligned,  you get the buy-in and budgets are set accordingly. 

Find a solution with ready-to-use trade promotion management at your fingertips 

Once you decide it’s the right time to invest in a trade promotion management system, you’ll need to assess which vendor is the best for your business. TPMvision from CPGvision provides organizations:

                • The visibility required to manage trade accruals and reconciliations
                • Data, data science and analytics needed to improve trade efficiency
                • An easy adoption yet powerful user interface to enable your sales team to focus on selling
                • An integrated system that can easily employ a crawl-walk-run strategy

For more information about vendor selection and the RFP process, along with helpful downloadable resources, please visit the following:

How to find the best trade promotion software vendor

A guide to trade promotion management software

Ready-to-use trade promotion management intelligence for CPGs 

Meet CPGvision: the best-in-class fully connected and integrated TPM and RGM solution suite for Consumer-Packaged Goods, built on the Salesforce platform. With the most advanced functionality in the industry, CPGvision equips you with real-life problem-solving applications for TPM, TPO, and RGM. 

Your success is our success- CPGvision proudly provides a dedicated customer success team staffed with CPG industry professionals. Regardless of where you are in your RGM journey, you’ll be fully equipped with the solutions you need for profitable revenue growth. Contact us today to learn more.

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