December Blog Series: Spreading the Joy
Insights from: Flintfox
Edgewater Fullscope is pleased to announce the second blog post in our monthly partner blog series. This week's post features a post from Todd Rigdon, Director of Pre-Sales at Flintfox, which offers effective TPM solutions to manage the most challenging pricing, trade promotions, rebate and accrual activity across the consumer and durable goods industries.
As we approach the Holiday season, many people start reflecting on the past year's successes, failures, and learning experiences. Where can my company improve? Where can I improve? What worked and what did not? What are my most important priorities and goals and how do I best strive to achieve those goals? My guess is quite a number of us attempt to live by those famous words of the great Vince Lombardi, "There are three things that are important to every man in this locker room. His Faith, his Family, and the Green Bay Packers. In that order." Just simply replace "locker room" with "company" and "Green Bay Packers" with "company profits", and you probably just spelled out the doctrine of a few sales executives and sales managers in the CPG manufacturing space.
In this blog, we will take a look at how software can actually help you achieve those goals. (All done in the proper order, of course.) As a sales manager, real-time visibility into all relevant customer information, product line item profitability, and pre and post commitment trade spend analysis is of utmost importance. Further, being able to access this wealth of data in a simple, efficient, and meaningful manner is required. The days of having a separate and disconnected ERP, Data Warehouse/BI tool, home grown Customer Relationship Management (CRM) utility, budgeting and sales forecasting tool, Trade Promotion Management (TPM) system, and complex webs of excel spreadsheets is quickly becoming a thing of the past. While some of the larger manufacturers may be able to get away (afford) the training, software, and human expertise required to run so many disparate systems, that is not the case for the majority of small and medium-sized CPG companies that are often constrained by a lack of such resources. TPM and CRM solutions are no longer disparate entities that operate on different data sets. They not only function on the same data sets, such as accounts, products, and invoiced orders, but also utilize many of the same KPI's such as gross and net profit; budget vs. plan; forecasts vs. actuals; period vs. period analysis, and more. Configurable, real-time dashboards, tailored to specific user roles should present the right data at the right time, to ensure all trade spend and customer specific sales metrics are in-line with company expectations. And remember, the quicker we can check off that lowest priority and ensure our region, our customers, and trade spend is under control, then the quicker we can get to those real priorities this holiday season: Faith, family, turkey, red velvet cake, and don't forget the football games.
How does a combined CRM and TPM solution easily achieve those goals? Start off by embedding TPM functionality within the world class Microsoft Dynamics® CRM toolset. No matter what ERP you're running, instantly leverage Microsoft® Outlook integration for easy access and quick user adoption; CRM workflow for automated alerts, notifications, and streamlining of business processes; a world class, role-tailored security model to ensure proper read/write access down to the field level; mobile device support; import/export to Microsoft® Excel and much more. Utilize collaborative tools such as Microsoft® Sharepoint and PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer to create interactive dashboards and drill down into an embedded Microsoft® Sequel Server Analysis Services trade specific cube.
In addition to a best in class CRM toolset with modules such as Sales Support, Marketing, and Customer Service, manufacturers can perform key TPM functions, right inside Microsoft Dynamics® CRM, either via Outlook or the web client.
- "What If" Planning
Easily simulate and analyze the effects of various trade plan rates, lift factors, and volume scenarios to determine the most effective trade promotions.
- Trade Promotion Planning
Create and maintain multiple budget sets as well as sales forecasts at any level of the customer or product hierarchy. Copy functionality and prebuilt templates ensure quick and easy creation of new trade agreements. And don't forget to automate those deal approvals while you're gone the last two weeks of December!
Interactive Trade Promotion Calendar
A highly flexible and interactive Trade Promotion Calendar to ensure you have no work to do or promotions to support during the Christmas Holiday season.
|View all deals for a given customer or product cross section in an interactive calendar format.|
- Accruals Management
Trade expense commitments can be automatically accrued over a range of sales categories from actual shipped, indirect and scanned volumes, and lump-sum distributions.
- Claims & Deductions Management
Ensure all customer payment requests are properly allocated to trade or non-trade categories and routed to the proper personnel for approval.
- Real Time Decision Making
Pre-configured dashboards and embedded financial reporting and ROI charts/graphs provide key decision support tools. (Determine which of your promotions have been naughty or nice…)
|ROI vs % of sales incremental *|
|*size of bubble = dollar sales
Embedded financial and ROI reports and graphs allow users to make informed, real-time decisions during promotion entry.
Use tools such as this scatter plot quadrant diagram to show ROI by promoted product group along with trade expenditure as a % of net sales.
As you can see, the importance of real-time and truly integrated systems cannot be understated. A single ecosystem for CRM, TPM, and business intelligence not only increases your sales professionals' efficiency and responsiveness, but also ensures accuracy as there is a single source of the truth. Fullscope, along with strategic partners such as Flintfox, continue to make strides in software service and support, utilizing the newest and most compelling Microsoft technologies to ensure you meet your goals, whatever those may be this Holiday season.