April Blog Series: Spring Cleaning
Insights from: Annabel Matthews (Content Manager at Flintfox)
Edgewater Fullscope is pleased to announce the latest blog post in our monthly partner blog series. This one features an article from Annabel Matthews, content manager at Flintfox, who offers effective TPM solutions to manage the most challenging pricing, trade promotions, rebate and accrual activity across the consumer and durable goods industries.
The primary challenge facing manufacturers and distributors looking to grow their business is the relatively undeveloped trade promotions management (TPM) processes they have in place. Different components of the same TPM issue are looked at separately rather than together which disconnects the business objective of profitability and the trade promotions process. To reconnect the two, manufacturers and distributors need to do a bit of spring cleaning when it comes to their sales and trade promotions management processes.
In the early stages of trade promotions maturity, businesses struggle to consolidate their processes into one system. This causes a number of issues as it means that at a critical stage of the negotiation process, Sales teams are spending too much time trying to pull data that may not even be accurate and the process is entirely manual. There is a critical need to clean up their trade promotions management process or risk permanently stunting the growth of the business. Like a good wine, trade promotions management should only get better with age.
If left in its current state however, the lack of visibility of the trade promotions data means promotions that are failing will continue to be a drain on revenue. It also means that promotions which are doing well might be overlooked or even worse, discontinued. Less is more when it comes to trade promotions, the less time and energy spent imputing data means more time to focus on increasing the profitability of a business and identifying new opportunities.
Trade agreements are one area, for example, where businesses that use email to negotiate and process these agreements are at risk of processing delays and input errors once it has been received by the relevant department. This is not to mention that, any changes that are made after the agreement has been sent through will not be implemented straight away.
To combat this problem, manufacturers and distributors need to scrap the email process and implement a trade relationship management system that can give the Sales team direct access to the trade agreements. This would mean that when they are out in the field, the Sales team have direct access to historical trade data, the current trade agreement and performance details so that they can make better business decisions.
Understanding what phase of maturity a business is in will allow manufacturers and distributors to identify what is missing from their sales & trade promotions management processes. Throwing out the inefficient processes and implementing an ERP like Microsoft Dynamics AX is the first step, as it comes with a road map to give businesses confidence in its longevity. Having Dynamics AX in place will then pave the way to easily adding in trade promotions and trade relationship management solutions to increase efficiency, profitability and maturity.