One of Southeast Computer Solutions’ first experiences with trade promotion management (TPM) was several years ago with a client that sold pet care products to big box retailers. This company had been a strong user of Sage 100 for many years but found that it required a substantial amount of time and money when creating and tracking promotions.
The promotions were designed for retailers and were intended to boost revenue and increase overall market share for both parties. In the beginning, the promotions were loosely “tracked” on Excel spreadsheets; our client was looking for a more automated, less labor-intensive solution.
They contacted Southeast Computer Solutions as their trusted advisor to explain how they were managing some of their key requirements, including sales forecasting, promotion planning, budgeting, execution, modeling, and settlement.
They created promotions by brand (not by item code), and needed a variety of promotion “types” to be tracked, including BOGO, discounts, and coupons. The settlement procedures had various options as well, including off-invoice, credit memos, and paybacks.
One of the key issues was the timing of the original sales with the eventual claims against the promotion. Because they had long lead times, they were fulfilling sales orders well before a certain promotion took place. These sales orders may have been for standard replenishment, but they could also have been to stock up for an upcoming promotion (so they couldn’t simply create UDFs at the sales order to tie a shipment to a promotion).
So we created a “promotion management” screen where all the details of a promotion were stored, including the customer code, stores affected, brand, date range, promotion type, settlement type, etc. We created reports to track how much stock of that brand was sold to a customer during the weeks/months leading up to the promotion.
The system then tracked claims against each promotion using the promotion code; claims often came weeks or months after the promotion was officially over. If the claim exceeded the shipments made to the customer over the same period, alerts would indicate that the claim may be fraudulent.
We also developed KPIs to track the efficacy of a certain promotion based on the increase in sales versus the overall cost in terms of retailer claims against the promotion.
All this functionality was custom developed within the Sage 100 toolset and therefore did not require a third-party add-on. It was a fantastic learning experience for Southeast Computer Solutions that allowed us to really understand the manufacturer’s needs and how the tracking of promotions was critical to our client’s success.
Tune in for part 3 of our TPM series next week, and please contact us with questions about TPM or Sage products.