An interview with Jaco Brussé, CEO & Co-founder visualfabriq
Jaco Brussé is no stranger to the frustrations of managing trade promotions. He’s had more than his fair share during 25 years in sales and sales management, trade marketing and general management at some of the world’s leading FMCG companies including Masterfoods, HJ Heinz, Proctor & Gamble, Cloetta and the Kellogg Company. It has been the enduring lack of accurate answers to the very questions that would enable him to truly optimize trade promotions that is the driving force behind Jaco leaving the corporate world and becoming an entrepreneur with a ground-breaking SaaS solution.
“The reality is that sales professionals simply haven’t had the information they need to most effectively plan, manage, track and evaluate trade promotions at their fingertips when they’ve needed it.” says Jaco, “Before you know it, you’ve made a decision to spend tens of thousands of euros based on old information, or a little bit of the information. We’ve always had a wealth of data, yet a complete lack of real-time insights to inform us. We’ve been just lucky to have successful promotions instead of having the power to be able to plan, design, manage and optimize for success based on objective analysis.”
That all began to change when Jaco met Carst Vaartjes at an advanced analytics seminar. Carst, formerly a senior managing consultant at Deloitte Consulting, has more than 18 years of business intelligence and analytics consulting experience for a wide range of FMCG manufacturers and retail organizations throughout Europe. He co-founded visualfabriq with Jaco in 2013 and serves as the business’s Chief of Product Strategy. Together, they were convinced that there had to be a way to use today’s technology to unlock insights from huge data better and faster, and put craftsmanship back in the hands of sales professionals. With the help of their development team in Spain, they created the game-changing Trade Promotion Master™, but not as a stand-alone software application; they built the visualfabriq platform too.
“It’s all about the importance of agility,” Jaco asserts, “We knew we needed to be independent and agile to compete effectively with legacy solutions. The industry wants agility. Legacy software has such a slow speed of implementation, the rate of innovation is so slow and the technology is not scalable. Added to that, the costs are high. We knew that by creating our own scalable and cloud based platform we would be much faster, offer best quality and be more affordable. In addition, the implementation is so much faster, with limited risk because you don’t have to wait for the end of implementation to get value. The visualfabriq platform allows for easy monitoring and fast scalability. It is web-based, easy to access and use. It can be fully customized and interfaces smoothly with existing legacy applications, as a sales professional you are able to instantly and easily turn data into actionable insights at the cost of an affordable SaaS subscription. That’s a real game-changing solution.”
Faster. Better. Cheaper. This is why Trade Promotion Master™ has already attracted interest from FMCG giants such as Unilever, Heineken and Perfetti van Melle. “It’s the world’s only true end-to-end solution where you can plan, track, optimize and evaluate the entire promotion process at one single point of entry within minutes,” Jaco concludes, “When it comes to trade promotion there really is no Big Data anymore.”