An innovative SaaS solution, Trade Promotion Master™ is making waves in the FMCG and retail industries because it fundamentally changes the way sales professionals plan, manage, track, optimize and evaluate their trade promotions. Globally, there’s no doubt that trade promotions are BIG business. After the cost of goods sold it is the single biggest line item in the P&L for packaged food companies. Analysts estimate an annual global spend of around US$500 billion, and that keeps growing.
What makes Trade Promotion Master™ so different from other trade promotion tools?
Overall, Trade Promotion Master™ is the world’s only end-to-end solution where you can plan, track, optimize and evaluate the entire promotion process at one single point of entry within minutes. Never before have sales professionals had one single truth at their fingertips when they need it. So that’s the major difference. However, we have had some briefings with independent analysts and taken them through demo’s, and they have highlighted other critical strengths that are unique:
Firstly, Trade Promotion Master™ has been developed by people ‘in the business for the business’.
Myself; co-founder, Carst Vaartjes and our COO, René Bakker have a combined experience of 100-odd years in the FMCG and retail environments. We have years and years of first-hand experience of grappling with the problems of not having accurate answers to questions that would enable objective analysis and decision-making before, during and after the implementation of a trade promotion. We believed that with today’s technology, there must be a way to finally solve this. Carst Vaartjes designed the end-to-end process and we partnered with high profile developers in Spain. We brought the design and deep-insider perspectives to the table, and they contributed their tech skills; and that’s why Trade Promotion Master™ takes into account every real need of a sales professional going through the process of planning and implementing a trade promotion.
Secondly, these analysts had no hesitation in declaring that our user interface is ‘best in class’. There is some required training initially, of course, but it is so intuitive, flexible and scalable that there is no need for the expense of ongoing consulting. The system enables a ‘super-user’ to easily configure and adjust. It is fully editable and therefore, fully customizable. You don’t need support to get what you want and need from the tool, you can do it yourself. However, visualfabriq does have a selfservice and support interface to handle the first and second line of support.
And thirdly, they pointed out that the modular format for planning, execution and optimization of the promotion means that your optimization actually starts at your planning stage, at the point of entry. That’s completely unique. Sales professionals haven’t been able to do that before.
What kind of functionality does Trade Promotion Master™ offer?
It is an end-to-end open source solution that is in the cloud and accessed through web browsers. You are able to set rules, identify super-users and users, and configure the tool to your needs. Your data from legacy solutions is easily accessed and integrated with the built interfaces to the ERP and other internal and external data sources. All functions of a trade promotion are available. You plan and track, you draw the reports and analytics you need in just seconds, you can see all your brands and all your promotions at a glance.
Insights are available while you are planning. The ROI impact, retailer impact evaluation, market evaluation, manufacturer evaluation and a one-pager summary are at your fingertips, at any time. The price waterfall analysis enables you to eliminate price differences and enhance profitability. You can improve sku level forecasting in a moment. You can assess competitor promotions. As you plan, you can explore many different scenarios that enable you to optimize right from the beginning. The Logbook of the promotion functionality provides dynamic status updates that are sent automatically to the customer. You define the reports that you want. Really the only limitations are in the heads of people rather than the tool. You get answers to your questions, and if you choose to you can always dig deeper. The tool removes emotions and ‘guesstimations’, so you are obviously going to make better decisions. The invoice functionality enables you to settle the promotion, and then you can draw the reports that you want so that you can evaluate the ROI of the promotion. It’s end-to-end at a single point of entry providing a single truth.
A lot is said about Trade Promotion Master™ being ‘faster’, what does this mean in actual time-bound terms?
Starting with implementation, it doesn’t take a year and a half but just six months after data integration. Then the total time spent on a promotion is reduced from four and a half hours to just 20 minutes. And, unlocking the data into insights is not about minutes and minutes, but seconds. Thanks to the open source cloud-based technology, it is unbelievably fast to process the data and get the insights.
With the likes of Unilever, Heineken and Perfetti van Melle onboard, what is visualfabriq’s vision for Trade Promotion Master™
Our goal is to give FMCG and retail professionals back their craftsmanship. Trade Promotion Master™ makes data truly useful and enables you to make excellent decisions, easily, every day, every hour, every minute, at a much lower cost. Our team is currently based in The Netherlands and Spain, and it’s our ambition to move into Asia and the USA in the next two years… Watch this space!