Looking back at all the Highlights of POI Rotterdam 2019

The Visualfabriq team was out in full force at the fifth annual POI (Promotional Optimisation Institute) European Summit held in Rotterdam this month. In line with the theme, ‘Successfully Navigating Growth in the New CPG and Retail World‘ there was a significant focus on the big changes rocking the CPG industry.

The tone was set for the event by the keynote address of POI’s Chief Commercial Officer, Pam Brown who unpacked the results of the Institute’s latest ‘State of TPx and Retail Execution Survey’. In mapping the direction for the CPG industry, both in Europe and globally, Pam highlighted all the synergies between visualfabriq’s own solutions and where CPG companies need to go.

There were valuable insights into the current state of adoption and implementation of Machine Learning and AI; the foundations of analytical improvements and how manufacturers are now, more than ever, embracing holistic planning and fully integrated strategic revenue growth management.

The way that Visualfabriq dovetails with POI’s agenda was further emphasised by CEO, Jaco Brussé’s lightening talk on how we came to be a world-frontrunner in developing and implementing agile, applied AI, 100% SaaS, strategic revenue management solutions that truly unleash the excellence of our clients.

Jaco Brussé

We didn’t have to say it all ourselves though. We were delighted and grateful that one of our clients, Bertin Schuerrle, the Senior Program Manager Revenue Management at Arla Foods was also a presenter at 2019 POI Rotterdam.

Bertin shared valuable insights from Arla’s fast and furious TPM/TPO journey with Visualfabriq, and he pointed out the importance of implementing solutions that actually deliver on your business case, as well as the vital role of CPG leadership embracing and driving change management.

Bertin Schuerrle at POI Rotterdam 2019

Visualfabriq was pleased to introduce another keynote speaker to the POI Rotterdam audience. At our invitation, Professor of Retail Marketing, Dr Laurens Sloot from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands shed light on the present and future of disruptive retailing. He charted the spectacular rise and impact of hard discounters in Europe and gave valuable insights into the competitive counter strategies for conventional retailers and brand manufacturers.

Carst Vaartjes, Co-Founder and Chief of Product Strategy at Visualfabriq led an illuminating plenary session, Don’t Optimize Promotions, Automate!

A notable AI thought leader, Carst made the case for how AI-driven automation delivers new possibilities for how CPG companies organise their enterprises. Enabled by latest technologies, the Account Manager is reinvented from an administrator and organizer to a great tactical planner and negotiator.

Carst Vaartjes

Carst also introduced the audience to the Rise of the Operational Scientist in forward-looking CPG companies where data science is switching from an advisory staff function to an operational responsibility. The message was clear: AI and Machine Learning are already driving new efficiencies and optimisations for future-fit CPG companiesThese technologies cannot and should not be avoided or ignored!

Over the two-day summit a coherent vision of the forces of change in the CPG and retail environments emerged. It’s a challenging, and an exciting time. The forerunners, who responded appropriately to these forces some years ago, now have their stories to tell, with insights and learnings to share.