What is Trade Spend Management and why does it matter?


Even the most mutually beneficial partnership can become complicated and fraught if it’s not managed correctly. That’s certainly true when it comes to trade spend, the funding that consumer packaged goods vendors invest with retailers to boost the placement and sales of their products.

That investment can go towards everything from discounts to promotions, marketing support, to securing premium positions on shelves and within stores. All of this can boost sales and visibility of a given product with consumers and deepen engagement with retailers.

This activity can encompass multiple product lines, moving through multiple channels, and multiple outlets in multiple geographies. That’s a lot of deals to be negotiated, all of which must be forecast, modelled, tracked, and optimized.

This means managing trade spend effectively is a challenge but can deliver a substantial benefit for those organisations that get it right.

Why is Trade Spend Management so important for CPG companies?

Trade spend can be used to cement a manufacturers’ relationship with retailers and by extension with consumers. But if manufacturers are not careful, they can end up frittering it away unproductively. At worst they can end up cannibalizing sales, undermining brands, and fracturing their relationships with retailers.

So what does effective trade spend management look like?

As a starting point, manufacturers need to be able to produce strategies that really do incentivise retailers. This means they need to produce accurate forecasts, and track and analyse their investment and activities, from volume pricing, slotting fees, advertising support and shelf space negotiations.

This will allow them to understand the effectiveness of their campaigns and establish the return on their trade spend investment. Ideally, they should be able to adjust their strategies mid-flight, boosting budgets to build on success, or paring back spending when it is clear it is not paying dividends.

But effectively managing trade spend should deliver other benefits. Investing in trade spend should be a collaborative process, and effective trade spend management should deepen relationships with retail partners over time. And together with effective feedback on programmes, this should position account managers to develop more innovative, effective trade spend strategies for the future.


That’s the ideal. However, there are significant challenges that prevent CPG manufacturers achieving this goal.

Some of these are related to the nature of trade spend activities themselves. While specific promotions can deliver clear benefits in terms of a boost in revenue or increased market share, it can be difficult to attribute a clear ROI to some broader trade spend activities. Some manufacturer-retailer relationships might include trade spend that is explicitly classed as “non-performing”.

The retail environment in general, and pricing structures in particular, can be extremely complex. A manufacturer’s relationship with a retailer may span multiple promotions and activities across multiple product lines, and multiple geographies.

Different retailers can have very different approaches to managing this complexity – and how they deal with suppliers.

Whatever the nature of the agreements, amassing the data needed to analyse how they are working in practice is a challenge. Manufacturer’s own systems may be siloed, with data locked in legacy systems, or otherwise hard to access. Suppliers too might suffer some or all of these problems.

And while life might be complicated by slow-moving legacy systems, things might be very different on the human side of the equation. Rapid turnover of staff can make it hard to obtain information, collaborate on strategies, and build long-term relationships.

Common Trade Mistakes to Avoid

Given the complexity of the manufacturer retailer relationship, and the challenges to achieving complete visibility across even small numbers of campaigns, it can be easy for manufacturers to fall prey to some common mistakes.

It can be easy to become over-reliant on promotions. They may be effective in driving sales, but this might be just a short-term boost. In fact, a manufacturer may even find that dedicated customers use promotions to stock up, hurting sales in the long run.

Inconsistent pricing can lead to customer and retailer confusion, to the point of undermining trust in a brand.

Alternatively, account managers might find it tempting to simply copy previous promotions, effectively cutting and pasting them into this year’s plan without really analysing how the market has changed.

All these problems can result in a “one size fits all” approach, ignoring the complexity of the environment, and failing to optimize programs accordingly.

Conversely, staff at CPG manufacturers may operate on an “every man for himself” basis, striking deals that might work for specific products or retailers, but not the team, or the company, as a whole.

All these traps will also prevent them using their trade spend, and the insights it generates, to develop fresh, innovative programmes, and deepen their relationships with their retail partners.

Benefits of Using a Trade Spend Platform for CPG Companies

Many of these potential traps are down to a lack of visibility and the meaningful data that can help account managers develop plans based on solid analysis and forecasts and optimize them in real time.

This can be because CPG manufacturers will be relying on legacy platforms, such as ERP systems, to power these operations. These systems might well be resilient, but they’re rarely flexible.

When it comes to informing their day-to-day operations, account personnel will often be modelling in spreadsheets, meaning they’re wasting time cutting and pasting data. This can result in official workflows being circumvented, and the risk of compliance protocols being breached.

This is where a dedicated platform can really help. A modern trade spend platform should allow teams to easily pull together and manage the full range of data sources they need.

That includes historical data and live information from their companies’ systems. But it also means syndicated and third-party data where appropriate. And it should be connected to the manufacturer’s accounting and financial reporting systems.

This will provide them with a clear overview of how their activities are playing out in the real world, allowing them to make informed decisions, as they track ROI over time, spot trends, and optimize campaigns as necessary.

This improved visibility will leave them in a better place when it comes to planning future Trade spend strategies and allocating budgets, because they can pinpoint what went right, or wrong, in the past. If they choose the right platform, they can also exploit machine learning and artificial intelligence, gaining deeper insight into their activities, and generating well-founded, accurate forecasts for future actions.

On a more prosaic level, they will also be able to eliminate manual activities, such as pasting data into spreadsheets, or wasting time setting up data integrations with disparate systems. Instead, they can configure streamlined, automated workflows, which also make it easier to meet audit and compliance requirements.

All these time savings mean they can focus on those areas where their skills will pay the highest dividends. And they will have the time – and the data – to work more closely with retailers, so that every campaign results in a win-win outcome.

Industry Trends and Innovations in Trade Spend Management

Consumer packaged goods and retail are both fast-moving industries. But so is technology as a whole.

As we’ve seen, CPG manufacturers and their retailer partners are constantly striving to stimulate growth. This means suppliers are always under pressure to deliver new programmes to achieve this.

Data-driven decision making is playing an ever-larger role. Analytics and AI driven forecasting help executives better inform future campaigns, and to analyse vast amounts of data over the course of the year, to spot trends and help retailers and manufacturers optimize their efforts.

This is happening within a broader context of digital transformation. Automation is key, whether that’s in managing logistics and stocking, or in generating and distributing the data needed to enhance decision-making.

Digitization tends to break down silos, freeing up data flows, and enabling far closer collaboration, both within CPG vendors, and with their retail partners.

And technology continues to have a profound effect on channels to market, whether that’s the growth of online retailers, or traditional retailers’ own ecommerce activities.

All of this can have a positive impact on manufacturers’ and retailers’ sustainability efforts.

Smoother logistics and increased automation, together with close collaboration, can squeeze out waste in supply chains.  At the same time, automation and digitalization can help eliminate waste in trade spend, by helping foster better focused activities, and by exploiting digital channels and reducing the use of one-off, printed materials.

Best Practices for Trade Spend Management

Whether the aim is increasing sales, or bolstering brand awareness, your trade spend activity should be tied to overall business success. Which means you should be able to measure its effectiveness.

So managing your trade spend effectively starts with the development of clear goals and objectives. These should be part of a comprehensive strategy that spans a range of data, including pricing, promotional spend, and other costs.

This is all fuel for the data analytics that will allow you to continuously track the ROI of projects and optimize them as they develop.

But managing trade spend effectively also depends on CPG professionals developing deep and meaningful collaboration with retail partners – and your counterparts within your own organization.

You need a platform that allows you to easily share data and develop insights. But you also need to develop mutual trust and understanding to get the most out of them. It needs a holistic approach throughout the workflow. And a platform that ensures meetings deliver actionable insights.

That way, your carefully collated data and finely tuned promotional campaigns becomes a launch-pad for developing fresh activities that result in win-win outcomes for you as a manufacturer and your retail partners. And which delight your customers.

Visualfabriq Trade Spend Master

Creating and executing effective trade spend activities requires a holistic approach and a conscious effort to create win-win strategies with your retail partners.

Visualfabriq Trade Spend Master has been built to enable this, by pulling together all the data you need to develop your forecasts and strategies, underpinned by cutting-edge artificial intelligence.

With easy connectivity into ex-factory, EPOS and syndicated data, you’ll also have full visibility into your strategies from the outset, allowing you to track profitability and ROI.

This means you can optimize your strategy in real-time. If you want to adjust prices and discounts, all it takes is a single click.

You can also configure a workflow that works for you, eliminating manual work, and building in all the appropriate approvals.

It gives all parties one version of the truth, including your colleagues in finance or executive management.

This means you can concentrate your efforts where they are going to pay the biggest reward – including the most important challenge of all, delivering strategies that clearly benefit you, your retail partners, and your consumers.

Key Takeaways

Short-term or one-size fits all approaches to trade spend are just not sustainable in the long term.

What manufacturers and retailers need is a holistic approach, that uses data-driven insights to develop and optimize trade spend programmes for the long term. This will deliver the best possible outcomes for all parties – including customers.

This builds a deeper level of trust between the manufacturer and retailer. But it also requires a platform that delivers trade spend optimization, by allowing you to bring together historic and up to the minute data and giving you the tools to model it using the latest analytical techniques.

That platform must also allow you to automate workflows, collaborate with internal and external partners, and ensure that all activities are approved and auditable.

If you want to learn more about how Visualfabriq’s Trade Spend Master allows you to do all this and more, book a demo today.

The Value of Trade Promotion Forecasting: Empowering Sales Teams in the CPG Industry


CPG manufacturers have always used a wide range of techniques to catch consumers’ attention and encourage them to buy their products. But managing multiple product lines and coordinating multiple trade promotions while aligning with partners’ objectives can be challenging. Just how do you decide whether a particular approach or promotion is the right one? 

A key differentiator between those teams that take a “this might just work” approach, and those that achieve consistent results from their trade promotions is the application of trade promotion forecasting. This involves predicting and pre-evaluating the outcomes and impact of promotional activities implemented by CPG companies.  

This can deliver valuable insights to help sales teams plan and optimise their promotional campaigns. With the right tools, trade promotion forecasting empowers CPG professionals to develop innovative promotion plans, generate reliable forecasts, and gain ongoing insights into consumer behaviour. And with the addition of AI to the mix, the gap between the winners and the also-rans is set to widen.  

Getting it right means understanding the challenges involved, the outcomes and benefits you’re targeting, and the tools and techniques you can deploy. 

Trade Promotion Forecasting Challenges

One of the biggest headaches in trade promotion forecasting is simply the sheer volume of promotions that need to be managed. With numerous products and mechanisms the individual events and ensure they are all aligned for optimal results. 

Collaborating with retail partners adds an extra layer of complexity. Establishing strong relationships, aligning objectives, and fostering effective communication are essential. Their objectives may differ from yours, as they strive to traffic and maximise sales within their stores. Balancing their goals with your promotional strategies requires careful negotiation and alignment to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. 

Achieving promotional success needs precise planning and meticulous attention to detail. It’s essential to define clear objectives for each promotion and ensure they align with your overall marketing and sales strategy. Without a robust planning process and the right tools, it can be impossible to create coherent and impactful promotional campaigns. 

The ability to forecast the outcomes of trade promotions accurately is crucial. However, it’s easier said than done. Forecasting involves analysing historical data, market trends, and other relevant factors to project the potential impact of promotions. Generating reliable forecasts enables you to make informed decisions and optimise your promotional efforts. 

Trade promotions exist within a dynamic environment, influenced by various external factors. Supply chain disruptions, shifts in consumer behaviour, and other unforeseen events can all impact the success of your promotions. To stay ahead, you need to be agile, generating real-time insights, and adjusting your strategies accordingly to maximise results. 

Trade Promotion forecasting dashboards

Benefits of Trade Promotion Forecasting 

That’s a formidable set of challenges. Which is why a combination of the right approach to trade promotion forecasting, and the right tools, will deliver value in multiple ways. 

Not least is the ability to carry out real strategic planning. Trade promotion forecasting enables sales teams to set clear objectives for each promotion and develop comprehensive plans that align with their overall business goals. By understanding the desired outcomes, teams can create promotions that have a greater impact. 

This goes hand in hand with accurate forecasting. By leveraging historical data, market trends, and AI-powered algorithms, trade promotion forecasting provides accurate predictions of promotional impact. This empowers sales teams to make informed decisions, allocate resources effectively, and drive better results. 

And with the right tools, you can achieve not just better forecasts but real-time insights. Trade promotion forecasting allows for real-time monitoring of promotions, providing invaluable insights into their progress. This enables you and your team to make adjustments on the fly, ensuring that promotions stay on track and aligned with your objectives. 

This all helps foster collaboration between CPG companies and retail partners. By sharing insights and aligning objectives, you can work together to create mutually beneficial promotions. This strengthens relationships and fosters long-term success. 

Ultimately, this will all lead to enhanced decision-making. With reliable forecasting and pre and post evaluations, your sales teams can make data-driven decisions. This results in more efficient resource allocation and improved promotional outcomes. By leveraging the power of trade promotion forecasting, sales teams can prioritise their efforts and achieve better results. 

What next? 

Trade promotion forecasting is a game-changer for sales teams in the CPG industry. That’s why by embracing this approach and leveraging AI-powered solutions, such as Visualfabriq’s Trade Promotion Master, sales teams can optimise their promotional strategies, improve forecasting accuracy, and drive success in a highly competitive market. 

To learn more about Visualfabriq’s Trade Promotion Master and experience the power of trade promotion optimisation, download our TPM brochure and book a demo today. Empower your sales team and embark on a journey of growth and success in the dynamic CPG industry. 

What is Trade Promotion Management and why does it matter?


In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, effective trade promotion management is critical for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies to stay ahead of the game. However, with the numerous of promotional activities available, it can be challenging to determine which strategies will yield the best results.

In this article, we aim to provide sales and accounts professionals in the CPG industry with a fundamental understanding of Trade Promotion Management. Our goal is to help them improve their promotional campaigns by covering the basics:

We’ve put a lot of thought into this article and wrote it in collaboration with experienced CPG professionals. Below, we will start by exploring trade promotion management from its definition all the way to the impact it has on a CPG company’s revenue growth.

So, what is Trade Promotion Management?

We don’t know precisely when an innovative baker first declared their cakes were not just good, but “hot”. But we can guarantee that one of their equally switched on rivals quickly countered with the promise of a free third cake whenever a customer bought two.

Manufacturers and retailers have always used a myriad of ways to attract customers’ attention and encourage them to buy their products. But today’s Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers may have tens to tens of thousands of products. A broadline retailer will have thousands, typically tens of thousands of lines.

Just passively tracking all these different SKUs is a challenge, spanning ERP, EPOS, and demand planning systems. Marketing and promoting such an assortment of products means a whole other level of complexity.

But looked at another way, those wide product ranges and disparate systems represent a potential treasure trove of data. Data that, with the right tools, can be used by CPG professionals to develop and optimise innovative trade promotion plans, deliver more reliable forecasts, and generate on-going insights into what is really happening at consumer level. The result is a trade promotion strategy that benefits manufacturers and retailers, and delights customers.

The fundamentals of TPM

CPG manufacturers engage in trade promotions to achieve one of two main aims.

They may want to boost results, such as increasing market share, net revenue, or profit. They might even try to boost two of these metrics at the same time. Boosting all three is usually too much of a stretch.

Alternatively, they will be looking to encourage consumers to try or consider their brand, or to entrench brand loyalty. This might be for the launch of an entirely new product, or a new variant of an existing one.

The marketeer’s tool kit spans deals and discounts, such as two for one offers, price discounts or after sale rebates, or special bundles.

It can also include activities to grabs buyers’ attention, with in-store displays or events, or branding touting a new or improved formulation. All of these may be backed to a greater or lesser degree by advertising and other marketing activities.

Managing all of these requires tools that can support the planning, creation and execution of trade promotion plans.

Key account managers need to draw on current and historical data where appropriate to forecast results of proposed plans and analyse ROI of promotions while they are in progress. And they need to be able to plot workflows, and to share progress and results with colleagues and managers, and partners where appropriate.

The Benefits of Trade Promotion Management for CPG companies

As we’ve seen, consumer packaged goods manufacturers use a broad range of techniques to promote their products, whether the ultimate aim is to boost sales of an existing line or embed a new product in shoppers’ consciousness.

But no promotion happens in a vacuum. As an account manager, you might be responsible for several lines, and each of those might have multiple variants. You may be operating within an organization that might have hundreds or thousands of products.

Just keeping track of all of these – and ensuring that promotions are not running counter to each other – is demanding.

Moreover, you will be working with partners whose objectives might be subtly different to yours. A retailer might be keen to run as many promotions as possible to get customers inside their stores. This might run counter to your wish to promote a given product, without undermining its cachet – or profit margins.

So, when managing a particular set of promotions, there are a number of things you must keep in mind.

You need a clear idea of what you want to achieve both with an individual line, and with your assortment overall, from the outset. So, you will need tooling to help you set aims and develop plans accordingly.

You also need to be able to make well-founded forecasts of the effect each promotion will have. This means having access to centralised ex-factory data as well as previous promotion plans and relevant data.

But that’s just the start. You also need to be able to see the impact of promotions over the period and react accordingly. Likewise, there will inevitably be things outside of you control – supply chain issues, unexpected weather – which can affect consumers’ appetite for or attitude to products.

So, you need a way to incorporate fresh data over the lifecycle of a promotion, adjusting forecasts where appropriate, and showing actual and predicted results.

And you need to be able to do all this in concert with your retail partners, making sure they’re supportive of the aims and methods of promotions, and happy with the eventual outcome. The aim, after all, is to achieve a win-win.

Key Features of TPM Software

In the past, trade promotion management meant navigating between ERP systems and spreadsheets. However, this approach can quickly become cumbersome, particularly if there is no easy way to access historical and up-to-the-minute data. TPM professionals are forced to cut and copy data from one system to another, which is both tedious and can inevitably lead to mistakes.

This makes it hard to forecast the effect of promotions and monitor their progress. It also makes innovation more difficult. Harried account managers may simply look to repeat previous promotions, with a smattering of updated data.

There are dedicated TPM platforms available, which can bring a degree of automation to the process. The ability to funnel simple selections and get an overview of your promotion planning can offer a big advantage over working with multiple spreadsheets. Again, a key factor here is data integration. Connectivity into the core ERP system is one thing. Being able to take advantage of the full range of data available – including third party or syndicated content – is another.

But really, these are just table stakes.

If your data is marooned in spreadsheets or sitting in siloed, hard to update TPM systems, it’s not helping you add value.

Does it help you generate new TPM plans? Does it help you generate more reliable forecasts, while highlighting those selections which are going to require additional attention?

What’s needed is a platform that doesn’t just allow you to see your trade promotion plans, but to actively manage and optimise them.

If you can bring automation and integration to bear on the administrative aspects of trade promotion management, you will be freeing yourself up to focus on the trickiest challenges.

Choosing the right TPM Solution

So, what does a modern TPM platform really look like? There are a number of key factors you should consider.

Ease of use:

This is essential. As a TPM professional your expertise lies in your ability to plan and approve your promotions, then optimize and execute them. This is what you should be focusing on, not the management and integration of disparate technology and diverse data sources or the configuration of TPM templates and workflows.

Data integration:

Optimizing your trade promotion management means you need access to all the relevant available data. This starts with ex-factory data, so stress-free integration with your ERP system is a given. But to really optimize your promotions, you need an overview of the market as a whole, which means you need access to other systems and syndicated data. If your platform can’t easily provide this, you’re flying blind.

Fully configurable:

Each organisation is different. As is each product assortment. Your TPM platform should offer you the chance to configure approval workflows and execute plans that fit the way your organisation operates, not how a vendor thinks it should work.

And because your trade promotions are happening in real time, your trade promotion management needs to be real time too. Which means automated real-time integration with your ERP and demand planning systems is a must.

Accurate forecasting:

Accurate forecasting is key both to planning your promotions and assessing their performance and ROI over time. Again, this relies on the ability to integrate ex-factory and syndicated data. But you also need to be able to trust your system’s forecasting abilities, whether that’s traditional analytics or, when you’re ready to make the leap, the ability to use cutting edge AI.

Code switching and Product Life Cycle:

Product assortments go through numerous hard and soft changes over the course of their lifecycle. Each change – such as a new recipe sticker or a packaging change – can mean a code switch in your system. These soft switches have implications for trade promotion management. There is the administrative overhead of including the “new” product in existing promotions. They can make it hard to track progress over the course of a promotion and to assess a campaign’s total impact. The ability to easily accommodate code switches can dramatically improve your visibility into the progress and success of your promotions.

The latest and greatest code base:

You want to focus on optimizing your trade promotion management, not on managing and configuring your software. Highly customisable systems may seem tempting, but in practice can mean lengthy and expensive consultancy engagements before you even start managing and optimizing your promotions. A software as a service TPM system means you can get to work straight away, and take full advantage of new functionality, including cutting edge AI features, as they are deployed.

Visualfabriq’s Trade Promotion Master Solution

Illustration of Visualfabriq software dashboards

Visualfabriq’s Trade Promotion Master has been built to enable you to plan and optimize your trade promotion strategy, easily and continuously, from initial planning to end of promotion analysis.

It allows you to use all available data sources, including ex-factory, EPOS and syndicated, removing the overhead of manual or semi-automated updates.

This allows you to generate reliable forecasts at the outset and gain real time insights over the lifecycle of your promotions.

The forecasts are powered by Visualfabriq’s AI technology, which predicts the ROI and performance of promotions, whatever your ultimate aims are.

This is all available to you via a single screen, so that insights can easily be shared with partners, you are never blindsided by questions from colleagues, and meetings are more productive.

And because Trade Promotion Master is a true software as a service platform, you are always working with the most up to date features, with no need for upgrade downtime.


Trade promotion optimisation delivers the right data and the right insights so you can make the right decisions. You can then spend more time focusing your expertise on the outliers or most pressing cases, and less time on administrative tasks.

With the relevant information at your fingertips justifying your programs to your colleagues and managers becomes much easier. This all adds up to promotions that are more likely to succeed, whether the aim is building revenue, increasing profits, or boosting market share.

It also gives you more time and more insight to share with your retail partners. So, you can build a deeper relationship, based on mutual understanding, and develop more innovative, win-win promotions.

That’s why having the right TPM platform doesn’t just help you optimise your trade promotions. It will help you improve your business overall.

If you want to truly unlock the power of your trade promotions with Visualfabriq Trade Promotion Master, download our brochure and book a demo now.

Visualfabriq Recognized as Leader in POI 2021 Enterprise Planning Vendor Panorama


Visualfabriq – POI Enterprise Planning Vendor Panorama 2021.

We’re very proud to be recognized as a leader in the 2021 POI Enterprise Planning Panorama report, receiving 5 ‘Best-in-Class’ distinctions for the third year in a row.

This independent analysis from the Promotion Optimization Institute supports CPG leaders in making decisions about the enabling technologies that drive critical business transformation.

Visualfabriq’s ‘Best-in-Class’ distinctions:

The full report is available for download from the POI membership pages, or contact the POI Institute at: [email protected] More information about the POI membership: https://poinstitute.com/membership-pricing/.

Visualfabriq partners with leading growth equity investment firm PSG


We have some great news to share. As of today, Visualfabriq has onboarded PSG as an investment partner to facilitate our growth toward becoming global leader in Revenue Growth Management software.

PSG is a leading growth equity firm that focuses on partnering with middle-market software and technology-enabled services companies (www.psgequity.com).

Following PSG’s investment, Visualfabriq will continue to be led by its existing management, including the founders Jaco Brussé (CEO) and Carst Vaartjes (Chief Product Officer).

PSG’s investment will be used to accelerate Visualfabriq’s organic growth and assist in future product development. With PSG’s support, Visualfabriq will be even better prepared to excel in servicing current and future clients globally.

More information about PSG and the Visualfabriq partnership:
PSG Press Release (pdf)

We are very excited about the possibilities that this new partnership offers and dedicated to keep improving our platform and service to our valued clients.

Discussing Advanced RGM at the POI Spring Virtual Engagement Summit


Visualfabriq, POI Summit – May 25-26, 2021. 

The POI Institute 2021 Spring Virtual Summit brought together CPG leaders and tech enablers that are transforming the industry. Visualfabriq once again had a strong presence as both sponsor and partipant of this inspiring event.

With the theme “Fine Tuning your Strategies and Commercial Capabilities for a Post-Pandemic World“, this POI virtual event offered the opportunity to gain critical insights and actionable advice, featuring a dynamic agenda of presentations, panel discussions and virtual workshops.

Pre-Event Workshop – Moving from Trade Promotion Management to Revenue Growth Optimization

Visualfabriq facilitated an interactive Revenue Growth Management workshop in collaboration with Kellogg Company and the POI Institute.

Expert speakers and facilitators to this workshop were:

In this interactive workshop a realistic roadmap was presented of how to adapt, thrive, and focus on tangible results from TPx to Revenue Growth Management, including:

Attendees gained new insights into how to advance from the very basic RGM initiatives with no real impact on ROI to advanced RGM practices that can significantly enhance the business holistically.

Interested to know about how we can add value to your CPG company?

Contact Us

Five Best-in-Class Distinctions in POI TPx Vendor Panorama 2020


Visualfabriq – POI TPx Vendor Panorama 2020.

This year, the Promotion Optimization Institute has evaluated and featured 21 vendors in its 2020 POI TPx Vendor Panorama report which has now been published. This independent analysis supports CPG leaders in making decisions about the enabling technologies that drive critical business transformation.

Just like last year, Visualfabriq has earned five POI ‘Best-in-Class’ distinctions:

We sat down with Visualfabriq CEO, Jaco Brussé to discuss his response to yet another strong showing for the company.

The full report is available for download from the POI membership pages, or contact the POI Institute at: [email protected] More information about the POI membership: https://poinstitute.com/membership-pricing/.

Read the interview (transcript)

Q. Visualfabriq won five best in class distinctions. What does that mean to you?

Jaco Brussé: “First of all, it’s a very strong recognition for my team of people because this is a result of working really hard together in delivering value for our clients. It also gives the opportunity to engage with our clients, but also with our prospects going forward to demonstrate that we are able to deliver value. Not only for today, but also from a long term perspective. And that’s a very, very strong recognition.”

Q. There’s a new distinction category, RGM. Visualfabriq is recommended as best in class. Why? And, why is it important to have a broader look than just TPx?

Jaco Brussé: “Why is it so important to have a broader look than only TPx? Because we strongly believe that with the technology of today that we bring into the equation with our clients, you will be able to digitalize the strategic revenue growth management, which is more than only the TPx, to enable your people in the organization, to really take control of the entire process.

It’s a more holistic approach that provides one version of the truth and one platform that connects us from an end-to-end perspective. That’s why we believe it’s so important to have that broader look than only the TPx side of this business. I think something the Promotion Optimization Institute has done remarkably well with since, I think the last 12 to 24 months, is to really start to think about what kind of capabilities are required for the industry to be fit for the future.

Being best in class in that new dimension is fantastic because that is, again, a recognition for the Visualfabriq team that we are working on the right things with the right people. Doing the right things right.”

Q. Being best-in-class in AI, what does that mean for the clients of Visualfabriq? What is their win?

Jaco Brussé: “With applied artificial intelligence that we deploy in our model, which is not a consultancy approach, it’s really embedded in our solution. The win for our clients is that we will train the models with all the data which flows into our platform. And, with the very easy way to manage applied artificial intelligence in our solution, our clients can own it themselves.

They can work through the attributes and really train the model over time so that the prediction coming out of the model will improve. They become more efficient and more effective with the outcome of our models. So, the win will be a better business case.”

Q. POI states once again: “The platform of Visualfabriq has the ability to handle significant amounts of data.” Why is that an important notion?

Jaco Brussé: “The ability to handle huge forms of data in any kind of velocity, variety and volume is really answering that very simple notion of being able to scale over time. Because one of the things that we know for certain is that there will be an explosion of more data sources in the future. And we have solved that. We have a platform that can easily scale any kind of data that will come into play, to help our clients to become better in terms of insights.

The actionable insights from a change management perspective are so important because when you are in meetings, you don’t want to leave meetings with unanswered questions. You want to leave meetings with decisions taken. And that’s what we facilitate with our platform and our solutions.

And, that’s where data plays a very important role, and the ability that we bring into that equation with our clients is to process data without any issue from a user perspective. In terms of performance, this is a very big win for our clients.”

Q. “Visualfabriq’s platform is a 100% SaaS solution, where new releases are available to all clients without extra implementation effort or costs.” Why is this a key insight in the POI report?

Jaco Brussé: “What we have learned since our start of our business is that agility is the name of the game. And, really to depart from legacy solutions, you need, as a leadership, to start to embrace new technology. This was not easy at the start of Visualfabriq because people were still into legacy solutions on premises.

But we strongly believed, already at that point in time, that cloud and SaaS would be the answer to deliver value for our clients, not only for today, but also for the future. So that’s why we believe that this insight is really supporting that very simple notion to become fit for the future. You need to work with SaaS solutions, if not, then you fall back in the old way of doing business and that’s not delivering value to your company.

SaaS in the cloud is the solution going forward, because that makes it extremely scalable. Also, from a maintenance point of view, you don’t have the future oncosts. It’s all part of your license cost, which means that with release management you’re always guaranteed to have the latest technology in your business without any oncost. So it’s fairly transparent and straightforward.

Q. “The Visualfabriq platform has extensive configuration possibilities.” What’s the win?

Jaco Brussé: “We strongly believe as a company and it’s our philosophy to unleash your excellence. We strongly believe that we should bring the craftsmanship into the hands of the people where it belongs. And, that’s in your business, because these people know more about the business than consultants.

So the best consultants that you have are the people in your own organization. With the technology that we have, we give our clients the opportunity to own that.”

Q. “Visualfabriq has grown from international to global provider.” What does this mean?

Jaco Brussé: We have been extremely pleased to have some great clients, because these clients really helped us to move into different regions in the world. We just added the Singapore office to our organization, which means that we are now a true global organization being able to support our clients in implementations and engagement across all the regions in the world.

We also help our clients to own the implementation themselves, which enables you to move even faster in terms of your development as an organization from a turnover perspective.

Q. Visualfabriq’s expertise and passion to deliver their clients the tools they missed themselves aids in its growth and client retention”. Is this a result of being ‘business people’ for ‘business people’?

Jaco Brussé: This is a very, very interesting question. We are really good in technology. We understand that extremely well, how to use it. But we are not a tech players per se. We are business people for business people. And, what I mean by this is that we have been there. We got the T-shirt. We know how it feels to be in front of clients or customers to negotiate terms for next year.

We also know how it feels to negotiate your promotional plan for next year. We know how it feels to be in monthly meetings with supply chain or demand management, or with senior management to negotiate our numbers, our forecast for next month, or even for next year.

We don’t sell software. We don’t. We have a great technology to help our clients to deliver against the business case based on what we as business people know is required to be successful.

Visualfabriq opens new office in Singapore


Opening of Singapore Office – July 2020.

Visualfabriq is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in the Central Business District of Singapore. With Visualfabriq’s continuous growth as a global company, it’s been a logical step to expand our footprint in South East Asia with easy accessibility also to Australia and New Zealand.

Visualfabriq CEO, Jaco Brussé says, “This gives us a fantastic on-the-ground presence in the Asia-Pacific region from which we can both support our existing clients in the CPG market, and engage easily with those prospective customers who are showing a keen interest in Visualfabriq’s unique AI-driven RGM platform because they are determined to be fit for the future.”

Visualfabriq offers the world’s only 100% SaaS, AI-driven holistic platform for digitalizing and optimizing RGM for CPG companies. Our platform seamlessly connects all available data, AI and workflows, providing one version of the truth for all RGM stakeholders. Revenue is improved instantly through superior forecasting and predictive AI technology which enables, faster, better and cheaper trade promotion planning.

Visualfabriq’s Singapore Office is situated at 135 Cecil Street, #10-01 MYP Plaza, Singapore, Singapore 069536, SG

Developing and Implementing a 100% SaaS Platform, the Agile Way


Interview with Abhas Sureka, Customer Development Manager at Visualfabriq. 

Visualfabriq is on an incredible growth path, providing the CPG industry with a 100% SaaS Revenue Growth Management platform and undertaking agile implementations and engagement for clients around the globe. Harnessing the power of SaaS, our platform is continuously improved with the latest added functionality, that comes without new costly implementation fees for our clients.

In order to do this, we use a way of working for our DevOps teams, which are located in various countries, that fits our need for speed and agility, while also enabling 100% remote working.

Visualfabriq Customer Development Manager, Abhas Sureka points out that we’re making use of leading edge software development methodologies such as Scrum to optimize flexibility and collaboration, and ensure that no matter what, we deliver to the satisfaction of our customers.

“As we scaled up as a company, we recognized the need for an evidence-based approach to development and implementation,” Abhas says, “Our focus is on our team’s ability to deliver rapidly, to respond effectively to customer needs that inevitably arise in unpredictable ways, and to adapt smoothly to evolutions and changes.

Scrum, which takes its name from the rugby team formation, is an iterative and incremental framework for complex knowledge work that challenges the linear assumptions of traditional approaches and enables teams to self-organize, communicate and collaborate more effectively. Development work is organised into Sprints for planning, daily communications, review and retrospection.

“A goal without a routine is just a wish,” Abhas says, “Visualfabriq’s use of the Scrum framework creates the routine that helps everyone stay focused and committed to our end goal. It opens the feedback cycle with customers at a much earlier stage than other methodologies.”

A goal without a routine is just a wish

Abhas emphasizes how Scrum highlights clear responsibility and accountability from each member of the team, which is of utmost importance whilst working remotely in the current reality of Covid-19. “Also, since our DevOps teams are spread across multiple geographies, working remotely using best-in-class digital tools enables us to be ahead in the game,” he says.

“Even in these strange times, we are working at same pace and rhythm, ensuring that we finish what we started, and meet all the requirements of our service agreements.

Scrum facilitates a completely transparent process, giving full ownership and control to all internal stakeholders. It creates a collaborative environment for cross-functional teams enabling us to leverage on cross-pollination of new functionalities and to add value to enhance customer propositions.”

Ensuring faster time-to-market with optimum quality

Our DevOps teams can focus sharply within their areas of expertise thus ensuring faster time-to-market with optimum quality while gaining efficiencies and supporting increasing customer deliveries through same size of development resource capacity.

As we work, these days with a #getoutstrongertogether ethos, and with a global, remote working set-up, it is the ideal framework for assuring perfect collaboration for our developers and customers in multiple countries.

Interested in discussing a possible business case to see how our continuously improving SaaS platform can improve your Revenue Growth Management?

Contact us

Visualfabriq recognized as Best-in-Class in a record of Five POI Categories


Visualfabriq – POI TPx Vendor Panorama 2019.

Visualfabriq was one of 16 vendors evaluated by POI (the Promotion Optimization Institute) for its 2019 POI TPx Vendor Panorama report. The annual publication assists CPG leaders with its independent analysis of TPx solution providers which POI recognizes as effective in helping companies meet the challenges of shifting industry paradigms.

In 2019, Visualfabriq achieved five Best-in-Class distinctions from POI for:

“We are extremely pleased at this very strong showing for Visualfabriq, as we are still a relatively young company in the field,” says CEO and Co-founder Jaco Brussé“We’re proud to again take our place amongst esteemed companies, and to be fully recognized as a leader in driving change and delivering value to the CPG industry.” – Jaco Brusse

POI analysts have recognized Visualfabriq for vision and passion which are rooted in deep CPG industry experience. The Visualfabriq platform and Revenue Growth Management solutions have been uniquely designed and developed to provide CPG companies with the tools we wanted in our own hands when we were CPG professionals needing to unlock the power of data.

At a time, when CPG leaders are grappling seriously with the challenges of holistic business planning, Visualfabriq is a frontrunner in bringing RGM solutions powered by applied AI to the market:

“Visualfabriq planning and analytics is a full suite of Revenue Management capabilities with the power of applied AI, which enables holistic planning (TPM/TPO/ROI in the moment of planning). POI rates visualfabriq Analytics as Above Average.”
– 2019 POI TPx Vendor Panorama report –

“We are delighted to see POI moving with the times and creating a new Best-in-Class category for AI in 2019,” Jaco says. “For too long, the CPG industry has lagged behind in its uptake of new technologies. The visionary clients we work with are the brave-hearts of the industry who have already undertaken the AI journeyToday, they are the ones who can accomplish 80% of their TPM planning with zero touch.”

In 2019, Visualfabriq rolled out its full suite of solutions:

“Revenue planning is delivered holistically and simply through the three modules [Demand Forecast (DFM), Trade Promotion (TPM), and Trade Spend (TSM)] on one platform, closing the entire S&OP planning loop. POI rates visualfabriq UX as Above Average on the strength of the ergonomics and numerous profitability management and innovative AI trade capabilities.”
– 2019 POI TPx Vendor Panorama report –

POI has pointed out that clean, well-managed data is foundational to enabling a single organisation-wide version of the truth, holistic business planning and revenue growth practices. Yet, worldwide, many CPG companies are hampered by inabilities to harness their data:

“Visualfabriq is resonating with client needs to unlock their data sources, generate relevant insights, and empower their teams to make better/faster decisions – at a lower cost of ownership.”
– 2019 POI TPx Vendor Panorama report –

Questions around the scalability of TPx vendors are typically high on the agenda of global CPG companies. POI had this to say about Visualfabriq:

“Very positive growth trend and a strong roadmap going forward. Investments in people and product have been steady. The company has consistently been able to win deals with companies across the 3-tier structure.”
– 2019 POI TPx Vendor Panorama report –