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Smithfield and Pilgrims Case Study

Blacksmith Applications fits the bill for Smithfield & Pilgrim’s Pride

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Trade spend in the foodservice business can be complicated.

The journey to implement solutions to manage it shouldn’t have to be. Pilgrim’s Pride has been in the business for over six decades. While their products are unique, their trade investment experience is not unlike other companies in the industry. In fact, many businesses requiring straightforward solutions have been struggling with software that just doesn’t get the job done. At least, not right out of the box. With Forge, Pilgrim’s finally found an application that doesn’t require onerous rounds of customization and helps make their business better.

Other brands have been experiencing this pain as well. Their software providers didn’t have the Foodservice expertise to run implementations effectively. It often felt like they were worlds apart in their understanding of basic business dynamics. Operator programs and deviated pricing were an ongoing concern. Smithfield, another current Blacksmith Applications customer who faced these issues, decided they needed a knowledgeable partner. And therefore a new solution.

Forge enables Pilgrim’s Pride and Smithfield to leverage a complete Foodservice trade solution without costly and time-consuming customizations. In fact, Forge has features that delight. Features customers don’t even know they need until they start using the application and wonder why they weren’t doing this years ago. Days saved as a result of Forge and the simplified processes it enables.


By switching to Forge, companies like Pilgrim’s Pride and Smithfield have realized significant wins, including:

  1. Access to invaluable Foodservice expertise
    1. Paul Wietecha, founder of Blacksmith Applications, has decades of experience in the Foodservice industry and is a sought-after advisor on trade investment strategy. Our developers have been working to perfect the application for over 15 years and the business is comprised of more than 30 employees from the Foodservice divisions of top CPG companies
  2. Complete visibility into operator programs
    1. Forge effectively and efficiently establishes programs addressing operator deviated pricing and rebate programs. Customers see precise P&Ls right in the application workflow. No averages. No plugs
  3. Impressive user adoption and team synergy
    1. Forge is much easier to navigate compared to other applications. The intuitive user interface ensures that members of the entire division hop on board quickly. Brokers are very familiar with the system and give it high marks of usability and productivity. All you need to get started is an internet connection.

Pilgrim’s Pride and Smithfield gained the following features with Forge, which were not available ‘out of the box’ with their prior system:

  1. Analytics: The Forge solution enables meaningful reporting and analytics – other systems just can’t compete
  2. Auto Renewal: Easy program turn-over saves manual renewal processing time
  3. Auto Close: Define a tolerance for validating and approving billbacks and also for handling deductions
  4. Simple Search tools: Find what you’re looking for without sorting through excessive nesting files
  5. The Perfect-margin P&L: Pulls exact trade rate vs. average or proxy rate for exact profitability assessment
  6. Professional Services team: Blacksmith’s talented and knowledgeable professional services team is a unique benefit not available when working with the competition

When asked why Forge was the clear solution for Pilgrim’s, they responded as follows:

  1. Operator Purchase Visibility
  2. Accountability for Operator Discounts
  3. Improved Decision-Making Relative to Operator Discounts
  4. Process Simplification (eliminating steps)
  5. Streamlined and Standardized Operator Agreements

If you’re interested in learning more about how Forge can enhance profitability for your business, let’s talk.

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