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Mike Kosek

Senior VP of Sales
978-557-7565 Mike.Kosek@BlacksmithApplications.com
Kraft Case Study

Blacksmith Applications enables Kraft to optimize trade management profitability

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To optimize profitability in the foodservice industry you must have complete and accurate data at your fingertips at all times.

Kraft (now The Kraft Heinz Company) is a brand giant in the Foodservice marketplace. They conduct business with distributors large and small. With operators locally and nationally. Their trade spend requirements are just as varied as the business relationships they carefully manage. With Forge, Kraft was able to gain unprecedented visibility into trade spend finances while managing the business at the rapid pace of expectations.

They reached the breaking point a few years back. Current systems were prohibitively slow and Kraft had a complete lack of visibility into operator profitability. The Foodservice team found itself at a crossroads. After some tough talks with their current vendor, Kraft’s management team determined a new application was the best path forward.

Forge gives Kraft real-time program volume and financials by business and sales area, enabling insightful analysis. It brings together distributor and operator data in one automated platform, providing a true 360 view of the business. Kraft wanted a trade management hub for the team. An application that would allow finance, sales and marketing to use one source of truth to evaluate program profitability. Forge does exactly that.


Since Kraft made the move to Forge, it’s realized a number of impactful wins, including:

  1. Visibility into operator profitability and price-volume integrity
    1. With Forge Analytics, when pricing and volume fall out of balance at the operator program level, Sales is armed with volume and financial details to discuss changes to improve business profitability.
  2. Self-serve access to accurate and reliable program and settlement data
    1. Buyers are bold. Forge contains complete and accurate information which enhances business confidence when negotiating changes in program financials.
  3. Time savings across departments leads to increased productivity
    1. Forge is intuitive. Users agree that it’s much easier to navigate than their prior application. Reliance on “super users” to assist Sales, Marketing and other functional users is a thing of the past, saving days of work on redundant tasks and training.

Kraft gained the following features with Forge, which were not available ‘out of the box’ with their prior system:

  1. Auto Renewal: Easy program turn-over saves manual renewal processing time
  2. Auto Pay: Set up automated payment terms for billbacks per business tolerance
  3. Simple Search Tools: Find what you’re looking for without sorting through excessive nesting files
  4. Auto Accrual: Ongoing accrual visibility in the system per established programs
  5. Recapture: Set up recapture programs to be managed automatically in the system per distributor agreements
  6. The Perfect-margin P&L: Pulls exact trade rate vs. average or proxy rate for exact profitability assessment

And when asked how Forge improves Kraft’s trade management approach, Kraft team members stated the following:

  1. Very easy to use and very responsive.
  2. Will allow us to move at the speed of business.
  3. Allows us to have self-service across a wide range of actions. We can handle things when we are ready rather than waiting for someone else.
  4. Less admin time = more selling time.
  5. This will reduce repetitive claim failures, eliminate mysterious waiting times and speed up our processing cycle.
  6. These tools will give us a true sense of where our business is.
  7. This is a one-stop-shop for all of our discounted spending.
  8. Eliminates the need to have people hand hold each CPR.

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

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