It’s beginning to look a lot like 2021!
Yes, 2020 brought tremendous change to our industry. We could roll through a list of how the world has shifted – the acceleration of ecommerce, banned indoor dining, changes to brand loyalty brought about by stocking issues – the list goes on and on.
Regardless of the disruption, our industry has jumped to tackle changes and challenges with grace and resilience.
Manufacturers are working closely with their customers (retailers, operators, distributors) to monitor performance and production, rework forecasts, find new SKUs to sub in as needed – keeping an eye out for the signals of change before a crisis unfolds.
The pivots have been powerful.
At Blacksmith, we support our customers on this rollercoaster ride. While we’ve been working to help busy businesses continue to thrive and challenged businesses to manage the load, we’ve also been fortunate to build our business in 2020.
I’d like to highlight a few of our team’s achievements over the last year:
💻 Upgraded 50 customers to the latest software
Added more than 2,000 users to Blacksmith TPM 💻
💻 Implemented software to 15 new customers – totally remote!
Fun Facts: Customer Call-Outs
👍 Love Good Fats selected Blacksmith TPM and TPO because it “offered the ideal option.” The implementation timeline was extremely short; Love Good Fats was set up and had loaded all 2021 trade activity within 9 weeks of the project kick off.
👍 Purely Elizabeth leverages Blacksmith TPM and TPO software to accurately forecast, plan and understand trade investment ROI.
👍 Longtime customer Nestle partnered with Blacksmith TPM again – this time on its Starbucks business.
👍 Analytics is king in the foodservice business – and Conagra jumped into Blacksmith’s Advanced Analytics application to drive clear analysis of their business.
👍 It’s been a busy year for the folks at Clorox, but they took some time to talk about how beneficial Blacksmith TPM has been for their complex business.
Fun Facts: Our Team
2020 marks Blacksmith’s 20th business anniversary.
There’s so much for our team to be proud of, not the least of which was a tremendous shift to the places and ways in which we worked this year. Even from home, our company added new customers, worked with existing accounts to improve their trade approach, acquired and integrated two companies, and welcomed dozens of new employees.
❄ Supported industry hashtags: #AllOutforBreakfast and #GreatAmericanTakeOut
❄ Partnered with the Journal of Consumer of Research
❄ Enhanced retail TPM functionality by adding Retail Targets for approving planners
❄ Continued investments in integrated trade solutions
❄ Release two new issues of Smoke Jumpers magazine – Don’t miss August’s pandemic performance issue (sign up here)
Conference Update 2021
One thing we didn’t do in 2020 was host our annual Smoke Jumpers event. It was a disappointing call to stick a pin in the conference and we’d all hoped for a swift return to normal – thus a swift reschedule.
Alas, the priority of safety and wellbeing for our team and our customer community made it clear that Smoke Jumpers wasn’t going to happen in 2020, and rather than wait until we know when in-person events will kick back up in 2021, we’re going virtual.
Don’t worry – this won’t be another webinar.
Our virtual Smoke Jumpers experience will focus on education and networking – the same content and interactions you value from the live event. We’re getting our ducks in a row for a masterful technical execution and we’ve chosen a digital platform that is just as easy to use as the social networks you’re all part of and familiar with.
We’re hoping to attract even more attendees than in prior years with the cost to travel being a non-factor. Tell your friends 😉
Registration will open on January 11th and the event will take place the week of April 12th. Visit our Smoke Jumpers page on the website for all the details in a few weeks. We’ll be sending out emails and posting the registration link on our company social pages as well.
Thank you to everyone in our ecosystem – customers, team members old and new, board members and partners – every single one of you keeps us kicking even when the waters are rough.
In a world where some sink and some swim, I’m glad to be with the swimmers – every year, not just in 2020.