As the countdown to 2018 begins, let’s look back at themes that struck a chord with our readers this year. The review below features our most-read trade spend blogs of 2017.


  1. 3 Questions for Choosing a TPM for Your Protein Business

  • For protein manufacturers looking for an end-to-end trade application to handle highly volatile pricing and thin margins, we’ve outlined 3 critical questions to consider when talking with software providers.
  • At Blacksmith Applications, we demonstrate expertise in commodity products, with a customer portfolio including the top names in the protein industry like Smithfield, Hormel, Perdue, Butterball, Koch Foods, and Pilgrim’s Pride.


  1. Market Update: Ask Sysco New Deduction Policy

  • In the Spring of 2017, Sysco announced their plan to deduct all payments owed on supplier chargebacks.
  • Is this news to you? Read this post to learn what we’ve suggested you ask Sysco. For example, “When a Sysco location purchases through DOT Foods, how will this new process function?”


  1. Are You Losing Sleep Over Your Foodbuy Contracts?

  • During the past decade, spending has increased greater than underlying volume trends. Everyone is concerned about their spending.
  • To support your effort to gain financial control of your trade spend, reduce runaway rates and reward your distribution partners, we’ve provided 10 actions to take.


  1. 3 Ways to Overcome Operator Deviated Pricing Challenges

  • Deviated prices carry higher administrative costs than rebates, and there is uncertainty about how much of the discount actually reaches the operator.
  • What can you do? We recommend manufacturers take these 3 steps to dilute the pains of operator deviated pricing.


  1. Best Practices for Operator Accrual Management

  • For a better, more accurate way to manage accruals, count on Blacksmith TPM accrual functionality. Click this post to see the top 8 reasons TPM functionality keeps your accruals painless and accurate.
  • The entire trade finance team will benefit: view the exact amount accrued to each General Ledger and offset the entries to the Balance Sheet, create brand and customer P&Ls.


  1. Tyson Foods Wins Brand Evangelism Award

  • At Smoke Jumpers XV, Tyson Foods was recognized with the award for Brand Evangelism, a recognition of their commitment to industry excellence in trade promotion management.
  • The Tyson team brings tremendous value to the industry and continues to expand their company’s portfolio, contributing to long-term growth.


  1. The Manufacturer’s Key Strategic Issue: Whose Customer Is It?

  • One of the great debates in foodservice, between the manufacturer and distributor, is a simple yet complex question that focuses on the end user, “Whose customer is it?”.
  • Read this article to understand and consider push [distributor-focused] and pull [operator-focused] strategies for your portfolio – and decide which strategy you can best execute.