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Case Study: $162,000+ Reduction of Pending Dollars


This foodservice manufacturer customer reduced pending dollars by $162,000+

Here’s the story:

  • The manufacturer hired a new broker employee who formerly worked in the credit department for a major foodservice distributor.
  • While the new employee’s prior experience gave her insight into issues related to foodservice distributors and operators, she was new to the manufacturer side of the industry.


The Challenge: Filling Trade Spend Management Knowledge Gaps


The new broker’s biggest obstacle was understanding the difference between distributor contracts versus manufacturer contracts.

Distributors and manufacturers have different ways of setting up trade spend agreements and resolving outstanding items; understanding these nuances can be difficult when transitioning from the distributor to manufacturer perspective.

Claims that didn’t reconcile to contracts (pendings) began to build up, resulting in a high pending amount of unsettled claims. This left the door open for deductions to increase.

While the broker was aware there were issues, she was not sure how to resolve pending items…

She needed training — immediately — to help her succeed in her role and to keep the client happy.

With pending claims adding up and deduction potential climbing, it was time for an intervention.


The Solution: A Personalized Learning Experience


The Blacksmith Applications team are experts in managing foodservice manufacturer trade spend contracts and claims. We understand that your success depends on the progress of each individual trade management application user. That’s why Blacksmith TPM is designed to make it easy for brokers and sales reps to manage trade spend.

Upon recognizing that our customer’s new broker needed a little help, Blacksmith’s Account Manager began to train her. We provided tips for within the TPM application, and coaching on how contracts and activities vary between distributors and manufacturers. 

The personalized learning process consisted of:

  • Education on contract basics for manufacturers
  • Weekly personalized sessions with the broker to review:
    • Outstanding claim submission items
    • High-dollar amount pendings
    • Resolution and prevention of pendings



The Results: A Successful Broker and A Happy Manufacturer Client


The personalized learning experience helped the broker lower the outstanding pending claims and pending dollar amount. The broker tells us, “I contribute my success to lowering the total amount of pending claims to the teamwork and guidance from Blacksmith.”



The easy-to-use TPM solution provided the broker with:

  • A dashboard to let her get a bird’s-eye view into the manufacturer’s claim activity
  • User-friendly reporting capabilities to quickly identify high-dollar amount pendings
  • The ability to set functionality to quickly and easily update and correct contracts


As a result, the broker (and our foodservice customer) gained control over the trade spend process so she could effectively manage the manufacturer’s trade spend contracts and claims.

The broker continues, “Not only was I a new employee, I was new to deductions and programs. They went over and above – using their time to train me – to help me succeed. They took time out of their schedules to answer every time I called.”