Skip to Main Content

Eliminate This Today to Improve Trade Spend Success


How do you gather and analyze your trade spend data?

Trade promotion management (TPM) software is a proven tool used by consumer goods companies to amass and compare data on pricing, margins, volume and consumption.

Blacksmith TPM

But adoption of TPM software is fairly low.

According to Retail Info Systems, estimates show that at least 60% of companies are using custom-built or manual processes.

🔎 Why, when it’s widely accepted that spreadsheets lead to errors and wasted time. Spreadsheets can’t keep up with contemporary data influx because they’re disconnected from other data sets and require significant manual effort to update. Additionally, Excel and email based processes present a roadblock to cross-departmental collaboration.

Adobe CFO, Mark Garrett said, “I don’t want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data, I want them to focus on what is the data telling us.”

5 Problems with Manual Trade Spend Processes

  1. Limited Visibility 👀
  2. Inaccurate Measurements 📏
  3. Program Misconceptions 💬
  4. Human Error 👎
  5. Various Versions 💻


Sure, I’m a big fan of Word and Excel, but I know they aren’t the best tools for foodservice and CPG retail trade management and optimization.

Of course they might be working, if you aren’t interested in accessibility or in gaining insights that grow your business.

Have you had trouble planning, executing or settling programs? Can you easily create and analyze contracts? Is it time consuming to approve workflows? Don’t miss out on sales improvement opportunities because you’re still keeping track of contracts in Word or Excel. To accurately link your trade spend to a specific program, you’ll need a pricing application that can systematically pull data to enable informed decisions.

Manual processes equal chaotic spreadsheets, and prevent you from getting the most from your promotional dollars.

With cloud-based systems, data is compiled, reported and analyzed in one platform, thus eliminating redundancies and error and opening the door for collaboration. Now, there’s one view of the truth. Systems functionality allows financial planning teams to do what Garrett visualizes – spend more time analyzing the data and making insightful recommendations.

Manufacturers are challenged to make smart trade investments.


Why It’s Time To Consider TPM Software:


  • Access from Anywhere. With web-based trade management software your sales, marketing, finance, and broker teams will be able to access contracts and reporting from anywhere and view the same information at the same time.


  • Contract Consistency. Set up contracts with consistency in your TPM application. Consistency ensures less mistakes and provides the ability to easily move accounts around during internal organizational changes.


  • Claim Validation Against Contracts. Claim validation against contracts will save money against invalid billbacks. Using a trade promotion management system, you can easily bump claims up against contracts and verify what on the invoice should be paid out.


  • Contract Hierarchy View and Approval Process. The right trade application allows you to set up a simple or complex hierarchy. This enables you to make sure the right people have access to the appropriate information – limiting visibility to accounts and data. A hierarchy approval process provides more accuracy with contract set up by making sure the right people are reviewing contracts prior to approval.


  • Analytics. Access to in-depth reporting capabilities provides you with the insight it needs to improve profit and loss.


With objective functionality in your TPM application, you can take advantage of features like:

  • Auto rollover: your expiring program will automatically rollover, without you revising and copying it.
  • Auto pay: the system generates a billback; calculations based on rebates and payment.
  • Shortcut routing: if the target is within set guidelines, the program automatically routes through approval process.
  • Volume update: calculation based on claims, rebates and billbacks.
  • Revision report: view any contract in its original form and track its changes at a product level.
  • Self-service P&L: proactively create a deal without talking to finance or leaving the application and calculate exact profitability.

You don’t need to be overloaded with unmanageable spreadsheets that detract from your business’s success.

Choose a software that helps you plan, improve and forecast effective deals and take advantage of autonomous technology for a dynamic experience.