In the last 30 years, Koch Foods has grown from a small operation to one of the biggest vertically integrated poultry processors in the country. Koch Foods is a preferred supplier of fresh and frozen poultry products in the foodservice and retail channels.

In November 2017, Koch Foods went live on Blacksmith Applications trade promotion management software — and it only took them five months. If you’ve ever embarked on a journey to implement a TPM application, you know it can be an arduous process. Cross functional alignment, competing business priorities and legacy habits often stand in the way of a speedy system implementation. If you’re wondering how an enterprise like Koch Foods could accomplish this task in record time, keep reading.

At Smoke Jumpers XVII, Blacksmith Applications recognized Koch Foods with the customer award for:


Adoption of Best Practices


Koch Foods Award 2018

Koch Foods went live on Blacksmith TPM (legacy product: FORGE) in just five months because of one significant decision: embracing the best practices outlined by Blacksmith’s system implementation and trade experts. While this may seem like a no-brainer; it’s far less common than you might think.

Companies believe that their process is unique; that they need to customize the trade promotion management system. They presume that the industry standard, best practices won’t be the best match for them. Koch Foods, though, took the leap of faith and agreed to implement their system in line with the best practices recommended by the Blacksmith team.

Tara Pavlatos, the Blacksmith Applications’ Project Manager who worked on the implementation process said, “The team at Koch Foods really took the time to learn what approach would produce the best payout. They’re using trade promotion management software to maximize their efforts, making it easier to manage deals, track budgets and reconcile payments.”

The company applied Blacksmith’s templates, components and configuration recommendations which allowed for faster software stand-up. Plus, they utilized standard interface specs and submitted minimal work requests which also streamlined the project timeline.

The poultry manufacturer decided to move forward with Blacksmith’s recommended, standard configuration because they felt the program was the best in the industry. Charlene Lee, Director of Marketing at Koch Foods, said, “We believe this product will elevate us in many ways by not only helping our customers, but giving us proper analytics that we need to help make better decisions.”

And, Koch’s trade spend team uses Smoke Jumpers as a vehicle to discover other industry best practices. Lee continues, “We’ve attended two Smoke Jumpers sessions. We learned so much from the presentations and our peers. Smoke Jumpers has given new insight into best practices in the foodservice industry and an inside look in the challenges faced by our operators.”

As Koch Foods moves into the future, they expect that Blacksmith TPM will help them make better decisions and automate processes resulting in a lower eduction balance, fewer overall errors and better insight into what is working to grow their business. The Koch team will move beyond process wins to optimize spending strategy over time.

Congratulations to Koch Foods on their deserved win.