Pinnacle Foods products are found in 85% of American households and are leaders in their respective categories. In foodservice, Pinnacle supplies commercial and non-commercial establishments; known for its iconic brands like Wish-Bone, Aunt Jemima and Earth Balance.
Pinnacle Foods implemented Blacksmith’s trade promotion solution two and half years ago [the legacy product name is GoSimple]. The team at Pinnacle Foods says that Blacksmith’s team has been an extraordinary TPM partner.
“We were one of GoSimple’s first clients, so we are early adopters in general! We haven’t looked back – it’s one of the best business decisions we’ve made,” says Suzanne Tenuto, Senior Marketing Manager [Foodservice].
Today, Pinnacle’s finance group runs reports in the TPM via the Tableau BI connector to gain insights on accounts. The sales team integrated the application’s CRM tool and has been actively using it to track their customer pipeline. The trade application reduces the administrative burden of keeping track of customer programs and the CRM software allows the sales team to track the pipeline and to better forecast future sales.
“Our previous TPM tool required our corporate team to resolve issues that we have now empowered our sales team to resolve more efficiently,” says Tenuto. Mabel Van Stone, Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, adds, “The learning curve leaving AFS’ system and adapting to the new system was straightforward and not problematic for our users.”
In terms of the CRM system, Tenuto says, “This is our first CRM tool, so buy-in from the sales team was critical and the interface that Brian [Maloney] and his team developed made that process seamless. Instead of looking at CRM as an administrative burden, our team sees it as a necessity that makes their day-to-day lives easier and keeps their customer interactions organized.”
The Blacksmith trade management application has direct implications for Pinnacle’s success, the team has better visibility into spending and more insight to make the right decisions about individual customers.
The TPM software has streamlined the trade process for Pinnacle’s sales team and allows them to focus on selling instead of administrative tasks. It’s a little early to evaluate the CRM system, but it certainly makes tracking the pipeline more efficient.
What would Pinnacle suggest for those considering a TPM application? “Don’t be intimidated by integrating a new system. Brian Maloney and his team made the integration practically flawless. Blacksmith TPM is easy to use for contract input. The format is nicely laid out,” says Van Stone.
Given their success with adopting new capabilities, Pinnacle Foods looks forward to continued growth with the tool and working with Blacksmith’s broader team. Everyone is striving to get to a point when they can use their TPM instance and Tableau for volume and spend forecasting. “At some point in the future, we’d like to see Operator Gross Sales/Net Sales and customer profitability. We like to see a distributor profitability model as well,” says Van Stone. The sky is the limit.
Many congratulations to the deserving team at Pinnacle Foods!