Blacksmith Applications has been shortlisted as a best-in-class software vendor on the Promotion Optimization Institute’s 2021 Enterprise Planning Vendor Panorama report.
POI’s report was released on September 17.
“We’ve helped hundreds of CPG manufacturers achieve more effective promotional spending. Our solution allows them to turn data into insights. We love to see that this year’s POI report lists Blacksmith as a top-notch enterprise planning vendor,” says Jennifer Schiffman, VP of Marketing at Blacksmith Applications.
Blacksmith is recognized for its unparalleled functionality in these functional areas:
- Data management & harmonization
- Promotion optimization
The report reinforces Blacksmith’s strengths in:
- Data management
- Optimization planning
- RGM analytics
- Data visualization
- Industry best practice, configurable reports
- Retail and foodservice trade promotion management
- ….and more!
🏅 “Blacksmith has taken its strength in data management, foodservice, trade promotion optimization, and CPG leadership to develop integrated solutions and one portal. With its retail TPM and RGM capabilities, they are fit to compete in full enterprise planning and TPx deals.”
In addition to highlighting our software’s specialties, POI noted that we stand apart from others because of our leadership, seasoned development and implementation teams, and exceptional brand name.
Our goal is to improve your promotional processes, so you attain profitable growth. The catalyst behind our company has always been to help CPGs make better decisions about promotional investments through data. Everything we do is rooted in an unfailing commitment to serve as more than a software provider.
Learn more about our company ⬇️
Since the report declares the “breadth of the combined portfolio and depth of optimization capabilities” make Blacksmith stand out, I thought we could dive deeper into a few of our favorited system functionalities:
- Trade management and optimization
- Baseline creation
- Post-event analytics leveraging internal and external data sources
- What-if event scenario simulations
- Annual planning with constraint-based modeling for the optimal trade promotion calendar
- Data harmonization
At the enterprise level, our system’s users access all applications through one portal. Like the report says, our single sign-on portal is clean and easy to navigate. Plus, the system is “highly configurable to align with the strategy and needs of the organization.”
Users really benefit from the integration between TPM, TPO and analytics.
Blacksmith TPM’s homepage has a basic look and feel, but don’t let that fool you – the application’s features are second to none. In fact, Blacksmith TPM’s annual planning component has the ability to set revenue and profit targets, set and manage trade rates, and allocate trade rates down to the retailer level.
POI highlights Blacksmith Retail TPM’s impressive calendar view:
- Users can hover over a promotion to gain details immediately.
- Users can adjust events directly in the trade calendar view and all calculations are instantly reflected.
🏅 “The platform has great information that can lead to planning insights.”
Blacksmith TPO’s interface is simple, yet powerful. The application has a library of scenarios to help with plan creation. POI says it’s “exceptionally flow-oriented and stepwise with the ability to drag a scenario from the library into the plan.”
Other trade promotion optimization system highlights:
- Users can easily review historical ROI by drilling into the historical data to validate predicted lift
- Users can auto align promotional weeks prior to analysis. If you do auto align, then Blacksmith TPO looks across parameters to search for weeks with retail performance for which events should be aligned.
- An alerts tab tells users areas of opportunity and creates to-do tasks.
- The system’s automated capabilities reduce high administrative planning effort and increases accuracy.
🏅 “The entire optimization input process can be done through a single view.”
We want you to understand your data, so we’ve created reporting that provides CPGs with a repeatable, configurable suite of insights. POI notes that the TABS Insight dashboards are visually compelling and include unique elements such as social buzz data, ads by banner, breakdown of sales volume data, demographics, and total share by retailer/online vendor. The takeaway from our insights tools – You can drill into the details to understand the drivers of your business.
When it comes to data harmonization, Blacksmith carries the weight of the initial data work and partners with CPGs to establish ongoing data governance best practices.
Through its acquisition of TABS Analytics, Blacksmith has enhanced its speed and depth of data harmonization. We cleanse and align disparate data and attributes into a harmonized data set that you can use across all our applications. The report notes, “We have seen TABS successfully take on data harmonization challenges after other providers have failed. We see this as a solid differentiator.”
We love (smooth) baselines… and we bet you do too. Baseline functionality is a core strength of our TPO software. The system’s “modeling engines identify data anomalies, such as competitive OOS, which are explicitly detected and corrected to better represent a true baseline.”
With our TPO, you get a projected baseline, which is “critical in the planning process” to ensure that lift coefficients apply to a more accurate baseline.
Last year, Pam Brown, Chief Commercial Officer of POI said, “Even in the face of COVID-19 and the consumer products industry paradigm shift, trade promotion and revenue growth management is more relevant today than ever before.”
I say that’s still true!
According to the POI 2021 panorama…
- 86% say they struggle with how to manage modern trade
- 48% agree that their companies are struggling to have retailer aligned promotions executed at store level
- 64% of companies continue to have data challenges
🏅 “Blacksmith is establishing themselves in the market to become an enterprise planning leader.”
No matter what tier, consumer goods companies that seek a fully integrated enterprise planning solution (that encompasses the list below) can turn to Blacksmith Applications as a trusted software provider.
- Trade promotion management
- Trade promotion optimization
- Revenue growth management
- Foodservice functionality
- Advanced analytics & insights
- Data management
Whether you’re looking for a fully integrated solution or singular aspects of the solution, we’d love to talk with you!
As always, we appreciate the Promotion Optimization Institute for taking the time to understand our CPG solutions and for recognizing our ongoing passion to create the best trade promotion and revenue growth management solutions for the CPG industry.
Blacksmith Applications is a sponsor of the POI Chicago Annual Summit / November 3-5. 2021.