“We’ve been utilizing trade solutions for 25 years, but we reached an impasse where we really needed something more robust.”
-Tamie Griffith, Manager of Trade Finance at Rich Products
From a corporate perspective, Rich Products is laser focused on delivering for its customers.
Operational efficiency is a key ingredient in doing just that.
Although Rich Products Consumer Brands Division was using a well-known trade promotion management software to manage retail events, they had outgrown it.
With the CPG trade environment becoming increasingly sophisticated, Tamie Griffith (Manager of Trade Finance) decided the time was right to look for a retail trade solution that would allow Rich’s to optimize promotional effectiveness in their complex omnichannel environment.
About 18 months ago, the Rich’s team set its sights on streamlining trade processes, methods and systems. They reviewed trade management processes and solutions across all channels of their business and found that of the various teams supporting trade, each had different systems, leading to somewhat disjointed efforts.
For Consumer Brands, there were a few key trade management capabilities missing:
- Up-front analysis. They wanted to utilize consumption data to help plan more effectively.
- Backend promotion analysis. Manual post-event analysis was taking up too much time, but the work is critical to deliver for customers.
The Search for a Single Trade Technology Partner
Tamie launched a change initiative to drive innovation and efficiency across all of Rich’s US and Canada business trade channels. She included reps across various sales divisions in the vetting process. The goal was to find a single trade spend solution for trade management and optimization. A solution that could support all sales teams and provide advanced functionality and analytical capabilities with timely and actionable data output while fulfilling a positive user experience.
The team aimed to be process driven and to streamline methods wherever possible. They wanted to end redundant activities to free up team members to perform more strategic work.
Next, Rich’s completed a thorough evaluation of the trade management and optimization solutions on the market. Tamie says the industry provided a large variety of options to consider. One criterion was assured integration with SAP, Rich’s ERP system, and the flexibility to satisfy the needs of all sales divisions.
Rich’s solicited some of the largest, most well-known SaaS providers across segments and CPG-centric SaaS providers to show off their solution capabilities.
Blacksmith for the Win
After competing head-to-head with another end-to-end solution provider, Blacksmith won the day. The Rich’s foodservice team has been working with Blacksmith Applications for about 10 years and reported their great experience with the TPM product and team.
“We knew that Blacksmith had retail trade management, but when they acquired T-Pro Solutions, that put them at the top of our list,” Tamie explains. “We observed the legacy T-Pro team and optimization technology at various conferences and viewed demos in the past. The proposition of one tool with strong TPM and TPO capabilities made Blacksmith an attractive option.”
Rich Products selected Blacksmith as their single vendor partner for trade management, optimization and analytics solutions across all channels – retail, foodservice and everything in between.
Tamie sums up the decision in just a few words…
“Blacksmith is a great business partner. During the selection process, the Blacksmith team hosted a session to look at our current application and out of that meeting came at least 50 ideas about how to make our approach to trade better.”
When comparing other potential TPM and TPO solution providers, Tamie found that one of Blacksmith’s biggest differentiators was listening.
“Talking to the Blacksmith team already felt like a partnership. They were asking the right questions, and some of the same questions as competitors, but they were really listening to what we needed. Then, they would counsel from a place of knowledge on the right and wrong ways to proceed,” says Tamie.
Because there was a high level of trust from the start, Blacksmith proved to be the best solution for Rich’s business. With Blacksmith, there were quick and detailed responses during and after the buying process. Tamie notes that “the team at Blacksmith didn’t leave anything unanswered.” Plus, Rich’s is excited about optimization technology. “We’re excited to take plans to our retail partners and reveal a winning opportunity for both sides.”
When asked how she would describe Blacksmith to someone who may not be familiar with the company, Tamie extolled, “They are a trustworthy partner. They know the business – both foodservice and retail. They are a true partner that you can grow and develop with.”
And, do us blog writers a favor and take some more of Tamie’s advice… Check out the rest of our website to learn about our solutions and experience. “I would also say, if you’re interested in Blacksmith – go check out the website. It has testimonials and resources. If you’re new to the industry, they can help you wrap your head around the basics and more complicated topics. The website is very valuable. I refer to it often.”