Richardson International’s acquisition of Wesson premium cooking oils was a catalyst for transformation. The step change in trade spend associated with the new portfolio would require systems that Richardson didn’t have in their existing business process arsenal.
When the team began reviewing trade management options, they wanted a single solution across its foodservice and retail business. They would soon learn that while many vendors assured the ability to manage all trade channels within a single system, only one vendor could offer the most robust solution to both channels.
Richardson has selected Blacksmith Applications as the revenue growth management and trade optimization tool for their U.S. business. They will be using our TPO and TPM products for their grocery, foodservice, club store and mass merchandising channels.
The Decision to Choose Blacksmith
After researching TPx vendors, Richardson started with a list of eight potential providers. Pat Van Osch, Senior Vice President Food and Ingredients Sales and Marketing, recounts, “That soon got pared down to a final two.”
Richardson invited the final two vendors to their headquarters in Winnipeg. There, the Richardson team reviewed the trade applications in detail and talked about support during and after implementation.
Thought leadership, industry knowledge and customer references were critical aspects to the team’s final decision.
While competitors could check the box on most points associated with software expertise, the one item that stood out was post implementation support. The staff on the Blacksmith team proved to be helpful right off the bat. Career-long CPG expertise was a factor in the decision-making process.
“We heard a lot of positive feedback about Blacksmith from the industry; references, and brokers.” After exploring all features and facets of importance, “Blacksmith came out on top not only within the foodservice segment but also in retail where their capabilities are less widely known,” says Pat Van Osch. “We spoke with a number of Blacksmith’s retail trade clients and our review of competing applications revealed that Blacksmith would be a fully capable retail trade partner.”
Blacksmith’s end-to-end trade capabilities set it apart. “Event analysis and promotion optimization were capabilities we didn’t see from anyone else. Competitors talked about PEA and TPO, but they never really showed us the functionality in action,” notes Steve Cooper, Director, Pricing and Sales Support.
Cooper recalls, “One of our sales executives was particularly excited with the value drivers in the advanced modules that were presented by Blacksmith as part of their presentation.”
“We’re just getting started, but Blacksmith is demonstrating they are a valued business partner. Their bench strength is impressive.” Rob Bielik, Assistant Vice President Business Integration, continues, “Everyone on the team is professional and customer-centric. We’re already seeing the benefits from the knowledge Blacksmith has to offer.”
Richardson International became a Blacksmith Applications customer in 2020.
About Richardson International
Headquartered in Winnipeg, Richardson is Canada’s largest agribusiness and is recognized as a global leader in agriculture and food processing. The company is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of grains and oilseeds and is a vertically integrated processor and manufacturer of oats and canola-based products.