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TPM and TPO Systems Implementation: The Truth


If I could read your mind right now, I bet you’re thinking something like…

❝If I have to present my sales plan one more time with the underwhelming support of messy spreadsheets I may sink into a pit of despair.


This way of doing things just isn’t cutting it. Our team really needs trade management and optimization technology if we’re going to grow.


But, TPM and TPO solutions are massive system integration projects that will consume all our IT resources… no one is going to support a heavy lift like that right now since we’re too busy with other projects and our trade spend is doing fine.❞


Stop right there.

Hear me out.

I can bust these myths and get you started on a path to trade transparency in no time:


MYTH 1: Implementing trade promotion technology sounds like a bunch of data and systems integration, requiring lots of IT resource allocation.

TRUTH 1: IT resources are mostly unnecessary for a TPO implementation. Much of the work for a TPO project is shouldered by your vendor, who only needs your team to help pull data. And TPM needs are more streamlined than you think.


Implementation Timelines


A typical TPO implementation takes between 8-12 weeks, depending on the availability of data.Master Calendar Blacksmith TPO

During implementation, you can expect:


  • Meetings to understand your business practices and objectives
  • Initial data harmonization and cleansing
  • Database construction
  • Database review and revision
  • TPM integration
  • Training and go live

A TPM implementation takes a few months. There are more complex mappings from TPM to your company’s ERP system.

During implementation, you can expect:

  • Meetings to review business processes
  • Stage environment creation and review
  • Data mapping and configuration
  • Production environment creation and review
  • Training and go live

Another option: TPM + TPO integration. Add both system capabilities at the same time.

With this option, your TPO solution can be up and running while TPM implementation is ongoing. This means you can reap the measurable return and see the payback from better planning decisions sooner.


MYTH 2: We’ll be stopped before we’ve started with data quality and security concerns.

TRUTH 2: If you choose well, your trade partner will help sort out data challenges and align security requirements, shouldering much of that workload.

While you might think that your data needs to be perfect before a TPM or TPO project, the truth is, data cleansing and harmonization are components of the project.

During the project, the implementation experts will help you sort out any initial data challenges and include best practices for future data governance and quality.

Similarly, during implementation, data security protocols are aligned with your corporate security requirements including data backup, data access, data transfers in a secure, monitored environment.


Change Management


A significant portion of the implementation process should focus on embracing the system’s functionality. Don’t underestimate the need for change management. The Promotion Optimization Institute [POI] recommends having a change management plan in place before implementing a trade management solution. Survey data collected by POI found that 92% of respondents have trouble when deploying solutions to existing users, since many employees are stuck in their current ways of operating.

The most common challenges that teams face during implementation:

  • time and project plan
  • integration with other systems
  • training and customer support

To alleviate these challenges, find a trade promotion management and optimization system provider that:

  • has domain expertise to work within your existing planning and trade management architecture
  • is prepared to help you through the implementation and training process
  • is willing to share use-case advice and best practices




We suggest carving out time for training. System training is a crucial component to a smooth implementation process.

Your system solution provider should offer the option for in-person training, which gives employees an opportunity to ask specific questions about the functionality.

It’s important that the entire company feels prepared for a new system. Every company operates differently, so adjustments might be needed to make the system compatible for a specific company. That is why it is important to select a TPM supplier that recognizes the need to make compatibility a priority.

To summarize: The integration will not be painful, and we’ll work together on a timeline for implementation and training, plus your data will be secure.

Trade promotion management and optimization systems should make it easy for you to input, track, analyze, and improve your promotional spend. We’re in the age of big data. If you’re ready to learn about your promotional effectiveness, develop target pricing and conduct event analysis, then TPM and TPO tools are the smart next step.

Objection: Trade promotion management and optimization solutions are massive integration projects that will consume all our IT resources, plus… I’m too busy with other projects to initiate the process.

Reality: Integrating new software shouldn’t be taken lightly, but remember the installment will not engulf your IT resources or cause chaos in your everyday work life.

Trade promotion management and optimization software will rocket your company to success — after all, there’s less risk with a system integration than there is with excel sheets.