Eliminate This Today to Improve Trade Spend Success

How do you gather and analyze your trade spend data? Trade promotion management (TPM) software is a proven tool used by CPG manufacturers to amass and compare data on operator and distributor trade programs, margins and consumption.

But, adoption of TPM software is fairly low. According to Retail Info Systems, estimates show that at least 60% of companies are using custom-built or manual processes.

But, why? It’s accepted that spreadsheets lead to errors and wasted time. Essentially, spreadsheets cannot keep up with contemporary data influx because they’re disconnected from other data sets and requires significant manual effort to update. Additionally, it presents a roadblock to cross-departmental collaboration. Adobe CFO, Mark Garrett was quoted, “I don’t want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data, I want them to focus on what is the data telling us.”

What’s the problem with manual documentation in trade spend?


  1. Limited Visibility
  2. Inaccurate Measurements
  3. Program Misconceptions
  4. Human Error
  5. Various Versions


I’m a big fan of Word and Excel, but I know they aren’t the right tools for foodservice and retail trade promotion management. Sure they might be working for your TPM needs, if you aren’t interested in accessibility and gaining insights to grow your business. Manual processes equal chaotic spreadsheets, and prevent you from getting the most from your promotional dollars.

Cloud-based systems make it easy for a seamless integration of trade promotion management systems with advanced analytics, such as trade promotion optimization solutions. This means that data is compiled, reported and analyzed in one platform, thus eliminating redundancies and error and opening the door for collaboration. Now, there’s one view of the truth. Systems functionality allows financial planning teams to do what Garrett visualizes – spend more time analyzing the data and making insightful recommendations.

Have you had trouble planning, executing or settling programs? Can you easily create and analyze contracts? Is it time consuming to approve workflows?

Manufacturers like you are challenged to make smart trade investments. Don’t miss out on sales improvement opportunities because you’re still keeping track of contracts in Word or Excel. To accurately link your trade spend to a specific program, you’ll need a pricing application that can systematically pull data to enable informed decisions.


Here are some top reasons why foodservice and CPG retail manufacturers should consider investing in trade promotion management software.


  1. Access from Anywhere. With web-based trade management software your sales, marketing, finance, and broker teams will be able to access contracts and reporting from anywhere and view the same information at the same time.
  2. Contract Consistency. Set up contracts with consistency in your TPM application. Consistency ensures less mistakes and provides the ability to easily move accounts around during internal organizational changes.
  3. Claim Validation Against Contracts. Claim validation against contracts will save money against invalid billbacks. Using a trade promotion management system, you can easily bump claims up against contracts and verify what on the invoice should be paid out.
  4. Contract Hierarchy View and Approval Process. The right trade application allows you to set up a simple or complex hierarchy. This enables you to make sure the right people have access to the appropriate information – limiting visibility to accounts and data. A hierarchy approval process provides more accuracy with contract set up by making sure the right people are reviewing contracts prior to approval.
  5. Analytics. Access to in-depth reporting capabilities provides you with the insight it needs to improve profit and loss.


Take the risk out of your trade promotion management. With objective functionality in your foodservice and/or trade management application, you can take advantage of features like:


  • Auto rollover: your expiring program will automatically rollover, without you revising and copying it.
  • Auto pay: the system generates a billback; calculations based on rebates and payment.
  • Shortcut routing: if the target is within set guidelines, the program automatically routes through approval process.
  • Volume update: calculation based on claims, rebates and billbacks.
  • Revision report: view any contract in its original form and track its changes at a product level.
  • Self-service P&L: proactively create a deal without talking to finance or leaving the application and calculate exact profitability.



FORGE screenshot

You don’t need to be overloaded with unmanageable spreadsheets that detract from your business’s success. Choose a software that helps you plan, improve and forecast effective deals and take advantage of autonomous technology for a dynamic experience.

With a trade management and optimization application, you can manage your trade dollars and arrange data and communication associated with your trade spending and optimization process – from contact creation to billbacks to post-event analysis.


Customer Video: Conagra Brands “FORGE is very user friendly. The way programs are entered and the  approval process is very sequential. It’s a great resource for audit purposes.”

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