We asked two long-time TPx advocates, Joe Kent, VP of Consumer Brands for InnovAsian Cuisine, and Tony Pfenning, Director of Global Revenue Management for Kellogg’s, to share their expert advice on what must be addressed to succeed as an organization at TPx change.
Creating Success Before, During and After
The trade execution experts provided insight on these 6 critical change management questions that organizations must address when evolving their trade management and optimization capabilities:
1) What is driving the need for change?
Without clearly understanding why, it’s impossible for your people to connect the system change with a business impact.
- People are afraid of any change — our job is to make change easier.
- You need to lay out not just the outcome of the change, but the process of how you’re going to get there, and what is driving that change.
- Sometimes it is pressure from Wall Street. Sometimes it is a failure to move the needle. Sometimes it is a realization that what you have always done just doesn’t work any more.
2) Who will be involved in the change and at what levels?
People in your organization will rightfully ask, “How does this organizational change impact me?”
- You must have somebody leading the change. It will not work without it.
- This allows you to “sell” your own people on the need for change and overcome any reluctance.
- From the leadership team to the daily user – everyone must be all in. The only way to do this is to make sure that all decisions are fact based.
3) How will communication be handled during the change process?
Regular, formal and informal updates with stakeholders will eliminate any feelings of surprise or “not being in the loop” when the team goes to roll out new processes.
- You have to have a cadence of regular monthly/quarterly communication before, during and after any change.
- You must address the fear by tying all change back to results backed by data. This includes talking about the mistakes to avoid compounding them in the future.
- Be open and agile. There are times where you need to pivot to enhance an outcome. Without communication, these growth-minded changes can seem like contradictions that undermine your cause.
4) How will senior leadership be involved and how can you maintain their involvement?
Keeping your leadership team involved throughout the process maintains the alignment of the project with corporate objectives and communicates to the entire organization that this change is a priority.
- You often have to remind leadership to be patient. No change happens overnight.
- Directly involve them in setting the accountability expectations and provide regular fact-based updates as to progress.
- Remind leaders that the business is moves quickly — not making a change is actually the biggest risk.
5) Will you use 3rd party change management assistance?
Working with consultants or vendor partners provides the opportunity to take advantage of their experience. However, how these people will work with your organization should be a talking point of your project team.
- More important than 3rdparty project management is regular training. If this is best served by a solutions’ vendor or consultant, then go that route.
- Someone internal must own and lead the change.
- Knowing what you need help with should come first. Decide what help provides the least restrictive path to success. For example, can your vendor partner or consultant own the data cleansing and harmonization piece?
6) How will you measure and celebrate success?
Getting your people to value and use fact-based decision making in how they think about the planning and analysis of trade promotions requires a change in how we work and think.
- You MUST incentivize the use of data and tie the results directly to a bonus structure.
- Get little wins up front and celebrate them.
- Make sure that everything you do goes back to the overarching goal. Whether it is a revenue number or a cost-savings number, your people always need have a fact-based understanding of where they stand in comparison to their goal and the tools to make necessary changes.
The 3 Guiding Principles
Kent and Pfenning identified 3 key elements that they believe lead to successful TPx change management.
1) Training, Training, Training… and More Training
2) Get the Basics Done First
- Data Quality
- Accountability of Incremental Success
- Results-Based Incentive for Change
3) Communicate and Celebrate
Meet The Experts:
Tony Pfennig is Director of Global Revenue Management for Kellogg’s. As a multi-national, multi-business unit organization, many of the challenges regarding change management revolved around message consistency from corporate throughout the business unit and making sure that fact-based decision making was the foundation of their revenue growth management strategy. For Kellogg’s this meant adopting timely, accurate and efficient post-event analytics driven by automated data harmonization to provide and true picture of their business and inform future planning/investment decisions.
Joe Kent is VP of Consumer Brands for InnovAsian Cuisine. As a growing brand and food manufacturer, InnovAsian prioritized making better promotional investment decisions to ensure that their strategy was what was best for their organization and retail partners. The ability for their trade and sales team to understand what was working and what was not and then predictively apply and optimize this insight to future customer planning changes the conversation to how they can reinvest in the business.