What You’ll Learn:

  • The effects the pandemic has had on evaluating both base and promotional business, and how TPO can navigate the unprecedented consumer shopping behavior
  • Unfiltered TPO user’s reviews on how the tool is helping them manage their business
  • The steps CPG manufacturers are taking to tackle retailer planning throughout 2021

Webinar Panelists:

Angela Rosenquist
Vice President of Sales
InnovAsian Cuisine
Casey Joiner Casey Joiner
Trade Marketing Manager
Rich Products
Dean Zuta Dean Zuta
Head of Trade Planning and Finance
Solaris Paper


If you’ve been wondering what trade promotion optimization really is and how it can make a difference for your organization… this webinar is for you.

Our panelists provide real examples of how TPO software helps them normalize pandemic trends and plan in 2021.

How can CPG retail grocery manufacturers utilize their current resources to:

1. Maximize this year’s profit & net revenue?

2. Improve service levels to their retailers?

(video time 7:50)

Retailers and manufacturers had to partner together to get through 2020. It was in everyone’s best interest to remove promotions and stay in close communication on supply and service levels. Navigating the uncertainty left both manufacturers and retailers to make adaptations in the short term.

The way Angela puts it, “We keep planning and adjusting and planning and adjusting every week.”

Out of stocks and allocations make understanding what base volume could have been, should have been, and will be in the future next to impossible.

Many manufacturers have been selling literally everything they can produce.

At Blacksmith, our data shows that manufacturers sold as much volume in one week as they had previously in one quarter.

And when one brand is out of stock, a new opportunity opens for another brand to fill the gap and potentially earn permanent distribution. Changes in volume need to be communicated to demand planning and sales, and ultimately to retailers.

What key insights can be provided to sales and demand planning teams with a TPO solution?

(video time 14:35)

Casey from Rich Products explains, “we are able to observe how our baselines are being affected, which enabled us to communicate to our demand planning team changes in forecast.”

Allocation conversations can be informed with the data that comes through a TPO solution. A specific example from Dean highlights using competitive activity to direct prioritizing product stock. While competitors were focusing on mass and club, Solaris was able to identify an opportunity to focus on the grocery channel.

Dean from Solaris Paper explains, “We have seen our share rise as new customers are trying our product where we are the only brand in stock.”

What types of insights can TPO provide in addition to TPM?

(video time 16:40)

Even before the pandemic, TPO has been providing insights to manufacturers like InnovAsian, a Blacksmith TPO customer since 2016.

Here are the benefits to Angela and her team:

  • More intelligent internal and external conversations after a quick 8-week implementation
  • The ability to be more forward thinking and process oriented instead of people oriented
  • Enhanced dialog with buyers about go-to-market strategies

Not to mention the adaptability and flexibility in changing times like these, with the ability to remove anomalies and plan for category reviews that anniversary the pandemic, which would be impossible without a TPO solution.

Angela states “it’s invaluable to be able to evaluate situations and optimize what you’re looking to accomplish.”

What are some examples of unique actions manufacturers and retailers are taking to meet demand?

(video time 19:07)

All three panelists brought forward thought-provoking actions such as:

  • Reducing the number of items that are being produced to limit change over and increase productivity
  • Changing reset timing to prioritize stocking current items instead of attempting to bring in new items
  • Packaging foodservice items in special ways to meet club channel demand
  • Sending sales reps in to stores to talk directly about solutions for selling and stocking in a safe manner

What benefits does TPO provide?

(video time 24:00)

Dean starts with stating that a solution like Blacksmith TPO is very easy to use. He elaborates on the specific benefits:

  • The ability to keep a close eye on competitive promotion activity
  • Informed and faster decision making on things like incremental trade spend
  • Visibility on promotion performance and impact to the business

These benefits are more important than ever following the pandemic buying effects as consumer behavior continuously changes.

And of course, we have to cover planning throughout 2021

(video time 25:15)

All three panelists brought forward different ways they will be using TPO to inform planning in 2021.

InnovAsian Angela and InnovAsian will be using the tool to evaluate total trade spend and the effect on COGS from this past year to develop a profitable plan.
Solaris Paper Dean and Solaris Paper were able to pick up some new distribution in 2020 that they would like to maintain. Projecting accurate baselines moving forward will be possible at these new customers with Blacksmith TPO’s predictive capabilities.
Rich Products Casey at Rich Products discusses the importance of flattening baselines. It’s more important than ever to remove volume that is unlikely to repeat when planning for the future.