What You’ll Learn:

  • How harmonized data delivers a consistent view critical to insightful analysis on things like cannibalization, brand switching, and channel shift
  • How to gain visibility with weekly feature ad sales data to optimize your trade promotion strategy
  • How user-friendly, excel based reporting tools provide insights at the speed of thought to all members of your organization

Webinar Hosts 💻

Katelyn Cieslinski, Marketing, Blacksmith Applications

Dave Butcher, Founding Partner, TABS Analytics

Introducing TABS Analytics

(video time: 2:38)

Founded in 1998, TABS Analytics has over 150 clients globally. TABS has built analytics tools that can be utilized by any size consumer goods organization – it doesn’t matter if your category management department employs 200 people or if you don’t have a category management department at all

TABS Webinar 3.30.2021

“For the last 20 years, everything that we have done has to do with the consumer packaged goods industry,” Butcher notes. These insights tools are really unique. You should use TABS Insights to transform your CPG analytics data into more sales and profit. TABS Analytics has tools for market performance, consumer tracking, promotion analysis, and account teams.

If it’s something you’ve ever said… If we could prove this, we could sell more stuff. “Talk to us. We’ve probably analyzed it.”

While, yes, the TABS team are consultants, they’re also CPG professionals. They’ve faced the same challenges as you face today. Butcher says, “We know where to look, what to anticipate, and how to unlock value for your teams and brands.”

Market Performance

  • Syndicated data
  • Syndicated casual factors
  • Multi-country databases

Consumer Research

TABS point of difference

  • Syndicated panel data
  • Loyalty card data

Trade & Revenue Management

  • Base vs. incremental sales
  • Ad/Feature data
  • Promotion optimization

Account Teams

  • Account POS
  • Store-level sales
  • Shipments & inventory
  • Forecasting


Data Harmonization

(video time: 6:46)

It all starts with gaining instant insights. For insights at the speed of thought – you have to have data set up to be consistent so that everything is seen from the same lens. Clean, customized data is critical to insightful analysis.

Data is different – the Nielsen data is different from IRI or SPINS – you don’t get a chance to see everything the exact same way. And, there’s limitations with syndicated data; you can only get so many different views of the numbers. TABS’ tools can add information on the fly – location, price, flavor. If there is a new ingredient or form – TABS can code that ingredient or form in your data – and deliver it back to you in 24 hours.

If you had a subcategory, that didn’t exist in IRI, say… natural fruit spreads… TABS could work with you and build a custom subcategory. From a marketing standpoint, that helps you understand where to grow the business. For category management, you can talk to retailers and explain the productivity of a new segment you’ll launch items into.

TABS created a process for data harmonization called Fausto. “Now, it’s no silver bullet, but we’ve automated the ingestion of data. We have the ability to cross-validate and detect errors (like missing a week or missing a category). We’ve created coding algorithms that align with client segmentation and updated as needed to expedite the process,” Butcher continues.

TABS has a complete coding team in Connecticut. Our analysts have coded data for decades. They understand how to code a category. We look on the internet, we do store visits, and other ways to make sure new items are coded correctly. “I mean new items come in every month. Think about cosmetics, thousands of new items can come in every month.

These codes are based on geographies, items, periods, and measures. Everything is stored in the state-of-the-art data warehouse.

This coding process is accurate and it’s also fast. When your syndicated data releases every month, it only takes TABS 2-3 days to code and harmonize it properly.


TABS BI Platforms

(video time: 11:55)

Once your data is done, it’s coded, harmonized… You can view your data in many platforms.

Here’s a quick look at some of the powerful tools TABS provides CPGs:

  • QuickTABS – User-friendly reporting tool based in excel (a pivot-table on steroids).
  • Account Insights – Custom data integration strategy and dashboard that integrates retailer-specific POS data, EDI feeds, shipment, and financial forecasts.
  • Market Insights – Market level data. Nielsen, IRI, SPINS.
  • Promo Insights – Dashboard that shows promotional spending analysis.
  • Presentation Builder – Present your findings internally or to your buyers using visuals.
  • …and more!


TABS Insight Portal

(video time: 13:30)

Since not everybody is ready for ALL of the information, TABS created an Insight Portal. “The TABS Insight Portal is a single sign on. Set up that crawl, walk, run scenario. We want to get everyone to have access to syndicated data on there, so they can quickly answer questions and see what’s going on in the business.”

TABS Insight Portal enables endless reporting without incremental cost for more users. It’s a way to store all of your data and dashboards. With TABS, “We recognize that it’s your data – so everyone in your organization can access it, look at it, and develop a strategy with it. Our tools provide the ultimate flexibility,” Butcher explains.

TABS Insight Portal for CPGs

(video time: 15:12)

**The data in today’s demo is NOT actual even though we use real brand names**


Now, let’s log into the TABS Portal. You see: Account Insights, Market Insights, Presentation Builder, Promo Insights, and Files.

Let’s start with the Account Insights – here are some reports that pop up:

  • Executive Summary
  • Year Over Year
  • Shipments YOY
  • Weekly Sales

Let’s dive into the Exec Summary… This summary shows me quick answers, it’s not a lot of analysis.

Want to dig deeper? Let’s go into the Year Over Year dashboard.

(video time: 19:23)

With store-level data, we can add the number of doors. Item or doors is like TDP.

If you click on 1 item in Wal-Mart, it might show 4,000 doors. Two items might show 8,000 doors.

TDP is total distribution points. That’s the addition of ACV.

  • If you have an item that is 100% ACV, that’s 100. Your brand would have 100 TDP.
  • If you have 2 items where 1 was 100% ACV (meaning in all stores) and 1 item that was 50% ACV, that would be 150 TDP.

You can pick custom time periods. Look at the COVID time period – change start and end week.

You can set item status. Add if it’s an active item, holiday item, deactivated item.

Target Logo PNG Transparent & SVG Vector - Freebie Supply

The best capability, is that you can drill down. Let’s say you only care about Target and segments of probiotics. It’s easy to get into those details. You can hover over segments or geographies to see the insights.

(video time: 21:44)

With Account Insights, you can capture an image. If I only care about Target’s data, I can click in one place to get to Target and Probiotics. There is role level security. You can make sure a specific group only can see their retailer. (Wal-Mart group may be excluded from Target data and vice versa.)


Let’s move on to Market Insights.

  • Am I winning or losing / Am I gaining share or losing share?
  • Is business up or down?

Then, it’s important to quickly understand why… If you’re up 10% in Publix, do you know why? With Market Insights, you can get the answer.

(video time: 30:15)

The first thing to look at to understand if I’m winning or losing – is Cross Channel. With cross channel, you select and see:

  • Any geography
  • Segment / Aisle
  • Measure / Time
  • Manufacturer / Brand
  • Drug / Mass / Food Retailers
  • BRAND Dollar Share / Dollar Change YAG / Brand vs. Category

Market Insights Tool from TABS

Let’s click on Nature’s Bounty.

We can see – quickly and easily using the chart above – that they’re gaining share overall, but they lost share at Rite-Aid. We can see in the charts the increase in sales vs. the category growth and brand’s growth for any period of time.

Now, let’s change it to AZO.

AZO is growing all over the place. They’re up 22% and the category is up 23% – you can’t be bummed, you just didn’t gain share.

If you’re curious about one specific segment vs. another – you can hover over – and have a ton of information shown to you instantly.


(video time: 32:20)

Now, let’s look at Walgreens.

Walgreens example Market Insights Cross Channel TABS


Again, we’ll find out – how we’re doing at this retailer. And, find the answer why through the Business Review.

On the Business Review, using 4 charts, we’ll be able to see what’s going on. First, select the categories you want to look at. You can see AZO’s share is 56%.

Now, look at the brands that are in there. We can see All Other, Nature’s Way, Nature’s Bounty, Private Label. >> Is that constant?

Check out the dollar momentum.

You should ask “Why are we up?”.  The business is strong and the Business Review dashboard tells you it’s through increased velocity. You can see – there is no new distribution (ACV is the same). Private label is down 15% with 8% reduced distribution (they probably removed an item). Our business is up because of good old fashioned velocity. We’re selling more during that 12-week period.

Now, look at dollar and unit productivity… Is there anything to be concerned about? If you have 10% of the dollars, you should have 10% of the distribution. Or, if you have 10% of the units, you should have 10% of the distribution.

TABS productivity chart _ business review

AZO shows a 140 index ($ Prod). This means AZO is 40% more productive than the average brand. Here, the unit productivity is also up, 119. AZO’s SKU share is 40.6%.

Nature’s Way, they’re under productive. They can see this and think, maybe there’s a way for me to get more distribution. And, they can look at that in the platform.

Go to Distribution Gap. Compare different SKUs by looking at dollar amounts, units, ACV. You can quickly see products that you can target to get rid of.

As AZO, you also might use the Distribution Gap to see which AZO product that you want to sell in?

Based on the data you see on the report, you want to sell more cranberry mix berry gummy 40 ct. – this is the item we should sell – this is the item with more opportunity.

(video time: 38:04)

Now, let’s use the Presentation Builder. Through the presentation builder, you can drill down – look at category level from national perspective, maybe drill into the channel, retailer, or segment. You can quickly show your strengths.

  1. Choose Geography: Walgreens CORP
  2. Choose Dimension: Category
  3. Choose Time: 12wk
  4. Choose # of Dimensions: 7
  5. You can select specifics on category, brand & segment
    1. Your selections will create the chart you copy into the Presentation Builder
  6. Click Add Presentation Builder

In the Presentation Builder, you can select waterfall. Being able to decompose the growth for the retailer is important.

See Walgreens overall – what you’re looking at are new and existing items – separated.

(video time: 40:55)

  • New items refer to new products brought into their store in the last 12-week that they didn’t have last year.
  • Existing items refer to items discontinued to bring in new items.

How’s the velocity of the items they kept? Did it help grow their business?

Using the waterfall report, you can see new items did better than the items that Walgreens discontinued. They grew dollars because increased price, about 5%. Add this information your PPT. You can tell your buyer – here’s what happened in the category.

Now, look at the brand level. AZO can say my items were 100% incremental. Build your story. Someone says, AZO – why are you growing? Dig in and see what the growth story is. Use the charts to show that you’re growing because of increased productivity – all my new items are incremental to the business. Using the charts, we see that AZO is delivering 37% more dollar productivity than you would expect. Compare that to Nature’s Way. They had had 40%  less dollar productivity. Add to the presentation to tell Walgreens, this isn’t helping your category.

Now, let’s see the Item Strength – this is very quick SKU rationalization. It looks at different categories ranked on dollars, units, dollar point, and unit point. If an item is in the bottom 20% or 30%, it’s not strong. It’s a poor performing item. You can set the minimum ACV – distribution should be at least 20% ACV. You can easily change the data points to learn about your underperforming items.

When you’re done… 🖱️ download the PowerPoint file…

(video time: 46:35)

TABS PPT builder _ Insights

DEMO Continued

Finally, let’s review the Promo Scorecard. This is an add on to what Blacksmith TPM and TPO do today. While Blacksmith’s legacy trade tools are phenomenal at digging into the details, these promo insights are the 50,000 ft. view.

(video time: 50:13)

Brand managers might ask, we have a $5M trade promotion budget, but are we doing well? And the answer is with promotions, it’s about building incremental volume and not eroding a baseline. That’s what you’re looking for. Look to see if an item is cannibalizing (30ct. vs. 12ct.). Use these insights for a conversational strategy.

☕ Let’s look at coffee – K-cups / pods category.

Let’s pretend I’m Folgers. As the brand manager, I ask – Are promotions creating incremental volume in line with competition? Looking at the data, I can see the answer is yes. If I’m Tim Horton – the answer is no. Maybe Tim Horton’s strategy is not to promote – their strategy is about everyday. Then, see Timothy’s, people are only buying us when we’re promoting… so let’s spend!

You can see all the different levels so quickly.

For Folgers, did my base go down? No. I didn’t push people one way or another.

For retailers, they wonder, are we doing the right thing? You can change the output to compare geographies to see which ads perform better, which tactics drive incremental business.

Look at the strategy section in the Promo Scorecard. Here you can see what ads people are running – see which TPRs are running, because TABS harmonizes consumption data and Numerator data.

Timothy’s is running $4.99 ads and getting 36-weeks of supply lift. See very quickly, who’s running what and if it pays out. This will help you determine if you should change your promotional plans. You can always add these details to your presentation.

Let’s look at only Folgers.

(video time: 58:08)

Look at 12 count vs. 30 count to see how different promotions performed.

Promo Insights _ TABS

  • I ran an ad on 12ct. (and see the price goes down) – did that hurt existing business? What you see is a $6.99 ad. There was a 9.8 weeks of supply lift. There were 63,000 incremental servings. 30-count cannibalized… but I’m wiling to give up 279 servings for 63,000 servings.

Now, look at the incremental revenue based on the general retail margin (so it’s not exact). Get an idea of what you made on this…

  • Let’s say $27,000 incremental dollars… what did the ad cost? $10k. Do that again!
  • If the ad cost $100k, you won’t think it was worth it, you’re losing money.

If you’re looking at a competitor, you can say we need to run those $4.99 ads like Timothy’s. First, say how did Timothy’s do on those ads? You can drill into that detail, and see that they had $44,000 incremental. If that ad costs you $200,000 – but if it makes you money, you’ll do it.

The promotion analysis has lots of powerful information at the speed of thought.


Question: Can any customizations be exported to excel?

Answer: Yes. Every one of them. I can download the information, simply by clicking and downloading a CSV.


Question: What role or level is using this data?

Answer: It’s really dashboard specific. Account insights are typically used by account manager, planning and forecasting departments. Maybe some brand marketing who are doing analysis. With market insights, category management gets involved. Field sales will be in market insights and presentation builder. The promo insights – by definition – will be used by trade marketing, marketing, and finance.


Question: How much experience has TABS had with the Foodservice industry?

Answer: We haven’t put foodservice data into account insights, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t. All we need is products, time period, and geography attributes. Even though it hasn’t been done before, we can harmonize data from any source and placed into an easy-to-use dashboard.

Question: Do you see challenger brands that are productive not get their fair share of the shelf because larger, national brands nudge them out? How can challenger brands prove their worth on the shelf?

Answer: This is a common challenge for smaller, growing brands. The productivity chart is important for this. Big brands usually have way more than their fair share of distribution – they’ll often become unproductive. When you’re a challenger brand, and you are not as big from a share standpoint, but you can show productivity, that’s a win.


Question: Will there be any efforts to combine the functionality of Blacksmith TPO with Tabs?

Answer: You already have data in Blacksmith, so it’s easy for TABS to get the data out. Talk with your Blacksmith account manager to learn how to get these dashboards added and customized for your business. We definitely are working together – TABS + Blacksmith – to see what we can combine and capitalize on our strengths. We’re working quickly to pull 1 uniform approach for CPG manufacturers.