Welcome to the Retail Trade Toolkit

At Blacksmith Applications, we’re committed to helping the industry learn and grow through our CPG experience and knowledge.

The Retail Trade Toolkit is broken down into the six categories that make up a successful retail trade ecosystem. From change management to artificial intelligence, you will find the information and best practices you need to take your trade promotions to the next level.

People and Processes

Old, costly habits take hold without a clear understanding of why change is happening.
  • Expert Advice For Starting Your TPx Journey
  • Optimizing Outcomes
  • TPx Business Case

Creating success before, during and after

We asked two long-time TPx users the top questions that must be addressed to succeed as an organization when it comes to TPx change management.


Optimizing Outcomes: A CPG Guide to Successful Trade Promotion Advancement

Despite the rise of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer, CPG companies are still making significant investment in their in-store promotions. Are they successful?


Building A Business Case For TPx

Walk through the critical steps needed to build a business case for TPx with Blacksmith Applications’ Project Management SME, Joel Cartwright.


Data and Analytics

Bring together critical data to shed light on trade efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Data Insight for CPG growth
  • Baselines
  • Post-Event Analysis

What do you know about your data?

Having a plan for your data governance centralizes intelligence and prioritizes accuracy for more informed revenue-focused decision making.


The Anatomy Of A Baseline

Base volume may be the biggest mystery of the CPG industry. Shelley Fow explains the basics of a baseline. Are you ready to solve the mystery?


Challenges to Meaningful Post-Event Analysis

Walk through the challenges faced when conducting a meaningful post-event analysis with Blacksmith Applications’  VP of  Retail Product Management, John Weller.


Trade Promotion Execution

CPGs continue to lose significant profits due to complex processes, limited visibility, and inaccurate plan information.
  • Effective Trade Promotion
  • Deduction Management Checklist
  • Retail TPx Success

Why trade spend effectiveness matters.

Improving your trade spend efficiency is a substantial and straightforward opportunity to increase your bottom-line. Do you know how?


The Deduction Management Checklist for Retail

Is your deduction balance out of control? Follow this 10-step checklist to improve your deduction balance and break the cycle.


Critical Steps To Retail TPx Success

Regardless the level of sophistication you have, it may be time to revisit your approach. Are you ready to improve your TPx knowledge?


Strategy, Pricing and Oversight

Investment and revenue growth lack the context to be successful without a clear strategy driving decisions about pricing.
  • Build Better Financial Guardrails
  • What Is TPx?
  • Retail Trade Strategy Blueprint

This does not have to be challenging.

CPG companies continue to tighten their trade spend. To position your organization for a return on trade, you will need to implement guardrails.


A guide to trade promotion technology.

Learn about the industry dynamics contributing to your challenges and how you can be well-positioned to address them with the right TPx solutions.


Moving Beyond the Tactic: A Retail Trade Strategy Blueprint

The reality is that Consumer Companies have operated with limited capabilities for years which raises the question: Why change now?


Planning and Collaboration

Unstable retail conditions make predictable sales planning necessary for building mutually-profitable retailer relationships.
  • Retailer Collaboration
  • Retail Sales Planning Playbook
  • Anatomy Of A Sales Plan

Retailer collaboration is just not happening.

When external disruption threatens performance, what should a CPG company do? Unfortunately, the first response to competitive pressure is not always the best.


A best practices guide for CPG leaders

Applying best practices can least to the best decisions using informed processes supported by easy-to-use analysis and predictive planning technologies.


A Guide from Baselines to Revenue

Looking to take your plans to the next level? Dig deeper into the what and why of building a promotional plan that will grow your business.



CPGs are investing in costly customizations, delaying quantifiable opportunity, and speculating the relevancy of new technology.
  • Amplify Your Trade Spend
  • Trade Promotion RFP Guide
  • Choosing A TPO Application

Amplify Your Trade Spend: 3 AI Capabilities

CPG companies  rely on manual intervention and cumbersome spreadsheets to glean even the slightest bit of insight. With advanced technology, why is this true?


A Guide to Launching a Trade Promotion RFP

The RFP process can become tedious and complicated due to the large scope of many of these projects. Follow this guide to organize and simplify your Trade Promotion RFP process.


Wondering how to get started with trade promotion optimization?

Examine the benefits of TPO tools, identify which key factors you should consider before purchasing, and what questions to ask in order to choose the right solution for your needs.