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Addressing Your Trade Spending Is Much Like Starting Your Wellness Program

Have you ever felt overwhelmed before getting started with that wellness program?

So, we know we need it.  Yet, we put it off till next Monday, till after the holidays, or till after we have tackled some house project that we’ve been meaning to do.  

No doubt, ‘eating the elephant whole’ seems overwhelming.  But once we’ve made the decision to do it, the key is to decide on key objectives, make a detailed plan for what we know we need to change to achieve those objectives, commit to following that plan – sticking to it every day, and be consistent to realize the desired outcome.

We often start out debating between spending money to join a club or program, or whether we can just do it at home on our own and save a few bucks.  We could even hire a personal trainer if or health coach we really want to get maximum results with feedback from an expert.

How Does This Compare To Addressing Trade Spending?

This same process holds true when a CPG manufacturer realizes managing trade spending and deductions is something they need to address for their business to grow and become increasingly healthy, financially speaking.

First, you need to set your objectives:

  1.  To have a complete view of all trade spending to know at any given point in time what you are spending at every customer, by time period, by promote group.
  2.  To gain accountability within both the internal and external sales teams, so everyone knows what promotions have been agreed to and can verify they run as planned.
  3.  To reduce the administrative burden and time-drain of managing deductions, especially those ’80 pages of backup nonsense’ from some of the key distributors.
  4.  To be able to dispute unauthorized deductions or double-dipped promotions quickly & effectively?
  5.  To strategically improve the effectiveness of your trade spending, such as reducing trade spending while maintaining volume, or evaluating and eliminating ineffective promotions so you are only spending trade where it is helping to grow your business.

Next, you evaluate the most effective solution that enables you to achieve your objectives.  Do you stick with the enormous Excel workbook that takes days to fill out for your promotional plans (at which point you have multiple versions, someone needs to remember to update any changes that happen, etc.), or do you ‘build your own’ because you feel you really know what you want this to look like?  Or is there sufficient ROI in investing in partnering with an expert who has a solution that is specifically suited to achieve your objectives?

Some Simple Recommendations

  1.  Partner with a provider who has deep industry experience.
    • Tenure in the Industry – A partner who has lived it and understands what you need.
    • Tenure in the Organization – An experienced team that has added years of knowledge and improvements into the solution.
    • Client Tenure – Both new clients and clients who have been there for years.
    • Client Referenceability – Ask for case studies, references and recommendations!
  2.  Insist on a complete solution.
    • A standard system, so your solution continues to evolve easily and ongoing.
    • A solution that has evolved for decades with client input (so you will have input into the ongoing evolution as well!)
    • Everything in one system, so you can address all objectives within one solution:
      Including 1 System for All Users, Trade Plans, Deductions & Check Requests, Analysis & Reporting, Contracts & Documentation.
  3.  How do they ensure project success?
    • You will need a focused & rapid setup.
    • Training & change management is essential for your team. In fact, this is a key factor for ‘sticking to the plan’ and doing what is required consistently and systematically to continuously improve your trade effectiveness!
    • Outsourced System Administration services means you can focus on growing your business, not administration of software.
    • Client-focused, ongoing releases that you can take part in prioritizing.
    • A community of clients who share best practices.
  4.  How do they address areas of complexity that you couldn’t address ‘at home’?
    • Security & Workflows
    • Ease of Use
    • Financial Accountability
    • Analysis & Reporting BI Tool

So, How Does Partnering with an Expert Make It Less Overwhelming?

Like a wellness program, this does require some work.  However, with a partner like Adesso, we do not make you ‘eat the elephant whole’ or ‘drink from a firehose’.  We’re like your health coach – we have a simple, phased approach that guides you through a structured process.  And if you dedicate the time & effort, you’ll see incredible results. 

Just like how you feel better after starting your wellness program, implementing a trade management solution delivers early results like gaining full visibility into your trade spending & immediately saving money in repays.  Longer term, however, is where you will really begin to realize the benefits – and like with your long-term health – you can begin to relax, knowing trade is in good shape!

When Is A Good Time To Get Started?

Just as people adopt a wellness program as part of a New Year’s resolution, there is actually a perfect time to get started with a trade solution.  The time is NOW so you can be set up and ready for the next fiscal year planning!

Let Us Help You Take the First Steps

Toward Getting Your Trade in Shape!

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