6 Reasons Flamingo Drives an Immediate ROI, Saves Sales Time & Helps You Relax

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1. Complete Line of Sight & Accountability

You should know what you are spending on trade at every direct and indirect customer, like you do any other item on your P&L.

“The benefit is complete line of sight. Historically, we used a piece of paper or an Excel file and now it’s all in one place with line of sight and visibility that can hold people accountable to what their budgets are, and use a better business management style.” Lou Fata, VP of Sales  Palmers

2. Makes Your Trade $ Work Harder for You

You need significant information over an extended period of time, in order to make more strategic decisions for trade planning – based on what works and what doesn’t work. (Download this eGuide by New Hope Network, “Every CPG’s Secret Weapon: Trade Promotion Strategy” for more information.)

3. It's Painless

Your setup is quick and easy; and training for your internal and broker team, as well as administration of the system is taken care of.

Leverage Adesso’s trade expertise for your trade effectiveness!

“The setup and kickoff training got us up to speed quickly, with the Adesso team being deeply involved throughout the process. Next, their ongoing AdessoU training program is a valuable resource for our internal sales organization, financial group and broker team. Additionally, we are finding the System Administration service very effective; having their experts to help our team minimize administration duties, which allows us to focus on running our business. Adesso’s team is always prompt with their responses, they are proactive, on target, and willing to help. They do what is required to make us successful, and it is having an impact on our business.”

Steven Boyle, FP&A Analyst  Blue Marble Brands

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(click to request case study)

4. Pays for Itself Immediately

You can save the equivalent of 6 years of subscription your first year by reducing deduction aging and securing repays of unauthorized deductions. (See this case study of how one client achieved this!)

5. Brokers Love It

The system enables greater broker involvement, which saves admin time for your internal sales and finance team to spend building and analyzing your business.

“Our brokers enter deals, clear our deductions, do our repays, the check requests – – they do it all and we have no deductions over 90 days. My brokers tell me that Adesso is the most user friendly system they have in their office. We have brokers recommend Adesso to other clients that they have.” Karen Prophet, Promotions & Trade Spend Manager IdahoanFoods
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(click to learn why it's crazy simple)

6. Convert Sales Time From Admin to Analysis of Trade

Ditch the spreadsheets and leverage a flexible Annual Planner so your sales team can reduce admin time and improve trade effectiveness. You may never need to enter a deal again!

Adesso Has NO Clients on the ‘Forbes Top 25 Food & Beverage’ List

Adesso Focus On SMB

However, We Make a Major Difference Supporting Small-Midsize North American CPG Manufacturers.

by Fred Schroeder

Other TPM providers in our industry have recently touted their penetration for various types of systems across the Forbes Global ‘Top 25 Food & Beverage’ list. Over half of this list is comprised of tobacco, alcohol and durables. However, we do not have, nor do we aspire to have, any clients on this list.

At Adesso, we hire team members that clearly have demonstrated a background and knowledge on the North American CPG market. Additionally, we focus our solutions around the uniqueness, challenges and opportunities. This includes our clients and ‘not yet’ clients who face trade spending every day – in the conventional retail segment and in the natural, specialty and organic segment.

Adesso Earns CGT AwardsThis focus has been recognized consistently by the Consumer Goods Technology (CGT) Readers’ Choice Award. 

This Award annually recognizes the consumer goods industry’s top technology and service providers, as selected by their end users. With Adesso’s “SMB Market Leader for TPM” recognition, the CGT recently cited some of Adesso’s SMB clients. They called the company and its CPG-focused solutions:

  • “Responsive to our needs and always willing to help.”
  • “User-friendly and intuitive.”
  • “A great system to manage trade.”
    “Very accommodating and easy to use.”
  • “Very simple to use — and it works.” 
  • “The Adesso team is great to work with.”

In short, unlike others in our industry, we do not aim to serve the ‘Forbes Top 25 Food & Beverage Companies’, nor global conglomerates. Our client-partners are small to midsize CPG manufacturers in the North American market with similar challenges and opportunities. They look to effectively track and manage their trade spending and become more effective through a community-based approach.

So, If you are looking for the best TPM system, supporting services to improve usage from your team, and eliminate unnecessary administration – all at a fair price with immediate ROI, contact Adesso Solutions. 

And feel free to ask our clients! 

Ease of Use

The Flamingo TPM system is quick to learn, and easy to use. Additionally, we continually update the system based on client input, to further enhance ease of use.

"Adesso ensures a rapid return on investment. It's easy to learn and use, it helps to control trade spend early on in a company's lifecycle, and continue to grow. Overall , Adesso works for all sized companies, and provides one system of truth for the management of trade."
OFarm
Denise Adamich
Controller
"One of our major objectives was to improve accountability. We previously used spreadsheets to allocate GL accounts to the right customers, and were limited to unofficial deal approvals through email. Flamingo TPM is easy to use, and has the functionality we need."
Blue Marble Brands
Steven Boyle
FP&A Analyst

Would you like to learn more about how to better manage your trade spending and deductions? We invite you to explore our Events and Industry Learning resources.

Adding a Resource Doesn’t Fix Your DEDUCTION CHALLENGE

AddingAResource
Adesso - Adding a Resources Doesn't Fix Your Deduction Challenge
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Often, we get a call from an emerging Natural-Specialty-Organic (NSO) manufacturer telling us that they have added a new accounting resource to assist in reducing their deduction balance, and sorting out all of these trade spending issues. When we ask how it’s going with the new person, the reaction is typically underwhelming.

THE REASON IS SIMPLE: trade spending deductions are not the problem – they are a symptom of the problem.

An added resource will not address this.
The problem lies in not having a clear and accurate understanding of:
  • what you were planning to spend,
  • what was committed to by your sales team and the distributor or retailer,
  • and then not knowing what actually happened in the marketplace.
The deduction is simply a form of payment for the distributor or retailer.
When these areas are aligned within small or emerging NSO manufacturers, ‘matching’ the deductions to the spending is a rather simple process – typically addressed by your broker partners. And, yes, there may be a small percentage of these deductions that are not authorized, or someone made an error. But for manufacturers that have accurate plans and agreements documented, these issues typically begin to melt away.

We’d love to discuss this with you in more detail, and share client results.

[button link=”mailto:natural@adesso-tpe.com” newwindow=”yes”] Let’s Talk![/button]

Face It, DEDUCTIONS Are a Form of Payment

Adesso-FaceIt_Deductions
Adesso-Deductions Are a Form of Payment
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Deductions come across as evil to many in the industry. They go by a lot of different names: chargebacks, MCBs, short pays and a host of others, but the common name for decades is simply Deductions. And believe it or not, these were originally driven by CPG manufacturers! 

You see, when trade spending was in its infancy 30+ years ago, manufacturers moved from ‘off invoice’ payments to ‘bill back’ payments. Hence, the retailers had to ‘bill back’ the manufacturer to get reimbursed for the dollars they used to discount the manufacturers’ products. Yes, that’s what the dollars were used for back then.

The manufacturers (who had a lot more clout in those days…) would debate whether the dollars were worth it or drove enough cases, which delayed reimbursing the retailer. In this day and age, the retailer was out the money!

As manufacturers became increasingly dependent on this extra volume and revenue, retailers became rather impatient and realized they had more leverage, and soon the balance shifted. It was a lot quicker to take the dollars spent last week or the week before off of the next invoice.

That addressed 2 issues:

  1. The retailer got their money faster.
  2. The retailer also shifted the proof and incremental volume responsibility to the manufacturer.

And as soon as one retailer did this, everyone followed!

This is how, somewhere in the 1980’s, deductions became a form of payment for trade spending.
Therefore, if you are a food manufacturer entering this arena, be prepared to address this in a logical, effective manner. Because, in addition to all of the legitimate deductions, retailers and distributors will assume they are always accurate, and place the burden of proof on the manufacturer. Though some are more effective than others in assuring accuracy. The reality is this is a clear form of payment in this industry. Profitability and effectiveness are therefore dependent on your ability to address this quickly, accurately, and thoroughly.
DID YOU KNOW that many manufacturers – large, small & emerging – now address deductions in 30 days or less? And they account for everything at the same level of granularity as any other item in their P&L!

If you would like to know more about how others address deductions effectively, give us a call at 1.847.342.1095 x4031 or send us a note

The ‘Pink Elephant’ is a Major Expense on Your P&L

The Pink Elephant in your P&L chart.
Adesso-Pink-Elephant-In-Your-P&L
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Trade Spending is the ‘Pink Elephant’ on Your P&L – 

Time to talk about trade spending – a major expense in your P&L. You are a team of professionals, who manage a small business with tenacity and care. You can account for your Cost of Goods, your HR expenses, G&A and others down through the line item level. In some cases, you can even account to fractions of a penny – yes every dollar matters!

Knowing these is critical to managing your business. Furthermore, you also analyze these, make decisions where to invest more, cut back some, or spend the same to get a better bang for the dollar.

In fact, not only does your internal management teams drill into these numbers regularly, but your investors have a keen interest what the returns are as well. We all know the drill at a small or emerging company.

THE BIG QUESTION IS: Can you account the same for your trade promotion spending in your P&L?

Undoubtedly, this area confuses and challenges many Natural-Specialty-Organic manufacturers. They don’t analyze it, and many simply ‘sweep’ all of the distributor deductions into broad categories to clear the short-pays too! Every trade promotion expense has (or should have) a contractual agreement with a distributor or retailer.

Similarly to every other line item on your P&L, your finance team should be able to account for every dollar deducted by a distributor or retailer.  You should have the same level of scrutiny & granularity as any other GL area.

In sum, maybe it’s time to address the ‘pink elephant’ on your P&L, a.k.a. trade spending – and have your team make better and more effective decisions with these significant dollars. Our other client partners do!

We can be assisting within weeks with practices, processes and systems. It will save you time and it’s extremely affordable.

 

What’s Up With Pricing?

by Fred Schroeder

I seem to have missed an email, or a blog, or maybe some ‘best practice’ introduced over the last year in regards to pricing. It seems that when someone asks you for a price for what you are selling, it now apparently means nothing. Later on, there seems to be this new practice where a prospective new client, who seems to be supporting us, is suddenly given the ‘new low price’ from a competitor. 

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What to Look for in a TPM Solution—Now & Long-Term

by Fred Schroeder

How often have you thought about replacing your Excel spreadsheets with a TPM Solution to address your lack of visibility into trade spending? I’m sure it’s crossed your mind! And if you’re like most, you can’t spend countless hours developing an RFP (not that this is the best course), nor do you want to worry about the cost, time to value or other areas of uncertainty that process would bring to your life. So, the spreadsheets will be fine for another year or two.

If you do start to explore the market, you might do an internet search, find a few ‘vendors’ that do this, and check out the websites of 2, 3 or 4. You then make your request, “Can we get a demo of your product?”

Having been in the CPG industry my entire career, and on this side for about 15 years, I know that the odds are, you will stay with Excel. Why is that? After multiple vendor demos, they all look the same.

In reality, we – Adesso and others in our industry – have done a rather solid job of creating software to address planning promotions, clearing deductions, creating some reporting, and all the basics of trade management.

However, there is a long-term reality here. This is not a recent problem, it’s far from simple, and you don’t have a 7 figure budget to address it.

You need a long-term partner, and a short-term plan to get started.

It takes significant CPG & trade spending experience to understand that it takes a system, PLUS clearly defined, successful and cost-effective services for the short term, such as administrative help, training and insights. If needed, you move into retailer analyses and even some assistance in trade strategy.

An experienced partner will contribute specific client results to help you make sense of it all – our clients even share success stories and challenges with each another as a community.
Finally, you need a chance to relax.

Imagine not having to worry about this constantly every period closing – knowing all the numbers and accruals throughout each month. The ‘monthly close’ becomes a snapshot in time, as it’s supposed to be.

You watch your kids play soccer, spend time with your spouse, play with your grand kids, whatever you want to do – without worrying incessantly about trade. At the end of the year, you’ve met your objectives and take a vacation or two. You earned it.

Fred Schroeder is CEO of Adesso Solutions, makers of the Flamingo TPM System. He understands the complexity of trade promotions, the mental barriers to getting started, and the importance of getting it under control so you can finally relax. You can write to Fred at fschroeder@adesso-solutions.com.

Concerned about the cost and efficiency of your trade promotion spending – You are not alone!

Studies indicate that:

  1. 2/3 of CPG executives are concerned about the cost and efficiency of trade spending,
  2. 50% or more of the trade promotions do not meet objectives,
  3. 18% of CPG manufacturers admit they have no mechanism to measure effectiveness,
  4. over 40% of the trade promotion events are not ranked or analyzed,
  5. there are big capability gaps in critical areas of TPM products such as promotion planning, reporting and analysis, and account profitability.

The net result is that 70% of the CPG manufacturers surveyed indicate the number one area they want to improve is their trade promotion effectiveness.

What’s scary is that the majority of the companies in this survey are larger companies that have more resources in terms of people, time and applications than the typical small or medium sized CPG manufacturer.

So what does the smaller CPG manufacturer do? You need 2 things:

1 – A superior TPM System. The complexity of managing trade spending is just too hard to do with Excel, a 1990’s technology. Today the solutions have progressed significantly and with the advent of software as a service (SaaS) cloud technology it’s a subscription model where you just sign into an existing solution that is being used by multiple CPG manufacturers. Since it’s a common solution used by multiple CPG manufacturers the product improves with best practices at a faster rate. Also the implementation and integration into your ERP solution is also easier since it’s likely been done with your system before at another manufacturer. It’s simply a better, quicker, less expensive, and less binding process.
2 – But you need to go beyond just “managing” trade spending to maximizing trade promotion effectiveness. You need the expertise and resources to utilize the TPM product, integrate syndicated and SPIN data, and do thorough analysis of your trade spending by key retailers and key promoted groups. You will be amazed at how much money is being wasted or at best sub-optimized with some retailers. You can significantly improve your ROI. It comes down to finding people that are trade experts who worked at major CPG manufacturers with experience analyzing and managing trade spending. This is harder as the resources to do this are much less available, but they are out there.

Get the help you need: contact Fred Schroeder at 847-342-1095 ext. 4011 or fschroeder@adesso-solutions.com

Believe it or not – many small & medium size CPG’s are still using Excel to manage trade spending

At this point it’s tragic. Believe it or not – many small and medium size CPG’s are still using Excel to manage trade spending.

While the number of SMB CPG manufacturers using Excel has gone down from 2/3 in the mid 2000’s, some estimates have it as still more than 1/3 of the thousands of SMB’s are still on Excel – a 1990’s technology. Here’s the problem: Trade spending is just too complex. If you’re efficient and on top of it you can keep track of what you said you were going to spend by promotion by retailer. But once those deductions start coming in it’s a nightmare. Try to get a big picture perspective and you can’t aggregate anything meaningful. Cross your fingers and hope for the best when all the deductions are in then spend an enormous amount of time trying to find the variances. And that’s just deductions. Trying to do planning or getting reports with different views by retailer, or by brand, or by promotional event, or by region is impossible.

To add insult to injury – it’s no longer a big money issue or being locked into a long term custom solution that gets outdated. With a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution in the cloud it’s a small setup fee and a monthly subscription model. You don’t need to buy the house-renting is more cost effective and flexible. The setup is much quicker than the past – often less than 2 months since the solution is already up and running in the cloud so all your team has to do is log in. It is updated periodically throughout the year so it doesn’t become outdated. Finally, it’s based upon continually evolving and improving best practices so even training is easier because it’s not a custom solution it’s one that all the clients are using.