Better Together: ERP and Trade Promotions Management

Looking at cloud ERP services to enable real-time visibility into your promotional spend, grow your business, and expand to new markets?  Your Trade Promotion Management could probably use big changes, too.

TPM systems track the promotions and discounts that drive sales in retail stores. For many enterprises, promotional spends are 20% to 30% of their overall revenue.  This makes TPM a critical system that impacts the bottom line. TPM systems have traditionally acted as niche, stand-alone services.  If companies could integrate their ERP system – which they’re already using to gain complete visibility across internal and supply chain networks – with TPM-type functionality, they could gain a comprehensive view of promotional activities as part of the business.

Integrating TPM and ERP data offers multiple benefits.  For example:

Reduce overall discrepancies.  When combined in a single system, orders and invoices can be automatically related to the claims processes.  This speeds the delivery of products, helps to manage the reimbursement of promotion claims, and reduces the burden on retailers’ staff to track and reconcile promotional spend.

Speed investigation of discrepancies.  A combined solution reduces the time it takes to resolve queries from retailers or distributors about outstanding invoices and claims related to promotional settlement. With answers so easily available, a consumer goods company’s sales reps can confidently resolve many issues on their own, instead of having to call into the back offices and accounting departments to manage the discrepancies.

Enable agile response to market changes.  While next-gen ERP systems can now be accessed in the field using mobile devices, TPM systems are often stuck back in the data center, forcing field reps to travel back to their offices before addressing or researching claims or the status of promotions. An integrated, cloud-based solution would enable sales reps to respond to real-time changes in promotional earnings, product inventory, and competitive pricing, which empowers a field rep to adjust pricing to move more stock or counter a competitive price drop – while still in the field.

With a solution that integrates TPM and cloud ERP systems, consumer goods companies could transform the way they plan, execute, and analyze their promotional spending to optimize their ROI.  By adding specialized TPM functionality to their ERP system, they can gain comprehensive and previously-unachievable insight into business functions that include promotion planning and execution, order management, invoicing, claims settlement, and accounting.

For further explanation, see my article in Industry Week.

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