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F E B RUARY 2 0 1 8

CGT’s community identifies the best solution providers in 15 critical business functions

Which future consumer are you designing for? Š 2018 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved. ED None. #FutureConsumerNow

CONTENTS February 2018




For the 18th straight year, CGT polled its readership community to learn which solution providers are having a significant impact on the consumer goods industry. The resulting Top Providers lists in 15 mission-critical functions can serve as a valuable first-step guide for helping companies make future IT decisions. 08 Business Intelligence 09 Consulting 10 Consumer Experience Management 11 Customer Relationship Management 12 Demand Data Analytics 13 Digital Commerce 14 Enterprise Resource Planning 15 Mobility 16 NPDI/PLM 17 Outsourcing/IT Infrastructure 18 Product Information Management 19 Retail Execution 20 Supply Chain Execution 21 Supply Chain Planning 22 Trade Promotion Management 24 Editor’s Picks (Other noteworthy solution providers)


Departments 04 E D I T O R ’ S N O T E Weapons of Choice 05 I N D U S T R Y INSIGHTS

Mindtree’s Werner Graf explains why “Wallet Share is the Omni-Catalyst” 47 S T R A I G H T T A L K A candid Q&A with Accenture’s John Zealley


25 CGT presents a comparison chart of trade promotion management and optimization solution providers. Plus, industry experts provide thought leadership for companies that are navigating the challenges and opportunities impacting the evolving trade promotion landscape. INDUSTRY RESEARCH

C G Te c h T I P S


Julia Anderson Smithfield Foods Denny Belcastro Kimberly-Clark Tony Bender Edgewell Personal Care Pam Brown Del Monte Foods Justin Honaman Accenture Constance Howlett Estée Lauder Michael Forhez Oracle Mike Gorshe Accenture

Jon Harding Conair Corporation EJ Kenney SAP John Phillips PepsiCo Kevin Puppe Johnson & Johnson Doug Rammel BAI Suavecito John Rossi Steve Sigrist Newell Brands Swan Sit Revlon


Kevin Barnes Ferguson Enterprises Tony Bender Edgewell Personal Care Rick Brindle Mondelez International Ann Dozier Southern Wine & Spirits Michael Ferrara HairUWear Jon Harding Conair Corporation Peter Hatch Reynolds American Inc. Service Co. Chris Hobson VF Corp.

Constance Howlett The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. Betsey Nohe Morton Salt, Inc. John Phillips PepsiCo Kevin Puppe Johnson & Johnson Doug Rammel BAI Suavecito Steve Sigrist Newell Brands Dan Woo Nestlé USA Filiz Yavuz Perry Ellis International


44 An exclusive survey from CGT and Cierant examines the critical need for, and key benefits of, shopper marketing optimization. 46 In this new sponsored content series, industry experts offer pragmatic advice to consumer goods executives looking to optimize their use of key tools and technologies. This month: product information management for CPGs.


Gene Alvarez Gartner Lora Cecere Supply Chain Insights Michael Forhez Oracle Nona Cusick Capgemini Kimberly Knickle IDC Don Lanham Hitachi Consulting

Meena Surti Patel Cognizant Cheryl Perkins Innovationedge LLC Werner Graf Mindtree Steve Rosenstock Clarkston Consulting

Consumer Goods Technology (USPS 0011-255, ISSN 1530-8421) is published 6 times per year: February, April, June, August, October and December, by Ensemble IQ, 1 Gateway Center, 11-43 Raymond Plaza, FL16, Newark, NJ 07102. Subscription rates: $89 for U.S. addresses; $99 for Canadian addresses; $109 for all other addresses. Single copies are $20; add $2 for postage to Canada, or $5 to other countries. For Air Mail, add $65. Copyright 2016 by Ensemble IQ. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher. Periodicals postage paid at Newark, NJ 07102 and additional mailing offices. Reprints, permissions and licensing, please contact Wright’s Media at ensembleiq@ or (877) 652-5295. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: Consumer Goods Technology, PO Box 1842, Lowell, MA 01853-1842.



Weapons of Choice I didn’t realize how pervasive “artificial intelligence” had become in our culture until I heard Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier gushing about how IBM Watson — “AI, people” — would be analyzing photos and videos to identify the hottest red carpet fashion trends before the Grammy Awards ceremony on CBS last month. (IBM sponsored the event.) I already knew that AI was the most fashionable trend in IT, of course. Three days at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show a few weeks earlier had made that quite clear: Many (if not most) of the new technologies being showcased at the event were touted as having some level of AI or machine learning as a catalyst. Nonetheless, I was surprised to see Watson show up for the Grammys. Competing against professors and librarians on Jeopardy? Sure. But analyzing Lady Gaga’s attire on the red carpet? Information technology has gone far more mainstream than I imagined. It has certainly gone mainstream in the consumer goods industry, where “IT support” is now a term from a bygone era when businesses operated with assistance from “back-office” technology systems. Today, IT drives every facet of business and is an intrinsic factor in future success. This ongoing evolution underscores the results of our 18th annual Readers’ Choice Survey. I joined CGT in late 2016, just as last year’s survey was being put to bed. So this was my first full Readers’ Choice experience. And I’m impressed — not to mention grateful — that so many consumer goods executives were again willing to devote their time to participate. I think it illustrates the importance they place on finding the best solution providers and the right tools for helping them improve performance. We cannot thank them enough. I especially appreciate the candor that was expressed in so many of the comments we received. I expected to see a lot of praise. The survey is, after all, designed to recognize the most valued solution providers in the market. You’ll find many of these positive comments sprinkled throughout our coverage. But many respondents also weren’t shy about providing criticism, describing platforms as “outdated,” “lacking,” “not intuitive” and even just plain “bad” in a couple of cases. While you won’t find any of those comments in our coverage, they’re presence does factor into the category results — since they came with correspondingly low satisfaction ratings for those vendors. I also was impressed by the amount of change that is quietly taking place within the vendor-client universe. That’s something a reader might not notice on first glance, because a handful of key vendors still dominate the results and a lot of companies have become near-permanent members of the lists. But closer inspection should turn up more than a few new names, a few less-prominent providers, and maybe even a few glaring absences. There also were numerous “Other” solution providers who weren’t among the ranks of companies included in the survey but were acknowledged by their customers as write-ins. They may not have made the final lists, but they’ll definitely become part of CGT’s ongoing editorial coverage. While we’re on the subject, here are two “vendor trends” to consider: Amazon is now a key technology vendor (see Digital Commerce), and marketing agencies are being viewed as solution providers as well (See Consumer Experience Management). In addition to new vendors, it also seems pretty clear that we need to make some adjustments and additions to the functional areas we’ve been tracking in the survey. The consumer goods industry is changing rapidly, and companies are looking for new IT solutions to help them keep pace. CGT should be helping identify the right partners to provide these solutions. Like AI, for instance. Hey, it’s already good enough for the Grammys.

MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PUBLISHER Albert Guffanti EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Peter Breen Contributing Editors: Tim Binder, Jamie Grill-Goodman, Nidhi Madhavan, Patrycja Malinowska, Charlie Menchaca, Samantha Nelson SALES Associate Brand Director: Bill Little Sr Account Executive: Jolly Patel Assistant to Brand Director: Jen Johnson EVENTS SVP, Events & Conferences: Maureen Macke Director, Event Planning: Patricia Benkner Director, Event Content: John Hall MARKETING MARKETING DIRECTOR: Kim Sterling CIRCULATION Director of Audience Development: Gail Reboletti Audience Development Manager: Jeffrey Zabe ONLINE MEDIA Director Product Development: Jason Ward Web Development Manager: Scott Ernst Online Project Manager: Whitney Ryerson ART AND PRODUCTION Corporate Director of Production: Kathryn Homenick Creative Director: Colette Magliaro Production Manager: Pat Wisser Subscriptions: 978-671-0449 CORPORATE OFFICERS Alan Glass Executive Chairman Richard Rivera Chief Operating Officer & Chief Brand Officer Korry Stagnito Chief Business Development Officer Ned Bardic President of Enterprise Solutions/Chief Revenue Officer Mike McMahon President & Executive Director, P2Pi Joel Hughes Chief Digital Officer Jennifer Turner Chief Human Resources Officer

CORPORATE OFFICE 1 Gateway Center 11-43 Raymond PlazA, FL 16 NeWARK, NJ 07102 973.607.1300 • Fax 973.607.1395

Peter Breen, Editor-in-Chief PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.



Industry Insight

Wallet Share is the Omni-Catalyst WERNER GRAF Mindtree

“If Customer Wallet Share becomes the objective, then an omnichannel presence is the natural outgrowth that ‘completes the whole’ for customer interaction.”

Werner Graf is Global Head, CPG Industry for Mindtree and the chair of CGT’s Research Advisory Council. His new blog series, “Defying the Assault on Brands,” will explore manufacturer strategies for growing in this unprecedented time of disruption. It launches this month on

Most people will agree that the omnichannel phenomenon has driven major disruptions in the retail and consumer goods industries. As pure-play eretailers grew, they forced traditional brick-andmortar players into a new online world. Then, as brick-and-mortar players rounded out their ability to connect to consumers online, e-retailers found themselves wanting for a physical network to complete their ability for customer connections. As the pace of change accelerated, the drama of big name failures and fascinating growth stories captivated the headlines. Many observers in the business media obsessed with the destabilizing effects of technology, new procurement models, the democratization of pricing, or simply the incredible pace of Amazon’s growth. Omnichannel, and all its accompanying technology, was to thank or blame. But was omnichannel really the catalyst for change, or was this change underpinned by a more seismic shift in business strategy — specifically, to the importance of “Customer Wallet Share” in the executive suite? Jeff Bezos’ oft-quoted line, “Your margin is my opportunity,” is often misconstrued as a one-dimension price-cutting ploy. It’s much deeper. In effect, he’s warning other executives that, if their standard of success is to be a top-three brand or the most profitable company, then that standard limits their ability to grow. Yesterday’s MBA teachings have trapped many executives into not understanding the threat — retailers who don’t understand that owning multiple consumer spending levers, sometimes at lower volumes and margins, lays the groundwork for dominance. Bezos isn’t concerned as much about the profitability of a sale, nor the volume, as much as he is about the percent of customer spend he commands. If Customer Wallet Share becomes the objective, then an omnichannel presence is the natural outgrowth since it simply “completes the whole” for customer interaction. “The whole” is now the goal, and the ability to be everywhere the customer is, at the time the customer wants to

buy, is key to large-scale success. Technology advancements, connectivity and procurement models (subscriptions) are simply enablers, much like mass catalog printings were a technical advancement and a means to an end for Sears. One major difference is that now, more than ever before, tracking Customer Wallet Share has become feasible and actionable. So, in reality, the shift toward the importance of owning a customer’s total spend as a key performance indicator has been driving the industry for a generation. As this mentality permeates more and more retail strategies, it drives different behaviors than would the traditional measures of volume and/or profit alone. Large consumer product manufacturers would be wise to understand this dynamic shift in retailer philosophy as they plan their own strategies to stay relevant — much less grow. Retail’s Customer Wallet Share strategy and the resulting drive to omnichannel consumer interaction are the catalysts to four major trends we currently see in the retail & CG industries: 1. Driving power to the consumer. 2. The re-thinking (and re-emerging importance) of brick and mortar. 3. The “Balkanization” (fragmentation) of the consumer base. 4. The emergence of multiple alternatives to serve this newly fragmented market. Each of these trends represents an extensional threat to large consumer products companies and, predictively, companies are employing a number of strategies to counter — and sometimes leverage — these trends. How can large, branded goods manufacturers grow in a market where your customer is now your competitor … Where you’ve lost messaging power to micro-influencers who can enhance or degrade your brand in an instant … Where startups with zero inventory can gain national prominence and distribution in rapid time … Where everything you do and everything you are gets boiled into the consumer purchase decision process? These are the questions we need to explore. CGT



Cover Story

Recognizing the Top IT Partners in the CGT Universe “The future of IT is that there should be no IT,” said Bala Subramanian, chief digital officer (and formerly chief technology officer) at Best Buy, while speaking on a panel at the annual National Retail Federation show in New York last month. Lest you get the wrong impression, Subramanian was making the point that information technology has become so integral to the business of consumer goods — and so vital to its success — that it no longer makes sense to talk about IT as a distinct function. In that type of reality, identifying the best IT tools and solution providers has become more of a mission-critical exercise than ever before. As industry luminary Andy Walter says, what’s needed aren’t vendors that just sell software and services, but true partners “who will co-invest with you” to mutually build the businesses. With this premise in mind, CGT undertook its 18th annual Readers’ Choice Survey, our yearly effort to find out which solution providers are having a significant impact on the consumer goods industry. Covering Business Intelligence, Supply Chain Planning and 13 vital functions in between (alphabetically, not functionally), CGT’s 18th annual Readers’ Choice survey spotlights the industry’s preferred solution and service vendors. The resulting Top Providers lists can serve as a valuable first-step guide for



helping your company make future business and IT decisions. In recent years, we’ve supplemented the Readers’ Choice results with editorial commentary about general trends within each category. Since that’s something we strive to do all year round, we decided this year to place greater emphasis on the solution providers themselves by profiling four “notables” in each category (which we’ll explain below). As usual, CGT also presents “Editors’ Picks,” an overview of intriguing technology and service providers that aren’t represented on any of the lists but which should be on the industry’s radar.

Survey Methodology

The Top Providers list for each category showcases the companies that received the best “Total Scores” for the solutions and/or services they deliver in that area. Although the goal is to present 10 solution providers in each category, we always rely on the results to determine the final “worthy” number. These lists were determined by responses from hundreds of executives and employees who work with these tools daily. Because we often encounter outright ties and “too close to call” vote totals and satisfaction scores, we present these solution providers in alphabetical order. To ensure the integrity of the survey, only employees of consumer goods companies — the clients of these providers — are eligible to vote, and only once. (CGT has internal checks in place to detect fraudulent voting activity.) We also ask respondents to vote only in the categories that match their areas of expertise, whether that’s in supply chain, product development, sales and marketing, or general IT. In each relevant category, respondents were asked to identify the provider whose tools or services they currently use. They were then asked to rank their level of satisfaction with that provider on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being “extremely dissatisfied” and 5 being “extremely satisfied”). A company’s “Total Score” was then computed by multiplying the number of votes it received in the category by its average customer satisfaction rating in that same category. In addition to the list of Top Providers in each category, CGT recognizes three companies for special recognition: • Best in Category: The provider that received the highest total score in its category. • Customer Satisfaction Leader: The provider that earned the highest average user satisfaction rating in the category (after qualifying by receiving an acceptable number of votes). • SMB Market Leader: The provider that received the highest total score in the category from respondents whose companies generate annual revenue of $1 billion or less (small or mid-sized business). CGT

Survey Demographics Company size by annual revenue:


Greater than $1 billion


Less than $1 billion

Area of expertise, all companies:


General IT Product Development


Sales & Marketing

47% 18%

Supply Chain

Area of expertise, large companies:


General IT Product Development


Sales & Marketing

49% 17%

Supply Chain

Area of expertise, small/mid-sized companies:


General IT Product Development


Sales & Marketing Supply Chain

45% 20%



Cover Story



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The CGT community’s preferred solution providers for business intelligence applications including reporting, analytics and data mining/warehousing.

Best in Category: SAP SAP’s prominence in the consumer goods market (and just about every other industry) makes it the Meryl Streep of Readers’ Choice voting. Outlining the company’s various BI solutions (SAP BusinessObjects, Analytics Hub, Roambi, etc.) would fill up the page. The goal of all, of course, is to deliver insights throughout and across the enterprise that will drive better business performance. Like the rest of the market, SAP has been busy modifying and upgrading its suite of tools to add AI capabilities and keep moving to cloud-based platforms. Building up its partner stable has been another key initiative. SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Microsoft ’s status in the SMB segment of the consumer goods market is reflected in one simple fact: Roughly 40% of SMB Readers’ Choice respondents identified the company as its BI partner. The fact that Microsoft’s customer satisfaction ratings are well above the category average suggests that many of these clients are content with that choice. Among recent activity, a fall 2017 upgrade to the Microsoft Power BI Desktop suite was designed to speed up the data-to-insights time line by, among other improvements, eliminating the need to import data by enabling direct access to Microsoft Azure or other big data warehouses. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Tableau Speaking at the NRF Show in January, Coca-Cola shopper insights director Douglas Waller quantified the ways in which Tableau’s tools ended the “organized chaos” that once typified activity on the CG’s Walmart/Sam’s Club team, where the excessive time spent on information management left too little time for interpretation: Seven people, 15 hours and 30 Excel reports were reduced to three people, three hours and five dashboards. Now, a common question among team members is, “Can you Tableau this for me,” Waller said. The tools also strengthened Coke’s partnership with Walmart when the retailer needed help finding solutions for its category-level out-ofstock issues. The analysis recovered $20 million in lost Coke sales in just the first 13 weeks. Noteworthy: MicroStrategy Earning a high customer satisfaction rating from a significant number of clients earned MicroStrategy the “noteworthy” nod for the category. Recent efforts to improve its agile analytics capabilities led ZDNet to


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proclaim last month that MicroStrategy “is back” after a few quiet years. The company is focused on helping global enterprises such as Campbell Soup Co., 3M, Coach and Dr Pepper Snapple Group apply advanced analytics and mobility solutions across diverse and complex data to improve processes throughout the value chain. One Readers’ Choice respondent cited the company as his “MVV” (most valuable vendor) because of its ability to provide “key business insights.” ●

Business Intelligence Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Leader: Tableau TOP PROVIDERS IBM Microsoft MicroStrategy Oracle Qlik SAP SAS Sequoya Tableau Teradata

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


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CONSULTING The CGT community’s preferred providers for third-party strategic and tactical consulting services.

Best in Category: Accenture In addition to its vast size and scope (9,000 tech consultants across 40 industries), Accenture attributes its strength to the fact that it’s also part of the tech ecosystem. One customer echoed that idea by praising the consultant’s “excellent combination of business/functional knowledge and technical expertise.” “Accenture is helping to drive business transformation and restructuring our processes to a higher level, “ said another. The perennial “Best in Category” consultant presented its own general strategic position last September in an industry report that advised consumer goods companies to “evolve to a modern enterprise which can operate at two speeds: one for efficiency to support the core business and one for agility to support the new models that must be established.” SMB Market Leader: Capgemini Capgemini returned to the Readers’ Choice ranks (after a two-year absence) with a bang by earning the SMB nod. The consultancy has been helping CG clients build customer-centric supply chains, predictive analytics capabilities and personalized consumer engagement strategies. Recent tech initiatives have included helping customers “find their voice” in the area of conversational commerce. While celebrating its 50th birthday in 2017, Capgemini expanded its digital commerce expertise by acquiring Lyons Consulting Group and Itelios and its overall IT by grabbing the North American operations of tech services specialist Ciber Inc. Last spring, Tim Bridges took the helm at the Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution unit.

Accenture advises CGs to “evolve to a modern enterprise” that can simultaneously support the core business while addressing critical new models. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Clarkston Consulting Clarkston claims to have a 14-year average client satisfaction rating of 97%. Since the consultancy’s Readers’ Choice customer satisfaction score was a full point higher than the category average, CGT has no reason to argue. Clients include L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Seventh Generation. The company has been building out a new management practice first launched in 2016 to help clients develop a detailed understanding of why companies struggle to innovate and how breakthrough innovation actually occurs. Another key

Consulting Best in Category: Accenture SMB Market Leader: Capgemini Customer Satisfaction Leader: Clarkston Consulting TOP PROVIDERS Accenture Boston Consulting Group Capgemini Chainalytics Clarkston Consulting Cognizant Deloitte EY PwC Strategy& Wipro

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


focus is digital transformation: Clarkston has been hiring new staffers to focus exclusively on helping customers navigate understand and adopt new digital solutions. Noteworthy: EY EY understands that the current challenge for traditional CGs is to identify strategies that will let them maintain business continuity while adopting the changes needed to succeed in an evolving marketplace — what Richard Essigs, principal in EY’s Consumer Products & Retail practice, recently called “addressing both the 4th quarter and the 4th Industrial Revolution.” Areas of expertise include strategy, supply chain, finance, people and organizational change, and IT risk and assurance. Blue chip customers include Procter & Gamble, Mondelēz International and Nike. Among key areas of emphasis these days are retail transformation, winning in emerging markets, creating a “fit for the future” supply chain and, as always, driving growth and improving commercial performance. ●


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Cover Story

CONSUMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for improving consumer engagement through social media, online platforms, digital content, advertising and omnichannel management.

Best in Category: SAP As it does in most tech areas, SAP offers a number of consumer experience management tools whose solutions span revenue management, marketing, merchandising, sales, service and commerce. But its core platform increasingly is the full-service SAP Hybris (acquired in 2013), which seeks to be a one-stop shop for omnichannel management needs. Clients include Carlsberg, Henkel, Nestle and Pirelli. Last fall, the company announced upgrades to the SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud that included facial recognition and IoT technology to enable personalized product recommendations; embedded customer attribution tools to better measure conversion and campaign effectiveness: and integration with WeChat, China’s 889 million user-strong social media app.

a trend.) The shopper marketing specialist’s client roster includes Campbell Soup, Samsung, Clorox and Chattem. The shop has been building up its e-commerce practice to deliver end-to-end services that go beyond traditional marketing to encompass strategic planning, media & merchandising activation, analytics and business management. The practice has more than doubled in size over the last two years. Mars has also been beefing up the internal Performance Analytics team. ●

SMB Market Leader: NetBase After a one-year absence, social media analytics specialist NetBase returns to the Readers’ Choice in a competitive category that still isn’t being dominated by any single vendor, big or small. (Topping the SMB list, of course, represents a nice return to the ranks.) Customers include L’Oreal, Polo Ralph Lauren, Yamaha and Coca-Cola. NetBase began 2017 by promoting a new Customer Experience Analytics tool, which turns consumer sentiment from social media, digital, surveys, customer care and other sources into actionable insights. And it ended the year touting an enhanced version of the NetBase 360 platform, which offers learning courses, best practices and how-to info for marketers looking to become analytics experts.

Consumer Experience Management

Customer Satisfaction Leader: Salesforce Salesforce topped the satisfaction ratings for the category with a 4.33 score. “Users love it and it gets the job done,” noted one client, the ranks of which include Birkenstock, Kimberly-Clark, Adidas and Canon. The company’s cloud-based solutions are enabling both large enterprises like Nestle Waters, which uses the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to build omnichannel experiences, track social sentiment and communication across various digital media; and smaller companies such as sportsmen-minded cooler brand Yeti, which uses the platform to deliver personalized automated customer communication. In 2017, a new partnership with IBM Watson began letting the Salesforce Einstein platform connect to enable a new level of AI-based engagement. Noteworthy:The Mars Agency In a first for the CGT Readers’ Choice survey, a marketing agency made the list of solution providers. (We’ll find out next year if this was an anomaly or the start of


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Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: NetBase Customer Satisfaction Leader: Salesforce TOP PROVIDERS* Adobe Systems Bond Brand Loyalty Maxpoint NetBase Oracle Salesforce SAP SiteCore Sprout Social Forge Worldwide The Mars Agency

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


* This category lists 11 companies due to a tie.


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CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT The CGT community’s preferred providers for customer relationship management solutions including marketing, sales force automation, customer service and category management.

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Best in Category: SAP The clear-cut segment leader among large enterprises, SAP has been steadily rolling out client-requested functionality updates to the SAP CRM platform. “Overall comprehensive, integrated and a good value,” said one client. The SAP Sales Management platform aims to deliver value throughout the buying journey by providing sales teams with all the tools needed for collaboration, including visibility into insight and analytics and intuitive mobile apps. Recognizing that the buyer-seller relationship is changing dramatically in the digital world, AI-enabled SAP Hybris for Sales aims to expedite delivery of critical data to the field. Elsewhere in 2017, SAP kicked off a digital transformation partnership with IBM that uses near real-time data to improve store planning and execution. SMB Market Leader: Salesforce A regular Readers’ Choice standout, Salesforce earned “Best in Category” honors in two of the previous three years. It’s first recognition as SMB Market Leader illustrates the company’s efforts to truly serve CG companies of all sizes — down to the $25-per-month “Out of the Box CRM” it markets to mom-and-pop businesses. Last fall, it unveiled Salesforce Essentials, the first product for SMBs that runs on the same platform used by larger customers. Among 2017 releases with wider appeal, Einstein Account Based Marketing was designed to help marketing and sales teams better target key accounts, personalize campaigns and engage with prospects at scale. Customer Satisfaction Leader: RW3 Technologies Having already earned the Customer Satisfaction nod in both 2016 and 2017, RW3 Technologies outdid itself this year by achieving a nearperfect score. “Great products and great staff with amazing service,” said one respondent. “Great product and very reactive to our needs,” said another. The client list includes Jennie-O, Energizer, Sony, Timex and Kimberly-Clark. The company’s solutions range from BI analytics to competitive pricing to field sales, all supported by mobile apps. In addition to the software and direct services, RW3 seeks to help clients respond to industry trends such as order-to-shelf technology and single-source retail service.

Noteworthy: Microsoft A leading CRM solution provider on both the large and small side of the CG industry, Microsoft continues to upgrade its offerings. The company released version 9.0 of Microsoft Dynamics 365 last July, upgrading capabilities across its five individual apps for sales, customer service, field service, project service automation and marketing. The modular structure lets companies of various sizes deploy the entire package or just the apps that fit their current needs — then add others as they grow. Recent initiatives have sought to bring more AI-driven analytics into the planning process and “more authentic and personal engagement” (according to marketing materials) through an alliance with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. ●

Customer Relationship Management Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: Salesforce Customer Satisfaction Leader: RW3 Technologies TOP PROVIDERS Accenture AFS Technologies Exceedra JDA Software Group Microsoft Oracle RW3 Technologies SAP StayinFront

Category Customer Satisfaction Score



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Cover Story



The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for collecting, cleansing, analyzing and integrating point-of-sale, syndicated and other sources of downstream data.

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Best in Category, SMB Market Leader: IRI IRI sits atop the Demand Data Analytics category for the second straight year. The POS data giant consistently broadens and improves its capabilities by moving into new sales channels, deepening its partnerships with retailers and strengthening its analytics prowess. One major initiative in 2017 was building up e-commerce understanding, harmonizing actual sales data with proprietary panel data to provide a clearer view of a channel that’s still pretty hazy; an alliance with Clavis Insight helps add some causal info to the equation. Key client wins during the year included Hershey Co., which will utilize IRI to “help us make faster and better decisions, so that we can target the right consumer in the right channel in the right moment,” Hershey senior director Abbey Asem said in a release announcing the agreement. While its partnerships with global consumer goods companies and national retailers garner most of the attention, IRI rose to the top of our SMB ranks as well this year. The need for analytics shops to embrace smaller CGs is evident in IRI’s own industry research, which consistently finds newer brands stealing market share from the traditional leaders. Among other efforts, the firm last June introduced an IRI Personalization suite that helps marketers customize promotions and definitively measure effectiveness. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Retail Velocity Retail Velocity apparently continues to churn out happy customers by offering easy-to-use, readily accessible analytics tools. CGT content partner Supply Chain Insights recently acknowledged the company’s ability to “clean and harmonize the data that enables their CPG clients to better generate actionable intelligence.” And one Readers’ Choice respondent tapped Retail Velocity as its most valuable vendor for “the team’s ability to modify their software to fit our needs.” Clients include Revlon, Hansebrands and Bissel. The company’s analytics tools are built to empower CGs to identify insights, share them across internal functions and develop real-time sales and inventory strategies. Through its Velocity tool, clients can access a library of more than 300 retailer and distributor adaptors, providing more precise sources of store-level POS and inventory signals like weather, shopper demographics, social media sentiment and syndicated data. Noteworthy: Nielsen Nielsen held the top spot as Best in Category, SMB Market Leader, or both in each of the last three years. And it wasn’t very far behind the leaders in either slot this


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year. The other POS data giant’s price and promotion platform helped General Mills empower the “everyday users” of the sales force with flexible, account-specific analytics that drove incremental sales, pleased retailer partners and earned the CPG our 2017 Customer Management Award. Last April, Nielsen rolled out Everyday Analytics, a suite of tools designed to make advanced analytics accessible enough to drive daily decision-making. In September, it acquired Visual IQ, a provider of multi-touch attribution modeling for advertising on digital platforms. ●

Demand Data Analytics Best in Category: IRI SMB Market Leader: IRI Customer Satisfaction Leader: Retail Velocity TOP PROVIDERS 1010data Atlas Technology Group

IRI JDA Software Group Nielsen Oracle Retail Velocity Salesforce SAP Teradata

Category Customer Satisfaction Score



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DIGITAL COMMERCE The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for BTB and B2C transactions, direct-to-consumer selling and other types of e-commerce.

Best in Category: SAP The market dominance SAP enjoys across so many Readers’ Choice categories is rarely more evident than in Digital Commerce, where it provides the solution of choice for a full 40% of this year’s respondents and was the no-contest leader among large enterprises. The SAP Hybris Commerce Cloud offers tools for omnichannel commerce, including con-

Digital Commerce Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: Salesforce (Demandware) Customer Satisfaction Leader: Amazon TOP PROVIDERS 3DCart Amazon Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) Digital River IBM Intershop Magento Oracle (including NetSuite) SAP Shopify

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


solidated product information management, personalized search and merchandising, and order orchestration and management. Key outputs include data-driven customization, cost-effective order management and fulfillment, and real-time inventory management. Last month, SAP named Ariba head Alex Atzberger as president of Hybris to replace co-founder Carsten Thoma, who left last October. SMB Market Leader: Salesforce The Demandware name has given way to the new Salesforce Commerce Cloud moniker, but the platform itself remains a leading digital commerce provider — especially among small businesses. The overall mantra is to provide tools that deliver “buy anywhere, service anywhere, fulfill anywhere” experiences via real-time inventory visibility, order lifecycle management, and allocation/fulfillment logic. Among client success stories, Birkenstock launched its first e-commerce sites in 20 countries (and eight languages) in a nine-month window, and Diane von Furstenberg tapped into the added capabilities of Salesforce Einstein to drive consistent omnichannel experiences. Addressing the need for companies to move beyond traditional retail channels and embrace other digital commerce options, Salesforce in January integrated with Instagram to let clients create shoppable posts for any product in their inventory. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Amazon Looks like the disruptor that’s already keeping retailers and CG companies up at night might also be cause for insomnia among digital commerce solution providers — especially since Amazon grabbed the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the category. CG clients for its various services include Kellogg, Allergan, Brooks Brothers and Dole Food Co. Amazon’s status as the world’s largest retailer makes it a logical choice to provide related commerce solutions, especially for new CGs or brands still trying to figure out the online landscape. Amazon Web Services offers 90 different tools that deliver a wide range of functionalities (ranging from infrastructure to AI) and begin with a basic tier of “always free” services. Noteworthy: Shopify A Readers’ Choice first-timer, Shopify is “well known among small and medium-sized businesses involved in e-commerce,” according to The Motley Fool. Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook recently declared himself “a big fan of Shopify” for the way the company is “democratizing technology for entrepreneurs” and its efforts to bring augmented reality tools to its 500,000-strong list of clients. However, the company is also making headway with larger CGs (such as Red Bull, Nestle, Anheuser-Bush InBev and Blue Diamond Growers) with Shopify Plus which, according to the company’s website, delivers “multichannel, enterprise e-commerce … without the hefty price tag” of some other named vendors on the Readers’ Choice list. ●


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The CGT community’s preferred providers of full-suite ERP solutions to empower finance, HR, CRM, BI, supply chain, PLM and other key business functions.

Best in Category: SAP SAP is the perennial Best in Category for ERP solutions, this year garnering 45% of total respondents. The company will seek to maintain that hefty market share as it guides customers through a migration to the S/4HANA platform before phasing out other legacy systems by 2025. The world’s largest public consumer goods company, Nestle, is already undertaking the move worldwide. Released last September, the latest S/4HANA upgrade continues SAP’s efforts to facilitate the real-time flow of information across the enterprise by adding new technologies such as IoT and AI. The platform “enables visibility, standardization, centralization and conformance across our disperse global business,” said one client. For small businesses, meanwhile, the vendor offers SAP Business One, which promises management of “every aspect” of the business with deployment taking as little as two weeks. SMB Market Leader: Microsoft It could be argued that, when it comes to SMBs, Microsoft is the “SAP of ERP,” since the company accounted for 42% of the responses from small and medium-sized businesses this year. Designed specifically for SMBs, the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform covers all the ERP bases: financial management and accounting, business intelligence, manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing. The platform “is the lifeblood of our company systems-wise. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to run,” said one client, who selected Microsoft as his most valuable vendor. The newly released NAV 2018 includes a suite of AI-driven APIs for collecting data and consumer sentiment from text, audio and video. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Infor Global Solutions “Very satisfied” was how one client succinctly expressed his experience with Infor. The company’s industry-specific CloudSuite series includes unique platforms for food and beverage, fashion, discrete and process manufacturers; SMBs get their own options as well. At the 2018 NRF Show, the company celebrated the third anniversary of its Infor Retail division by touting the 2,500 fashion, grocery and retail clients it now serves worldwide. The CG client roster includes Tandy, L.L. Bean and Red Wing Shoe Co. Last summer, Infor launched Coleman, an artificial intelligence tool for the CloudSuite platforms that mines data and uses machine learning to improve processes and make business recommendations throughout the supply chain. In April, it acquired Birst, Inc., an advanced business intelligence platform and a pioneer of cloud-native analytics and data visualization.


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Noteworthy: Oracle Oracle has multiple horses in the ERP race. While most Readers’ Choice respondents employ the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne platform, the company also offers a more-eponymous Oracle ERP as well as Oracle EPM (Enterprise Performance Management). It also owns NetSuite, the solution it acquired in late 2016 to move into the SMB market. JD Edwards EnterpriseOne covers financial management, asset lifecycle management, order management and manufacturing management. Recent improvements have focused on mobile functionality via cloud architecture, IoT and real-time analytics. Clients include Pharmavite and Pernod Ricard. The NetSuite SMB stable features Lucky Brand, Topo Athletic and Asics. ●

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Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Leader: Infor Global Solutions TOP PROVIDERS Infor Global Solutions Microsoft Oracle (JD Edwards) Sage Group SAP

Category Customer Satisfaction Score

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MOBILITY The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for managing the mobility of internal and/or external communications.

Best in Category, SMB Market Leader: Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless is the fourth solution provider to capture Best in Category honors in the last four years, which makes Mobility the most volatile category in the Readers’ Choice survey. The company has emerged as a leader by offering a standout combination of general wireless communication offerings — like its national 4G LTE wireless network — and a number of supply chain-specific solutions

Mobility Best in Category: Verizon Wireless SMB Market Leader: Verizon Wireless Customer Satisfaction Leader: StayinFront TOP PROVIDERS Accenture AT&T Microsoft Motorola RW3 Technologies Salesforce SAP Spring Mobile Solutions StayinFront Verizon Wireless

Category Customer Satisfaction Score

(such as sales force management/automation) that connect people, vehicles, equipment and devices through a secure network increasingly powered by IoT and machine-to-machine technologies. Oh, yeah, it can also supply the communication devices. Verizon’s asset tracking and fleet management solutions and resulting analytics help clients make better-informed decisions, control costs and improve customer relationship management. Verizon also offers workforce productivity and security tools designed to make collaboration fast, easy, secure and reliable. The vendor’s small business outreach includes a variety of starter incentives such as discounts, rewards and referral programs on a scaled-down menu of services reflecting the virtual nature of small business in the 21st century. In 2017, the carrier began offering unlimited data plans for SMBs. Dubbed Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited, the plans are designed to provide better value while maintaining the same technological quality. Customer Satisfaction Leader: StayinFront StayinFront earned one of the highest Customer Satisfaction scores of all this year in a category where the technology increasingly is becoming less a stand-alone solution and more a table-stakes capability of all other business technologies. The company’s key sales force solution, StayinFront TouchCG, provides a single system equipped with full retail execution, selling, analytics, and management reporting tools to drive sales growth in both traditional and modern retail environments. Appliance maker Breville last year began using TouchCG to give its Australian field force interactive calendars, automated processes and guided workflow to complete retail tasks more efficiently and manage territories more effectively. Noteworthy: AT&T Communications giant AT&T has been a consistent leader in the Mobility marketplace, having earned Best in Category, Customer Satisfaction and SMB Market Leader in, respectively, 2017, 2016 and 2015. Its tools for mobile workforce management and sales force automation (among others) combine with its general communications prowess to create a powerful solutions provider. Through the AT&T Asset Management Operations Center, manufacturers can track, monitor, and manage virtually any connected asset from one centralized user interface. This solution simplifies IoT implementations, provides visibility on a single dashboard, and can help improve operational efficiencies. Elsewhere, the company’s Fleet Management and ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Compliance tool identifies new opportunities to manage costs, improve fleet maintenance and refine scheduling, dispatch and response. ●


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our expectations and uses,” said one client. “A flexible tool and excellent support,” said another. But the piece de resistance came from a client who selected Sopheon as its most valuable vendor: “Their ability to understand our needs and work toward a common goal is a benchmark for a service provider.” Last November, Sopheon released the latest version of its Accolade Enterprise Innovation Management solution. The upgrade boasts an engine built to accelerate strategic investment decision-making for products, programs, portfolios and projects by delivering relevant, real-time information.


The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for new product development (including introduction) and various aspects of product lifecycle management.

Best in Category: Sopheon A perennial member of the Readers’ Choice NPDI/PLM list, Sopheon rose to the top of the ranks this year by providing solutions that inspired effusive praise from its client base: “An excellent system that meets or exceeds all of

NPDI/PLM Best in Category: Sopheon SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Leader: Oracle TOP PROVIDERS Centric Software Dassault Systemes Infor Global Solutions Microsoft Oracle PTC SAP Siemens PLM Sopheon WFX on Demand

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Microsoft took the top spot among SMBs (last earned in 2015) after enjoying “Best in Category” status for the last two years. The company’s proprietary and partnering solutions are now offered through the enterprise and business (250 employees or fewer) versions of Microsoft Dynamics 365, the new (November 2016) platform that united previously distinct ERP and CRM tools. The single system lets SMBs unite financial management, sales, service, and operations. The company’s focus is now on developing Microsoft Azure as a scalable cloud platform “to enable our partners such as AGR, JustEnough, Kantar and Toolsgroup to build PLM and NPDI solutions,” a spokesperson said.


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Customer Satisfaction Leader: Oracle Oracle earned raves numerically this year in the NPDI category, for which it earned Best in Category honors in 2015 and 2014. Oracle PLM is a suite that helps companies innovate, develop and commercialize a mix of products by providing a single data repository across each product’s lifecycle — from ideation through design prototyping, certification, production, customization, service, recycling and, ultimately, retirement. The Agile New Product Development and Introduction solution facilitates collaborative project and portfolio management to streamline and accelerate processes. Agile PLM’s best practice templates help clients manage innovation and cross-functional collaboration in both the development and introduction phases. Noteworthy: Infor Global Solutions Infor has been a regular on the NPDI/PLM list for years, and it’s high satisfaction score in 2017 made it a “Noteworthy” no-brainer. The company ’s trifecta of PLM applications position Infor as a top player in the market. The Accelerate, Optiva and Fashion PLM solutions each have their own unique functions fueled by machine learning and support from the Infor GT Nexus Commerce Network. Accelerate is designed to help customers keep up with changing best practices, while Optiva helps reduce time frames for developing and managing new or reformulated products while easily gaining regulatory and labeling compliance. The Fashion PLM solution integrates industry-specific planning into each stage of the PLM process. ●



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OUTSOURCING/ IT INTEGRATION The CGT community’s preferred providers of business outsourcing and/or IT services and integration.

Best in Category: Accenture and Cognizant (Tie) Results in this category are always competitive and, despite the presence of several industry heavyweights, are also typically marked by numerous smaller companies. Still, Accenture has come out on top for three straight years (although this year it shares that status). Accenture certainly can’t be accused of lying when it claims to possess the follow-


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Outsourcing Best in Category: Accenture and Cognizant (Tie) SMB Market Leader: Deloitte Customer Satisfaction Leader: HCL Technologies TOP PROVIDERS* Accenture Capgemini Cognizant Deloitte EY HCL Technologies HP IBM Infosys Pomeroy Tata Consultancy Services

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


*This category lists 11 companies due to a tie.

ing fi ve core att ributes: deep skills (via 15,000 professionals), global reach (20 integrated delivery centers), industrialized approach (proven stable of tools, strategies and processes), vendor independence (a deep bench of technology partners) and a focus on the client’s unique business needs. The company’s always humming acquisition engine keyed in on digital capabilities in 2017: it bought commerce agency Altima, IoT-infused design shop Altitude and e-commerce solutions provider Media Hive (among others). The consultancy also expanded its partnership with SAP to place a greater emphasis on deployment of digital technologies. Best in Category: Cognizant Cognizant fully understands that the future of business is digital. It also believes that the digital experience should be driven through the cloud. Among the company’s offerings is Cognizant RIM 2.0, a proprietary enterprise-wide device and process foundation that provides the building blocks for monitoring all network activities. Function-level specialties include trade promotion optimization. Among recent work, Cognizant helped office supply manufacturer Acco Brands move its enterprise systems to the cloud (and a pay-per-use infrastructure-as-a-service model), consequently improving flexibility, availability and scalability. It also guided a leading frozen foods manufacturer through the creation of a comprehensive digital solution that maximized order volume and facilitated a streamlined consumer loyalty system. SMB Market Leader: Deloitte Deloitte this year regained the SMB Market Leader status it last held in 2015. The company understands the need for small businesses to better respond to changes in the marketplace: a recent in-house survey found that 80% of U.S. SMBs aren’t taking full advantage of digital technology such as cloud software and analytics. One of Deloitte’s key talking points recently has been the need to ensure ongoing innovation by making it a deliverable within the outsourcing agreement (beginning with the RFP). Key areas of technology implementation include cloud services, process automation and cognitive applications, innovations that “offer new ways for businesses to interact with customers, vendors, and internal stakeholders,” the company states. Customer Satisfaction Leader: HCL Technologies Earning the highest customer satisfaction rating is even more impressive in the Outsourcing/Integration category, where clients are particularly tough on their solution providers. HCL’s core competencies include integrated services for endto-end global product lifecycle management, and global labs and innovation centers designed to transform ideas into real-world solutions. Significant moves in 2017 included the acquisition of automation-driven data management platform Datawav and the internal launch of an AIpowered process transformation platform. The company’s 2018 began with news of a reseller agreement with SAP in which the HCL MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) solution will be marketed as SAP EAP (Enterprise Asset Management). ●


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The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for managing and updating product data internally and in conjunction with retailers and other sales partners.

Best in Category, SMB Market Leader: SAP Hybris SAP is the lone “major player” in a still-evolving and highly competitive technology category: Four of this year’s vendors weren’t on last year’s PIM list. SAP Hybris’ status is, of course, aided and abetted by its full-service e-commerce capabilities, not to mention its parent company: SAP continues to integrate the platform with its other key business technologies. SAP Hybris Product Content Management (part of the Hybris Commerce Cloud stack) helps consolidate, structure and maintain a simplified, single source of truth that will satisfy a client’s e-commerce needs but also fuel “omnichannel customer experiences” by providing enterprise-wide access for use in marketing campaigns and other activity. The platform also syncs with SAP Hybris Digital Asset Management by OpenText to create, store and share rich media. Clients include Henkel Corp., RB and Maui Jim. In a survey conducted last year on behalf of the vendor, Forrester Research noted that the Hybris ecosystem “includes a large, global implementation partner network, which customer references lauded for its breadth and depth and high standards for inclusion.” One of our survey respondents even declared that SAP Hybris’ work in B2B content management “is analogous to what Amazon has done for the B2C market.” For the SMB market, SAP Hybris offers a scaled-down version of its featurerich enterprise solution. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Salsify Additional evidence that the PIM solution category is still evolving is the relatively low customer satisfaction scores it gets. Salisfy, which has earned a spot on the Readers’ Choice list since CGT began showcasing the technology space in 2016, topped the ratings this year. Clients include such leading packaged goods companies as Mondelēz International, Coca-Cola Co. and Campbell Soup Co. Salsify’s customer base has grown by 95% recently; the company boasts that more than 60% of the world’s top product manufacturers are now using its platform. To address that growth, Salsify increased its employee ranks by nearly 50% in 2017. Last fall, it became the first PIM vendor to let customers publish directly to Amazon Vendor Central within its platform through integration with the e-tailer’s new API. Noteworthy: 1WorldSync The commercial offspring of the GS1 global data synchronization initiative, 1WorldSync has been a key vendor in the PIM market since the company launched in 2012. Its content management platform is designed for businesses to exchange authentic, enriched product content to meet the evolv-


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ing demands of connected commerce. Clients include Kellogg Co. and Reynolds Consumer Products. Near the end of 2017, 1WorldSync announced a strategic partnership with Label Insight to create a comprehensive solution for product data distribution and transparency. The agreement united 1WorldSync’s extensive product content database with Label Insight’s high-order attribute data to facilitate the global dissemination of comprehensive product information to retailers and, ultimately, increasingly discerning consumers. ●

Product Information Management Best in Category: SAP Hybris SMB Market Leader: SAP Hybris Customer Satisfaction Leader: Salsify TOP PROVIDERS 1WorldSync Gladson Informatica Kwikee Liaison Technologies Salsify SAP Hybris Semarchy Stibo Systems WebCollage

Category Customer Satisfaction Score



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RETAIL EXECUTION The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for executing and monitoring in-store activity to identify tasks and improve efficiency and performance.

Best in Category: StayinFront StayinFront “has transformed our go-to-market activities across nine countries in Asia-Pacific,” said one of the clients who elevated the company to the top of the Retail Execution category this year. A combination of businessdriving analytics and field force-empowering tools (see the Mobility category) has made StayinFront a key vendor in the market. In 2017, Mondelez International rolled out StayinFront solutions across 23 markets in Europe, giving the CPG standardized processes and consistent tracking and measures. Kellogg implemented a sales force automation tool in North America and Europe that gives the field force easier, faster access to information and insights. In January, StayinFront acquired 20:20 Retail Data Insight, a UK-based analytics provider that will expand the company’s ability to deliver actionable insights from electronic POS data. SMB Market Leader: Retail Solutions, Inc. While its client list boasts plenty of global blue-chippers (see below), Retail Solutions has always been a top solution provider for smaller companies like Stemelt Growers, as well. “They have a good core system and make innovative advances,” said one client respondent. SMB-centric solutions included a pair of Target-specific applications (released in 2016) that give product suppliers with limited resources fast and easy access to the retail giant’s data. RSi’s annual “Awards for Excellence” in retail collaboration showcase the company’s capabilities. Unilever’s Walgreens team was recognized for an innovative approach to display optimization that drove incremental merchandising opportunities and significant sales growth; Wm. Wrigley, Jr. was honored for helping Target test the effectiveness of adding incremental merchandising to the guest services area of stores. Customer Satisfaction Leader: RW3 Technologies Another near-perfect score (see the CRM category) gave RW3 its second straight nod as the leader in Retail Execution customer satisfaction. “Excellent customer relations and understanding of the CG industry,” said one client. Another offered, “Great service. They enact changes to our system quickly.” Notable case studies include helping Jennie-O improve on-shelf availability, giving King’s Hawaiian greater visibility into display compliance, and arming Bay Food Brokerage with its first digital sales force management tool. Last summer, RW3 upgraded its MarketCheck retail audit application to allow direct communication with third-party field forces, providing dra-

matically quicker response to on-shelf availability issues. Noteworthy: Retail Velocity A perennial member of the Readers’ Choice Retail Execution provider ranks, Retail Velocity’s point-of-sale analytics tools (scorecards, dashboards, and spreadsheets) “mashes up” (the company’s term) POS data from 400-plus retailers with numerous third-party streams of behavior-driving data to help clients improve trade promotion execution, forecast accuracy, out-of-stock reduction, sell-through and profitability. Among its clients are Crayola, Levi Strauss and Char-Broil. Success stories include helping a sporting goods manufacturer post a 40% increase in daily sales at serviced stores, a fashion supplier make the pivotal shift from reactive to proactive selling, and a candy maker improve the DC-to-store shipment of promotional pallets to Sam’s Club. ●

Retail Execution Best in Category: StayinFront SMB Market Leader: Retail Solutions Customer Satisfaction Leader: RW3 Technologies TOP PROVIDERS Accenture AFS Technologies Oracle Retail Solutions Inc. Retail Velocity RW3 Technologies Salesforce SAP Spring Mobile Solutions StayinFront

Category Customer Satisfaction Score



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SUPPLY CHAIN EXECUTION The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for supply chain planning including demand forecasting and inventory optimization.

Best in Category: SAP One of the most consistent results from CGT’s annual survey is that SAP will emerge as “Best

Supply Chain Execution Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: Manhattan Associates Customer Satisfaction Leader: Logility TOP PROVIDERS BluJay Solutions Elemica Infor Global Solutions (GTNexus) JDA Software Group Logility Manhattan Associates Oracle SAP Swisslog TrueCommerce (Datalliance)

Category Customer Satisfaction Score


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in Category” for Supply Chain Execution. (We stopped our historical check at 2009, by the way.) The company’s customers accounted for 39% of all responses in the category this year. Clients include Beiersdorf, ColgatePalmolive and Hillshire Brands. The primary platform is SAP Logistics and Order Fulfillment, which encompasses tools for warehouse and transportation management and tracking/ tracing, each of which can be implemented individually. “SAP’s suite [is] highly customizable in order to modify functionality to meet industry-specific or customer-specific requirements,” IDC summarized in a recent “Marketscape” report. The key focus now is building out “Real-Time Supply Chain” solutions. SMB Market Leader: Manhattan Associates Last year’s Customer Satisfaction leader extends its customer service beyond technology solutions to include industry recognition: The Manhattan Supply Chain Leaders program seeks to help the clients gain recognition for their vision and leadership via business media, industry events and other public opportunities. Last May, the company launched Manhattan Active Omni, a unique “omnichannel-as-a-service” solution that unites order management and store fulfillment applications with next-generation, point-of-sale and clienteling applications on a single, cloud-native platform. The tool includes a process for optimizing direct-to-consumer orders. Also new in 2017 was Manhattan Active Distribution, which features what the company claims is the first warehouse management system to fully embed an option for waveless ordering. SMB clients include Carhartt, Kurt Geiger and 14 Degrees. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Logility Logility’s Customer Satisfaction score was well above a category average that (let’s be honest here, folks), leaves a lot to be desired. So the company must be doing something right. “They actually deliver the results,” is how one client pithily explained it. Clients include Ingram Micro, Fabri-Kal and Rockline. The Readers’ Choice perennial (it earned Customer Satisfaction honors in 2015) has been helping clients move toward “dynamic allocation and replenishment” models that let them rethink the plan as close to real-time as possible. The fall 2017 acquisition of Halo Business Intelligence will help clients (which include Aldo Group, Hostess Brands and Spanx) analyze social sentiment — both the positive and the negative — to build more predictive and prescriptive plans. The addition also boosts Logility’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Noteworthy: JDA Software Group Another regular on the Supply Chain Execution list (the SMB Market Leader in 2017 and 2015), JDA’s Intelligence Fulfillment platform can drive profitable distribution decisions by proactively planning within execution constraints and leveraging holistic visibility to identify risks and re-planning opportunities, thereby maximizing supply chain agility and efficiency. Clients include Grupo Modelo, Michelin and PepsiCo. Early 2017 was all fun and games for JDA: Mattel tapped the vendor to drive digital improvements to end-to-end supply chain processes that would accommodate new routes-to-market (like e-commerce), new consumer segments and emerging international markets; Lego Group similarly adopted new digital solutions to build a more agile, synchronized system from manufacturing to retail. ●


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SUPPLY CHAIN PLANNING The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for supply chain execution including warehouse management, transportation management and load optimization.

Best in Category: SAP Not surprisingly, SAP’s Readers’ Choice supply chain dominance extends to the planning function (where we tracked its “Best in Category” wins all way the back to 2007). The company’s Demand-Driven Business Planning solution provides a single platform to forecast demand and plan production, replenishment, transportation, inventory, and network design. Clients include Duzey Group, Vestel and Yorsan.

Supply Chain Planning Best in Category: SAP SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Customer Satisfaction Leader: Exceedra TOP PROVIDERS Blue Ridge Demand Management Exceedra Infor Global Solutions JDA Software Group JustEnough Software ww Logility Microsoft Oracle SAP

Category Customer Satisfaction Score

“The ability to integrate the entire supply chain in one application provides the most value for our organization,” said one client respondent, while identifying SAP as its most valuable solution provider. In late 2017, the company extended its cloud-based SAP Integrated Business Planning suite to better accommodate collaboration outside the enterprise. SMB Market Leader: Microsoft Microsoft has now held the distinction of SMB Market Leader in three of the last four years. The business edition of Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps SMBs handle financing, inventory management, sales, purchasing, reporting and analytics, and project management (with operations “coming soon”). The company recently began bringing artificial intelligence into the Dynamics 365 capabilities set with chatbot and virtual assistant tools. The offerings are pitched as giving companies a chance to start easily and “grow easily” as business growth demands. “Our response time is so much quicker now, and that creates loyalty and happy customers,” according to client Christopher Gates, business operations manager of Quantico Boot, in marketing materials for the platform. Customer Satisfaction Leader: Exceedra Exeedra has built a solid reputation in the CG market over the last two decades as it grew from a UK business to a multi-national organization serving global customers. Those customers apparently like Exceedra’s supply chain planning tools, since the they came out to the polls in solid numbers and gave the vendor a satisfaction rating that was head-and-shoulders above the category average. Designed exclusively for the consumer goods sector, the Exceedra Supply Chain S&OP platform supports demand and supply planning. The solution “allows us to forecast production plans and orders by day and SKU,” said one client. “They provide us with full demand planning and investment appraisal in an effective tool,” said another. Noteworthy: JDA Software JDA’s Enterprise Supply Chain Planning and Optimization platform promises automatic, dynamic plan updates in real time. Top clients include Conagra Brands, Kraft Heinz and Hershey Co. The company’s forwardthinking innovation initiatives include its own JDA Labs testing facility as well as JDA FLEX, a strategy for solution integration designed to implement current technology improvements and also identify future trends. At this year’s NRF Show, JDA announced a relationship with Mulesoft to power connectivity for digital supply chain transformations as part of the broader FLEX strategy for accelerated integration. JDA also recently struck a formal deal to help the Retail Industry Leaders Association develop best practices for digital supply chain transformation. ●


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said another client. Key customers include Danone, Ferrero, King’s Hawaiian and RB.

TRADE PROMOTION MANAGEMENT The CGT community’s preferred providers of solutions for trade promotion effectiveness, management and optimization.

Best in Category, SMB Market Leader: Exceedra Exceedra’s recent success is driven largely by its ability to help companies move beyond TPM/TPO toward more extensive integrated business planning and revenue management, which has earned it recent recognition from several industry groups. Clients responding to CGT’s survey were effusive with praise: “After extensive research, we could not find an alternative product or company that fit (our) requirements. Exceedra has been a game changer in our business,” said one. “We’ve been able to spend more time analyzing and understanding our performance, enabling us to make better decisions,” said another. “They go the extra mile,” concluded a third. In 2017, the solution provider started projects with 12 new customers around the globe and completed upgrades with seven existing clients. The new clients added in 2017 included Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Twinings and Corby Wine & Spirits, which joined a roster that already boasted notables such as ACH Foods, Kimberly-Clark and McKee Foods. Elsewhere, after a successful implementation in the U.K., Bayer took Exceedra’s TPM solution across the pond to the U.S. Client wins continued in early 2018 with the addition of U.K. bottled water marketer Highland Spring, which will tap into Exceedra’s demand planning and TPx solutions. Customer Satisfaction Leader: UpClear UpClear earned a customer satisfaction rating that far outpaced the category average. Why? Maybe because the company’s BluePlanner revenue management tool “is providing visibility to data that we do not have elsewhere,” explained one client, while identifying UpClear as the technology vendor providing the most overall value to his organization. That client provided a list of the tool’s many uses: sales forecasting, net sales financials, trade accrual, shared trade/marketing calendars, sales/finance reporting bridge, trade planning and ROI analysis — and then noted that “additional functionality” will come in 2018. “UpClear has provided an improved TPM tool year after year and has grown with our business,”


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Noteworthy: T-Pro Solutions A rookie on the Readers’ Choice Trade Promotion Management list (after earning an “Editor’s Pick” in 2017) as well as a relative newcomer to the space, 3-year-old T-Pro Solutions has been helping consumer goods makers like Kellogg Co., Land O’Lakes and Snyder’s-Lance generate better business plans that improve spending efficiency and effectiveness. “T-Pro has become a core component of our work. [The company] provides us with a deeper level of visibility to our promotional events, which allows us to make better investment decisions for both our retail partners and our customer teams,” said Mike Downey, vice president of strategic planning and commercialization at Snyder’s-Lance. ●

Trade Promotion Management Best in Category: Exceedra SMB Market Leader: Exceedra Customer Satisfaction Leader: UpClear TOP PROVIDERS Accenture Adesso Solutions AFS Technologies Exceedra IBM Nielsen Oracle SAP T-Pro Solutions UpClear

Category Customer Satisfaction Score



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Consistency is Gol en Retail Execution Best in Category

Mobility Highest Customer Satisfaction

CRM Top Ten Technology Provi er

StayinFront Integrate Selling Solutions EPoS Analysis • Retail Activity Optimization • Digital Merchandising • Guided Selling • Social Collaboration • Gamification

Do More. Know More. Sell More.®

Cover Story

EDITORS’ PICKS Cierant/Foresight ROI/ Shopperations This trio of solution providers constitutes what could be its own Readers’ Choice category: Shopper Marketing Management.

Cierant’s Instigo software delivers spending transparency and streamlines program execution. The company’s zBudget tool was designed specifically to help shopper marketers effectively implement zero-based budgeting.

Foresight ROI offers proprietary performance measurement tools (and plenty of industry experience) that fuel performance-boosting planning insights. The company also has been instrumental in helping the industry benchmark shopper marketing effectiveness.

Shopperations’ “event lifecycle management” software is designed to drive more effective planning and budgeting. The 3-year-old company’s client list already boasts Conagra Brands, Heineken, Pinnacle Foods and Hormel.

Clavis Insight/ One Click Retail The recent merger of Clavis Insight and One Click Retail (via parent Ascential, plc.) creates a noteworthy specialist in e-commerce performance measurement. Enabled by data science and technology, the tandem offers insights into market share, traffic and conversion, search optimization and price analytics. The extensive client roster (10,000 worldwide) includes P&G, Nestle and Hasbro.


A short list of additional vendors providing unique value to the consumer goods industry

Fractal Analytics Launched in fourth-quarter 2016, Fractal’s tool is a “personal analyst” that employs AI and machine learning to automatically integrate and analyze various data sources to deliver advanced, actionable insights in real time. The company has been beefing up its executive ranks along with its capabilities: last June, it acquired analytics-based strategy consultancy 4i.

Inmar The marketing services company’s numerous tools for commerce (promotions, remarketing, returns), analytics (promotion, supply chain performance) and engagement (influencer marketing, mobile coupons) now include Prescriptive IQ, a data synthesis platform using AI to inform the selection of relevant social influencers, potential co-op brand partners and relevant marketing content and contexts.

SmartCommerce The company’s distinctive technology lets digital ads bypass the typical brand page (or other decision-slowing URL) to let consumers click right through to the shopping cart of a partnering retailer. For the holidays, Del Monte, Campbell’s and French’s teamed to promote a green bean casserole that conveniently put all the necessary ingredients right into the cart.

Selerant “Selerant has a complete range of capabilities for product development that we are excited to leverage as we move forward with any future product roadmaps,” said Rick Drummond, vice president of R&D at B&G Foods, which went live with the vendor’s PLM DevEx software last December. Other blue-chip


clients for this NPDI/PLM list staple (SMB Market Leader in 2016) include Nestle, Barilla and Bacardi.

Symphony Retail The newly renamed analytics company (formerly the distinct Symphony Gold and EYC operations) has put together a menu of solutions to drive personalized marketing, merchandising, category management, retail operations, and supply chain planning and replenishment. Launched last fall, “CINDE” (for “conversational insights and decision engine”) is a CPG-specific digital analytics assistant incorporating AI, machine learning, natural-language speech technology and immersive visualization.

Tata Consultancy Services A near-constant on the Readers’ Choice Consultant list over the past decade, Tata helps consumer goods companies such as Microsoft and American Greetings develop strategies for supply chain, analytics and sales & marketing. In January, Tata announced plans to open a global development center for Shure, Inc. to help the audio equipment manufacturer build cutting-edge product lines.

Wipro Typically a common name on the Readers’ Choice lists for Consulting, Outsourcing and TPM, Wipro was busy at January’s NRF Show showcasing (among other solutions) a partnership with Harte Hanks in which the marketing services shop’s consumer database will fuel Global Dataview, a new tool that uses 1,600 prescriptive attributes to create deeply personalized shopping experiences. CGT For more Editor’s Picks selections, visit

Tech Solutions Guide

JASON MURPHY Managing Director, Software Strategy & Product Development Accenture

Sales and Marketing

Information Technology

JOEL CARTWRIGHT Director of Product Management AFS Technologies

Supply Chain PAUL WIETECHA President & CEO Blacksmith Applications



ED JOHNSON Principal, Consumer Products Strategy Deloitte Consulting LLP

2018 TRADE

CHRIS RICE Vice President, Sales & Marketing, North America Exceedra


WAYNE SPENCER President and Co-Founder T-Pro Solutions




GARY ADAMS Industry Principle, Consumer Products Vistex




Bold Vision. Brilliant Execution.





Tech Solutions Guide


How has the move to omnichannel retailing changed traditional trade promotion management practices at consumer goods companies?

MURPHY: Changes have been significant for organizations succeeding well with their omnichannel strategy, although we still expect it to take more time before there is a maturity of approach across geographies and sectors — particularly within the food and beverage space. The most notable changes we’ve observed have been an increased focus on trade investments and pricing strategies to appeal to the e-consumer and shopper, as well as increased marketing spend within the e-commerce channel. CARTWRIGHT: Our clients are seeing the anticipated shift from point-of-sale display activity to online-exclusive pricing incentives and crossmanufacturer bundling of associated products for volume incentives — like spaghetti with sauce. There’s a noticeable difference in relation to expanding the grocery cart. Products that are more often purchased via different channels are consolidating to one. As the grocery cart is now virtual and not physical, items that were often purchased as club packs in the club channel — like tissue, rolled products and other paper items — are



now being purchased via the virtual grocery cart for convenience. Consumers are trading the bulk-pack pricing for the convenience of single or no-trip shopping. Coinciding with the shift to price-reduction tactics, event-specific digital couponing is giving rise to expanding traffic to the virtual retailer as well as expanding the virtual cart. WIETECHA: The need for nuanced post-event analysis is more important than ever in our current omnichannel environment. Formulas with margin averages or estimates won’t do either. You should be getting down to your true profit. Deals that impact one another are critical assessment criteria in evaluating final post-event ROI. Customers want more dollars for more channel promotions these days. Unfortunately, the total size of the pie for CGs doesn’t seem to be increasing. They can’t afford to increase spend three-fold just because retailers want to add social, e-commerce and other omnichannel promotions into the mix. So, what can CGs afford to do and, more importantly, what should they choose to do? This is where intelligent TPM/O

comes in. Choose promotions that work. End promotions that don’t deliver win/win results. Make sure you have the right technology partners to help deliver reliable performance assessments and make more profitable decisions going forward. PENSA: I think omnichannel retailing has forced companies to really re-think their go-tomarket strategies. The path to purchase is hardly a straight line anymore. Traditional opportunities such as store circulars and display programs are still important and still effective among certain customer sets, but there are new vehicles to integrate and measure. The TPM playbook manufacturers have relied upon for decades has to change. When it comes to Amazon, it’s impossible to manage that partnership using spreadsheets — there’s too much big data. Yet companies insist they can push a square peg through a round hole. Omnichannel retailing is forcing manufacturers to integrate digital and traditional promotions to fully understand ROI, but that’s a challenge if your company is still relying

“We are seeing an increase in non-traditional CG customers requiring TPM software.” JOEL CARTWRIGHT, AFS TECHNOLOGIES


© 2018 Accenture All rights reserved.

Accenture Cloud Solutions for Consumer Goods.

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on spreadsheets. Consumers are tech-savvy, so I’m always baffled as to why so many CG manufacturers are slow to adopt technology. SPENCER: It has placed increased pressure on developing fair and equitable promotions to meet the needs of both

wider range of products: more focused bespoke packs, trialing new items, and different or exclusive mechanics. Negatively, aligning activity across channels and managing trade investment has become more complex, with ever-increasing amounts of data. What’s more, online creates high visibility for

“CGs need to evaluate the industry expertise of software providers as critically as they evaluate the software functionality.” PAUL WIETECHA, BLACKSMITH APPLICATIONS

brick-and-mortar retailers and internet retailers. A one-week promotion at a brick-andmortar retailer could take a much shorter or potentially longer period of time to deliver the same promotional financial liability to both retailer formats. Sophisticated, real-time post-event analysis solutions will be necessary to monitor and manage the equitability of these different promotion investments. SOUDEE: Among positive impacts, CG companies can tailor promotions by channel, like single-unit purchases in convenience stores and bulk buys for home delivery. And growth in online retailing provides the opportunity for a



pricing, easy reckoning of total spending and high comparability across retailers, so delivering a strong value message for shoppers is vital. JOHNSON: Omnichannel retailing and mobile have disrupted what once was a very linear path to purchase, and there is now more transparency —price, content, reviews — than ever before. Our annual “Digital Divide” study find that more than 50% of all consumer transactions are now influenced somehow by digital. This is a much higher percentage than what’s purchased online, obviously, but it underscores the need for consistent brand messaging, aligned pricing and promotion

strategies across channels, and an understanding of (and ways to mitigate) the unintended consequences of cross-channel everyday pricing or promotional pricing misalignments. Given the pace of algorithmic pricing updates in the online channel, TPM practices will need to be much more agile, dynamic and connected. Manufacturers that don’t get this right potentially risk the downward spiral of “responding to the algorithm,” while those that deploy their trade funding strategically can manage the conflict toward balanced customer profitability and healthy brand margins. RICE: As the retailing environment continues to evolve, manufacturers will need to ensure that they have the processes and systems to support price and promotion strategy development, monitoring, and analysis. With these revenue management capabilities in

“When it comes to Amazon, it’s impossible to manage the partnership using spreadsheets.” RICK PENSA, CPGTOOLBOX


Software Purpose-built for Consumer Goods Companies Trade Planning | Advanced Analytics | Retail Execution | Direct Store Delivery

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“Sophisticated, real-time postevent analysis solutions will be necessary to monitor and manage these different promotion investments.” WAYNE SPENCER, T-PRO SOLUTIONS

place, manufacturers can keep their fingers on the pulse of every channel of business with clear sight not only into pricing and promotional spend, but into all activities and expenses down to a detailed customer P&L. A shift in volume, revenue and spend across channels is taking place, with some product categories experiencing a more accelerated pace than others. Managing this shift will be business as usual for those manufacturers that have put the right processes and systems in place. ADAMS: Consumer goods manufacturers are getting closer to their consumers, driven by omnichannel opportunities. Specific channel data analysis, such as where purchase decisions are made and what drives them, will enable manufacturers to allocate trade spend where it will make the greatest impact on incremental volume and profit margin. Using this data to determine how to allocate the trade spend toward the consumer purchase-decision



point (sell-out) will reduce the amount of funding eaten up by purchase-driven (sell-in) programming.

Are TPM vendors Q helping CGs address these new challenges?

PENSA: Data is the new currency, and a TPM solution empowers CGs to manage, mine and analyze real-time data in one place. In today’s omnichannel landscape, retailers are under a lot of pressure to drive in-store traffic and optimize shelf space. Manufacturers armed with fact-based data and what-if scenarios derived from a TPM solution will be more successful at generating profitable collaborations with retailers. Manufacturers that start using data to personalize promotions down to the individual store level, versus running a blanketed promotion across all banners, will have a leg up on the competition. TPM solutions that are agile and in

continuous development are purposefully designed to help manufacturers do just that. It’s about selling smarter. We’re trying to anticipate features and functionality that will help manufacturers manage digital and traditional activities. SPENCER: It should be a top priority for a TPM/TPO vendor to provide post-event analysis intelligence in near real-time, a configurable report engine that can provide an accurate recap of all the retailer’s promotional offers as well as a nightly tracking of liability. SOUDEE: On the positive side, vendors are providing the ability to consolidate and manage vast amounts of data to provide analysis and insightsdriven decision-making, and giving CG companies the ability to manage bespoke hierarchies that allow planning, execution and post-event analysis across all routes to market. Negatively, first-generation TPM solutions are not providing the flexibility to manage in-depth promotional investment across the evolving omnichannel landscape; and a lack of clarity, from a poorly executed wider IT landscape and third-party data integration, can prevent companies from fully understanding the profitability and ROI of their trade investments. JOHNSON: The technology space in this area is still emerging — in part because underlying data models in the tools historically have not been equipped to deal with

ARE YOU TOSSING AND TURNING OVER YOUR TRADE PROMOTIONS? When you work with industry-leading CG trade experts, you’ll achieve the trade spend transparency of your dreams and enable profitable decision making for your organization.

FORGE is a cloud-based CG application, built to optimize price discounts, trade promotion management and promotion analytics.



Corporate, Buying Group, Distributor, Retailer, Wholesaler, Marketing, GPO, National Account, Operator, School Bid and Brokerage Programs / Accruals. Programs can be paid off invoice or settled via check or credit.

Retail Foodservice In-Store Deli Perimeter C-Store Institutional Export Club & Mass Merch

Visit to request a demo

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truly dynamic consumer pricing or events at a more granular level. In an omnichannel world, retail stores or banners no longer define the parameters of a promotional event. There is instead a shift toward consumer-based offers that deliver more targeted value based on buying patterns and preferences. Tools that now are leveraging in-memory computing and are underpinned by larger, more granular data lakes are becoming better equipped to handle this business model. Now that these tools exist, the onus is quickly shifting to getting the fundamental design and implementation correct to support the nuances of selling in an omnichannel world and responding to ever-shifting requirements for funding and spending. RICE: Not all TPM systems or vendors are the same. The traditional systems used merely for the internal tracking and payment of trade spend have long been overshadowed by a broader set of process and organizational requirements. A modern TPM solution must be part of a larger integrated business planning ecosystem for a manufacturer. That starts with better support of customer business planning through the integration of consumption data and the embedding of core capabilities such as TPO/ predictive planning and postevent analysis into the system. This also includes the capabilities to scenario plan and analyze the business in real time to support a broader audience in



“Aligning activity across channels and managing trade investment has become more complex — with ever-increasing amounts of data.” THIERRY SOUDEE, UPCLEAR

revenue management as well as sales & operations planning. So, to answer the question, vendors with a modern TPM system will provide the needed capabilities to plan, execute and manage the shift in business across channels. ADAMS: TPM vendors who want to stay viable must accommodate the omnichannel analytics and planning requirements of the business. By incorporating all pertinent information, like consumer takeaway, market/competitive, account sell-in and inventory/ pricing, TPM tools become broader in their purpose. The expectation is to enable CGs to develop and deliver omnichannel trade/customer programming that drives improved forecasting for the enterprise. Vendors of choice will be the ones that help users determine the impact of channel programs and deliver complete revenue management visibility to the brand. MURPHY: As a collective, of course we are. But are we really doing enough? We’re challenging ourselves to pro-

vide more capabilities within our own solutions, with an aim toward helping our CG clients move further toward mutually beneficial, performancebased trade agreements with their channels. By helping to understand the real drivers of performance success, we can use these insights to refine future trade investments. CARTWRIGHT: There hasn’t been an influx of development requests to address the challenges. What we’re seeing is essentially a shift in emphasis from one promotional tactic to another — a reduction in feature and display activity and an increase in pricing and digital couponing. We are anticipating, and already seeing, an increase in non-traditional CG customers outside of food, beverage, drug, and general merchandise requiring TPM software. There are more durable goods manufacturers entering into a competitive, virtual retailer goto-market plan. WIETECHA: I think the most helpful role a vendor can play is that of trusted industry advisor. Sure, the application has

Tech Solutions Guide

“Manufacturers that don’t get this right potentially risk the downward spiral of ‘responding to the algorithm.’” ED JOHNSON, DELOITTE CONSULTING

to stack up, but that’s table stakes; innovative functionality and planning tools are expected. CGs need to evaluate the industry expertise of software providers as critically as they evaluate the software functionality. Without trade expertise, you’re in a heap of trouble. This is where the real vendor value comes into play. Regardless of the promotional channels under scrutiny, an industry expert should be able to help navigate the post-promotion performance of a complicated landscape. The right vendor supports continued progress toward promotion optimization and arms CGs with the right strategic and financial data to go to bat for their brands when conversations are tough and customers are demanding.

What must Q consumer goods companies

do to move beyond isolated TPM and take a more integrated, more strategic view of their commercial investments? How can TPM vendors help them achieve this?



SPENCER: CGs need to incorporate the ability to accurately assess the financial investment results on their significant trade spend. To accomplish this aspect of best-in-class TPO, CGs must have accurate, tightly monitored baselines and lift coefficients (both historical and predictive). Next, they must be able to optimize future trade investments utilizing the power of constraint-based modeling for both individual merchandising tactics and a comprehensive annual customer plan. These constraints should include the ability to optimize to the retail partner’s objectives as well. These capabilities will enable truly collaborative joint business planning, resulting in maximized volume and profit for both parties.

SOUDEE: There are five key elements. CGs must deliver the means to drive cross-functional collaboration between sales, marketing and the revenue growth management teams; ensure that information and insights flows between these teams to break down functional silos; create a holistic revenue management landscape incorporating both internal and external metrics; develop truly aligned promotional plans designed to grow value and volume across the omnichannel landscape; and use data to bring insights and clarity that will empower fact-based decision-making. JOHNSON: Much of the historic benefit of TPM tools has been standardization of the promotional process; from planning, to execution, to settlement, the tools streamlined workflow and ensured that all accounts were planned with the same framework. The next evolution of tools must also help users make better decisions: what product to promote, in which week (or hour) and with which tactics (and segment)? TPM tools

“Successful CGs will have a clear set of defined decision points for each team member who is either planning, executing, settling or evaluating the customer plan.” GARY ADAMS, VISTEX

Better bet your profitability on probability Trade promotion planning is no place to roll the dice and take uninformed chances. Polaris, Deloitte’s cloud-based revenue management platform and pricing solution, is designed to provide actionable insights on the drivers of promotions returns and effectiveness of promotional spend, to enable you to make more informed, strategic, and proactive promotion decisions. Improve your odds with Polaris. Copyright Š 2018 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.

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“A modern TPM solution must be part of a larger integrated business planning ecosystem.” CHRIS RICE, EXCEEDRA

must allow data to be merged with other sources (like brand marketing and social analytics) and used not only to standardize process and workflow, but also to enhance investment and promotion decisions across trade, consumer, shopper and A&P — and ultimately drive ROI. Considering all facets of demand stimulation may represent the next evolution of commercial capabilities in the broader marketing and trade space, and it likely will drive the next wave of financial benefits from advances in commercial analytics and systems. RICE: Start with a review of the processes and systems you currently have in place. Understand the gaps between what is in place and what your desired end state is. Evaluate the best options for a modern TPM system that supports integrated business planning and revenue management. Look for an experienced vendor that knows the implementation challenges of integrated business planning. ADAMS: Successful CGs will have access to accurate,



historical channel data that will support the build-out of precise customer plans. Additionally, the manufacturer will have a clear set of defined decision points for each team member who is either planning, executing, settling or evaluating the customer plan. These insights will allow users to make timely adjustments within the plan cycle, improving the opportunity for reaching volume and profit goals. Establishing the right set of metrics, with the associated thresholds for success, allows users to focus on plan performance and foster competitive advantage for brands — all while growing their customer’s business.

MURPHY: Turning the strategic view into operational execution, and doing so with success, remains a challenge for many. While TPM vendors have historically been best at execution, it’s fair to say that the same principles of software design and architecture don’t necessarily apply for the evaluation and decision-making required around the strategic end of the business. In our experience, the CG companies that invest in education and tools combining trade investment strategy and the execution of traditional TPM into a single system are the ones who become the leaders in their field. CARTWRIGHT: CGs should look toward an integrated S&OP process that lets them see the cause and effect of a plan through the entire supply chain — specifically, visibility into the relationship to the TPM forecast of truly incremental activity and the downstream effect on supply chain when these activities are not in the demand plan; also, the relationship between di-

“Companies that invest in tools combining trade investment strategy and the execution of traditional TPM will be — or already are — the leaders” JASON MURPHY, ACCENTURE

Tech Solutions Guide

rect ship and indirect ship plan customers, aligning indirect sales to direct ship volume, for improved forecast accuracy (and aligning direct ship trade accruals to indirect spending). TPM vendors can help manufacturers by providing a simple user interface and universal integration API to a reporting system or third-party supply chain management system. For complete digital transformation, they must provide a multi-level, multi-dimensional, hierarchy capability for forecasting and executing an S&OP, and a flexible direct/indirect planning capability by tactic and multiple levels of a hierarchy dimension — all through a cloud-based, closed-loop, truly SaaS system. WIETECHA: CGs need to make sure they’re integrating demand planning and trade planning. Many companies aren’t doing this today, due


Accenture S EE A D O N PA GE 2 7

Adesso Solutions


either to technology limitations or manual processes. Integrating all volume planning is a really smart tactical move to go beyond isolated TPM. Many businesses are trying to do TPO, but you can’t if you don’t first do TPM really well. Integration also prevents pitfalls due to overforecasted volume in trade systems and under-forecasted volume in the demand plan. This can happen in attempts to get more trade dollars into a budget, and it has a negative ripple effect. Having all plans in sync for real-time inventory communication allows demand planning to know when trade promotions get moved around (and we know that timing changes frequently). This prevents costly issues with inventory and the mistiming of production. Vendors should be helping customers establish solid TPM foundations before launching into TPO territory.

PENSA: Working in silos is detrimental. It’s impossible to be strategic without understanding what impacted sales, volume, lift and brand loyalty. Manufacturers who integrate their TPM solution with shopper marketing and retail execution data can align insights and gain a comprehensive, 360-degree view of trade spending. Companies will find it faster and easier to determine compliance levels for an event and how it affected consumer conversion. TPM can no longer be an isolated point solution. Feeding more data points into the solution will bring more “aha” moments to the surface. Sales, marketing, field teams, finance — they all need to work from the same playbook, and a TPM solution helps make that a reality. Integrating data and tools will lead to streamlined processes, automation and accountability. CGT






Accenture TPM (CAS and Cloud)

• Mars • PepsiCo • Unilever

Accenture TPM supports closed-loop promotion and account visibility, spending forecasts and customer profitability by combining Salesforce’s ecosystem with Accenture’s extensive industry expertise.

Flamingo TPM

• American Pop Corn Co., • Idahoan Foods • Olivio Premium Products Corp.

Adesso delivers trade promotion effectiveness for small and medium-sized CPG manufacturers through the all-encompassing Flamingo TPM system, system effectiveness services, trade analysis & planning services, and a collaborative client community.


Tech Solutions Guide





AFS Technologies

AFS Trade Promotion Management Retail

• Chattem Chemicals • Dart Containers • Smithfield Foods

AFS TPM Retail offers full closed-loop trade promotion management. Users are able to plan, deploy, execute and settle all promotional activity at any level of the customer product hierarchy. The solution provides a unique dynamic relationship hierarchy enabling users to manage direct, indirect and consumer sales.

FORGE price discount and trade promotion management

• Conagra Brands • General Mills • J.M. Smucker

FORGE delivers promotion performance transparency and enables profitable decision-making for leading CG companies. Practitioners with industry expertise on staff focus on postpromotion analytics to maximize ROI.

Brillio Optimix

• Kraft Heinz • Hershey Co. • Mondelēz International

Brillio Optimix is a trade promotion optimization solution that uses artificial intelligence to assess lifts, ROI, and optimal plans with attribution across vehicles, cannibalization, execution and channel/competition drivers.

CPGToolBox Trade Planner

• Bayer Australia • Fruit of the Loom • Popchips

Trade Planner is fully featured to plan and analyze promotions in any language/currency. Users can clone business plans, allocate funds, and view promotional outcomes to better forecast volume with a couple of clicks.

Polaris commercial analytics platform

Did not provide

Polaris, Deloitte’s cloud-based platform, combines robust data management and predictive analytics with industryleading IP on commercial decision-making across pricing, trade promotion effectiveness/optimization, marketing mix and profitability.

Eversight Offer Bank

• Coca-Cola • Hershey Co. • Mars, Inc.

Eversight leverages AI and experimentation to create and deliver smart, dynamic pricing and targeted promotions at scale. The platform has tested and optimized over 15,000 offers and generated 10%-25% improvement in sales volume for leading global brands.

IBP/TPM Optimization Solution

• ACH Food Cos. • Bayer • Corby Spirit & Wine

Exceedra’s solutions deliver capabilities for clients to simplify sales, financial and demand planning processes and improve performance in trade promotion management and optimization, customer business planning, demand planning and S&OP.

Flintfox Trade & Revenue Management

• Chobani • Daisy Brand • New Belgium Brewing Co.

Flintfox delivers trade & revenue management solutions to help businesses better manage their list pricing and trade promotion pricing, customer and vendor rebates.

Strategy, process, organizational effectiveness and technology deployment

Did not provide

Its industry and TPM/TPO experience and Hfusion methodology combine with data and analytics, best-practice process development, organizational change management and technological agnosticism to make Hitachi a unique partner.

IBM Trade Optimization

Did not provide

IBM Trade Optimization applies Watson Cognitive Analytics to enable varying degrees of integration that don’t require full exchange of information, thus enabling flexibility with existing systems. S EE A D O N PA GE 2 9

Blacksmith Applications S EE A D O N PA GE 3 1


CPGToolbox SEE A D O N PA GE 3 3

Deloitte S EE A D O N PA GE 3 5

Eversight, Inc.

Exceedra S EE A D O N PA GE 4 8

Flintfox International

Hitachi Consulting









Tech Solutions Guide


Kantar Consulting www.kantarconsulting. com






T-Pro Solutions S EE A D O N PA G E 4 1

UpClear S EE A D O N PA G E 3 7

Vistex S EE A D O N PA G E 3 9

Wipro Ltd.





Kantar Consulting Trade Investment Optimization

Did not provide

Kantar’s solution is an industry-dedicated sales platform with complete TPx footprint that enables an optimal go-to-market approach around the promotion, from strategy through implementation.

TradeSmart post-promotion analytics and optimization

Did not provide

TradeSmart integrates consumption, shipments, trade plans, COGS and competitive data into a single, harmonized, open analytics platform. Clients achieve 100% retailer coverage, accurately measure trade spend ROI and use predictive models to plan promotions.

Did not provide

Nielsen’s Revenue Management and Optimization solution combines comprehensive store-level data with analytics and fully integrated, modular TPM and TPO cloud-based software. Leveraging activationready insights and always-on tools, clients can deploy data-driven strategic and account planning and make smarter decisions everyday.

Oracle Demantra Predictive Trade Planning and Optimization

Did not provide

Oracle’s solutions are architected from the ground up on an analytics platform that addresses both transactional and strategic trade challenges. Combined, they provide robust trade promotion and account planning, sales forecasting, and promotion optimization capabilities.

SAP Trade Management

• Colgate-Palmolive • Henkel • Red Bull

Built on top of native SAP architecture, SAP Trade Management enables account managers to have full visibility into all promoted and non-promoted volume. It is tightly coupled to financials, which means one set of “books,” enabling account managers to build plans based on actuals rather than estimates or output from batch processes.

SYSPRO Trade Promotion Management

• Atlantic Natural Foods • Perrone & Sons • Traditional Breads

The Trade Promotion and Deductions Management System fully links to other SYSPRO ERP modules, enabling users to experience the efficiencies of a totally integrated supply chain solution.

T-Pro Optimum trade promotion optimization

• Kellogg • Land O’Lakes • Snyder’s-Lance

Providing centralized, quantified post-event analytics and predictive trade investment planning, T-Pro Optimum maximizes actionable past and future insights for both the manufacturer and its retail partners for an optimized, quantified return.

BluePlanner Revenue Management Solution

• Danone • Ferrero • King’s Hawaiian

UpClear’s SaaS model, flexibility, and speed of deployment has made it the revenue management tool of choice for packaged goods companies of all sizes across more than 20 countries globally.

SAP Paybacks & Chargebacks by Vistex; GTMS Trade Programs

• Barilla • Dr Pepper Snapple Group • Schwan Food Co.

Vistex offers sophisticated tools to model, administer and analyze trade spend and promotional programs, providing businesses with complete visibility to make informed decisions and maximize program performance. They integrate with SAP Business Suite or in the cloud with any ERP.

Did not provide

With 27-plus years of global experience, Wipro Promax enables businesses to get accurate, actionable insights and predictive planning capabilities for desired business outcomes by combining industry expertise and data science capabilities with modular software and complementary services, based on customer maturity.

Revenue Management & Optimization

Promax Advanced; Promax Optimize Integrated Trade Services


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For executives who recognize the importance of marketplace disruption, growth strategies, consumer strategies, and embedding analytics in their corporate DNA. Analytics are the key to success in the 21st century. Don’t get left behind! Your company needs to be a leader in using data and analytics throughout the organization. Attend the one educational program this year that will help you master this challenge in 2018.

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In Search of Shopper Marketing Excellence The need for consumer goods companies to build stronger shopper marketing practices has been growing steadily for more than a decade — but recent marketplace disruptions have made it a true business imperative. In fact, 84% of respondents to a survey conducted in December by CGT and Cierant Corp. say that shopper marketing agility and cost effectiveness is more important today than it was even two years ago. Despite this realization, and the additional understanding that an optimized shopper marketing practice delivers numerous benefits, 78% of survey respondents rank their current shopper marketing process efficiency as no better than average. What’s worse, there seems to be no clear understanding of how to address this challenge. Respondents are using a variety of strategies to enhance efficiency: increasing access to relevant data, integrating best practices into the field, and improving post-event analysis capabilities are the most common initiatives. And they’re employing a number of technologies to assist these efforts — chief among them data management/analytics software and digital asset/content management tools (see Charts 3 and 6 at right). However, department-level strategies and digital tools aren’t enough to achieve full SMO. Doing so requires a change in organizational methodologies internally and improved retailer collaboration externally (see Chart 4). Essential to both of these issues is budgeting, which is why respondents cite the need to address both program execution costs and funding methodology as critical factors for success. Cierant notes that retail account funding traditionally has systematically rewarded top-tier accounts with grandfathered budgets and “anniversaried” programs. But shopper marketers today understand that those funding models are not revenue-oriented. This is evident in the survey results, which find that 60% of companies have restructured budgets to support more performance-based funding models and another 23% have discussed doing so (visit for these and other results from the survey). The next step in this evolution is zero-based budgeting: 19% of respondents either have or plan to implement the practice in the near future as the industry moves toward best practices that truly deliver the best results. CGT



Improving Shopper Marketing agility and cost-effectiveness is more important today than 2 years ago 2%

Disagree Somewhat agree


Strongly agree





Current efficiency level of your SM planning and execution processes Excellent Above average



Below average





of companies rank their SM process efficiency as average or worse


Key initiatives for improving SM execution Improving data access and relevance


Integrating best practices into the field


Improving post-event analysis capabilities


Replacing spreadsheets with digital tools


Increasing cross-channel tactic integration


Improving cross-customer coordination of activity Enabling at-scale localization of tactic creative

37% 15%


Analytics, Collaboration Key to SMO ROI

of respondents say improving agility and cost is more critical than ever

James Cioban Chairman & Chief Technology Officer Cierant Corp.


Critical SM elements to be addressed (beyond technology) Organizational structure


Retailer collaboration


Program execution costs


Field sales training


Funding methodology



Have you considered zero-based budgeting as part of your SMO strategy? Yes and will implement soon


Yes, but decided against due to resource concerns

12% 7%

We have already implemented it


Have not considered


of companies have or plan to implement zero-based budgeting


Most essential technologies for Shopper Marketing Optimization 67% 58% ■





■ ■

Major advancements have been made in marketing automation and analytics, yet the processes that drive shopper marketing have failed to take advantage of these innovations, resulting in unnecessary cost and labor and, in turn, insufficient ROI. This has made shopper marketing efficiency an operational imperative for many consumer goods organizations and has led to the emergence of an all new practice: Shopper Marketing Optimization (SMO). SMO is designed to improve cost, speed and efficiency in every phase of the shopper marketing planning-to-execution lifecycle. To better understand how CPGs are pursuing this practice and prioritizing investments, we conducted this survey with professionals involved in the shopper function. While the survey reveals that SMO is growing in importance, the reasons it is being pursued and the strategies being used to approach it are varied. However, one concept appears to be universally accepted, and that’s optimization through the enhanced granularity, relevance and centralization of past and present shopper marketing data at the customer level. With program data traditionally housed in a variety of silos and lacking the depth needed to generate actionable insights, improving analytics is critical to SMO. Another way shopper marketers are driving SMO is by replacing manual planning and execution processes with workflow automation. With many shopper marketers still planning in disconnected spreadsheets, online tools can open the door to more effective, collaborative decisioning. Another technology shopper marketers find critical to improving efficiency is digital content management — software that not only can organize and store program assets across brands, but can also personalize them for cross-channel output. Shopper Marketing Optimization cannot be achieved through technology alone, though. A successful strategy must be led by a clear vision that starts from the top of the shopper team and is shared across departments. This vision must transcend into processes that drive greater collaboration between internal and outside teams, with technology serving as the means of execution and performance the unifying goal.

Data management/ analytics software Digital asset/content management Planning/execution software Workflow automation Personalization software Budgeting software CONSUMERGOODS.COM | FEBRUARY 2018 | CGT





Product Information Management

Personalize Food Choices for Exacting Eaters RICK CHAVIE CEO EnterWorks

Leaders in the food industry are increasingly challenged to satisfy consumers with an increasing multiplicity of diet constraints, preferences, and informational demands — from the latest diet crazes to concerns about GMOs, preservatives, gluten and other allergens. Now, transparency and technology are converging online and offline to deliver some of the most promising opportunities for companies to respond and evolve to meet this growing trend. Here are three steps consumer goods companies should take:

Leverage B2B2C networked, multi-domain MDM to enable consumable data Today’s consumers want precise information, yet product information is often scattered and out-of-date within the organization. To solve this challenge, consumer goods companies should turn to business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) networked, multi-domain master data management to enable a single view of content that combines product information, customer preference, location and channel specifics, along with physical and digital assets and influences, to deliver easily consumed content for customers.

Deliver personalized food and beverage choices to a world of exacting eaters Multi-domain MDM presents the opportunity for companies to deliver a combined view of information. An MDM platform that organizes a vertical food content network is in a position to enable precise, targeted information and personalized offers to consumers all the way “from farm to fork.” The days of squinting at a micro-font product label in a store to determine if the product is “free from” (carbs, gluten, nuts, lactose, etc.) will be relegated to 20th century nostalgia as consumers are increasingly able to scroll through pre-filtered and individualized menus, recipes, product listings and promotions from the digitally connected device of their choice — as long as all that content is sourced collaboratively with product manufacturers and content creators. An advanced MDM platform that can power B2B2C networks can integrate and synchronize product data, enabling CGs to access and combine granular food information (nutrients, formulations, recipes, food labels, etc.) from trusted sources that can then be filtered to precisely meet a customer’s needs. This is true whether the customer is a retailer or restaurant buying from a brand or foodservice company, or whether it is the end-user consumer. An advanced B2B2C-powered MDM platform (like EnterWorks’ Precision EatingTM solution) can generate asset-driven assortments that are location-specific

and filterable by brand or product interest. Such a solution enables a personalized preference lens to sort food and beverage choices through a variety of commerce or informational touchpoints. The user can filter views based on nutrients, formulas, calories, recipes, menus, meal kits, medical requirements or taste preferences.

Collaborate for consumable content through a B2B2C strategy Transparency is important, yet no single entity has all the information that a consumer wants because goods are grown, packaged, sold and prepared in a variety of ways. An MDM solution with a B2B2C approach addresses this issue by effectively bringing together growers, brands, distributors, food service, retailers and restaurants, as well as by engaging their servicers and data providers to collaborate on content. Consumer goods organizations can also leverage a multi-domain MDM platform to expand the potential for a broader application of product content from a variety of sources, including: consumer user generated content, manufacturers, content networks, GDSN data pool providers, nutritional content providers like Label Insight, and data prepared for initiatives such as SmartLabel. With the right MDM platform and strategy, food and beverage companies can transform the way they interact with customers and differentiate their businesses. For shoppers with their own specific needs, tastes and preferences, it’s a win-win, too.


Straight Talk ||||||| |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

John Zealley, senior managing director for products growth & strategy at Accenture, takes a candid look at the industry in this Q&A with CGT.

Do we finally have a clear vision of the modern consumer goods market, or will the recent level of transformative change continue? I don’t believe we have a final, clear vision. There will be different end points for each CG company depending on the way that consumer expectations — combined with converging companies and changing technology — drive categories and the different players that operate within them. We’re already seeing brands adjusting to this environment. Colgate recently joined with Apple to release its first app-enabled electronic toothbrush with artificial intelligence. This collaboration could drive a range of innovation and engagement opportunities, such as toothbrush and toothpaste replacement subscriptions or even the potential to develop dental insurance that connects premiums to user behavior. Also, we’re only just beginning to see the emergence of a new set of channel relationships. Consumer companies not only continue to work with physical retailers, they’re developing more peer-to-peer relationships with online platforms and increasingly developing their own proprietary routes (such as crowd funding), as seen in the alcoholic beverage industry. What’s the most critical change that traditional manufacturers must embrace to stay relevant? No matter what stage of the journey they’re on, CG companies need to have a dynamic “moving to modern” agenda, one that’s based on releasing the untapped value that becoming a “living business” — more fluid, responsive and predictive to ever-changing consumer behavior — allows. The cornerstone for this is developing strong data-led strategic and market activation capabilities that let CGs “sense and respond” to the most attractive opportunities. Crucial for success will be carefully matching capabilities with market conditions. What legacy practices and capabilities remain competitive advantages? The main assets of traditional companies remain: scale, financial resources, massive existing consumer bases, strong retailer relationships and deep experience in product development and branding. Each represents invaluable foundations for CGs to move to the modern — but only if they’re used as a launch pad for new thinking rather than a comfort zone for complacency and continuation of the status quo. Used properly, these assets will give incumbents the opportunity to maintain category captaincy and the potential for increased relevance if they can be extended to cover multi-channel development. Similarly, supply chain expertise connected into an ecosystem of new providers (such as Uber) will clearly give them a head start if properly thought through and developed.

What emerging technologies will have the greatest industry impact? We’ve seen technology eliminate historical barriers to market entry and increase opportunity for directto-consumer engagement. Further development of social media and the growth of social commerce continue to offer significant opportunity for brands to reinvent their marketplace relationships — an imperative which will be vital if we continue to see a rise in voice-activated applications. In the value chain, the consumer’s clear desire for greater traceability and transparency will lead to initiatives such as blockchain coming into their own. These technologies must be powered by enhanced data and analytics, and they’ll only be optimized if people skills are augmented along with the technology. With the emergence of new technologies comes the challenge of assimilating them into legacy systems. Cloud-based trade promotion management solutions are just one of the ways we’ve seen CG companies successfully combine the integration of a trade investment strategy and the execution of traditional TPM into a single system. If Amazon ever bought Target, would the omnichannel battle be over? With any acquisition scenario, one thing we’ve learned in recent years is that there will always be something else around the corner — we just need to look at the Disney-Fox merger to see that. It seems the demand for a hybrid model combining a powerful online and physical presence is becoming the norm. This means there will likely be an acceleration of companies building ecosystems of suppliers, peers, distributors, start-ups and customers to help deliver a joined-up experience of unbelievable quality for consumers. CG companies with brands, category positions or relationships below the “first division” are likely to come under intense pressure to deliver quality products — and in a fraction of the time. In this environment, we could see the “big and the best” getting bigger and better and these “B players” getting left behind. CGT












Profile for ensembleiq

February 2018  

February 2018