This week on Exceedra Byte, our host Brian Kolubinskyj is joined by Chris Rice, Exceedra SVP Sales & Marketing, Americas. They walk us through Exceedra portfolio and demonstrate the importance of building a strong Trade Promotion Management (TPM) foundation which can enable you to connect your strategy to the execution and analysis.
Brian: Chris, why don’t you tell us a brief summary about yourself?
Chris: I have been doing this for a long time, Brian. More years than I care to admit. I started out with the Quaker Oats company, I worked for a TPM company, I worked for a syndicated data company, for a TPO company, and that led me to an opportunity at Exceedra. What I saw was an opportunity to build something different to support what the Sales and RGM teams really need.
Brian: Sounds like you have a very robust background that it lends itself to our topic for today – how a system can support the different capabilities of RGM. A lot of people think that a TPM system might just be one block in this whole scheme that is RGM to get them the proper pricing strategy and shelving understanding, assortments. Maybe you can walk us through your vision of what the TPM solutions we have really offer.
Chris: You must start with the foundation. You are trying to get to the top – you can build the greatest strategy in the world but if you do not have the right foundation, the tower crumbles. You can come up with a great strategy but if you do not have the workflow, approvals, integration, and master data, then connecting the strategy into a system that you can measure and understand what you are paying for and what you are getting for your money, you are wasting money in my opinion.
So, if we build this up from the bottom, essentially you start with a foundation TPM system, you need to have master data, workflow, your volume planning, and trade planning together, shipment information, and accruals. All of those are the base components. Of course, people and process are foundational as well. So essentially, the system supports your process. Your competitive difference in the marketplace is made by your people and your process, not necessarily the system.
Brian: Sounds like you are saying that one size does not fit all when it comes to TPM. Tell us about Exceedra strategy to overcome that.
Chris: First you need to put in the foundation. You need to be able to understand the customers’ business process which takes people from the industry. You build the foundation and that enables you to do things like Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO) and post-event analysis which requires consumption data. And then, that is what enables you to build the tower and connect the strategy to the execution and the analysis.
Brian: I know we talk about the ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ strategy but when we are talking to different businesses, we are talking about business maturity and process maturity to see if TPM is right for them. But then, not only if TPM is right for them but which TPM solution would be right for them as well. Even in Exceedra portfolio, maybe you can expand on the different solutions that we have that meet the different needs at the different levels.
Chris: What I have learned in my journey is that it is a journey and people are in different places, their business is in a different cycle. So, what is critical is to get the right solution for where you are at and have a solution that can grow with you and a partner that can take you from that foundation which we have a Professional foundation to the more advanced which gives you the Enterprise capability.
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