All Posts By

Rob Hand

Trade Promotion Vendors Kick It into High Gear

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

Digital transformation is evident in the vendor landscape for trade promotion management today. The evidence is in; and it appears that consumer products manufacturers now have a wide range of choices for both cloud and on-premise solutions to managing the second largest line item in the company P&L. After nearly two months of detailed briefings with the world’s top trade promotion management vendors, it is evident that the embrace of new technologies has already moved into advanced phases. The talk of what artificial intelligence can do is now what AI IS doing; and consumer products manufacturers are quick to grasp…

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It Ain’t Easy Being Easy!

By | New technologies | No Comments

The level of sophistication in the consumer chain has advanced a thousand-fold in the past decade alone.  What was formerly a rather simple process of planning promotions has now become a complex blend of technology and skill at predicting consumer behavior. It hasn’t been too long ago that a typical consumer products manufacturer rep would replicate last year’s plan, make any adjustments for an account’s expanded stores, new markets, or new product launches, and dub it the new current year forecast. Why not? These guys were great at what they did. They knew their accounts, they had a great grasp…

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Dylan Could Not Have Said It Better!

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

“Don’t block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There’s a battle outside ragin’ It’ll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a changin’” Bob Dylan wrote these lyrics as part of his classic 1960’s ballad, “The Times They Are a Changin’” to warn of the changes coming and how everyone needed to pay heed and be ready. But really, what has changed? How about ‘nothing?’ Not to channel your inner Dylan and drive your thoughts toward the social and political implications here; but rather we should…

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Blockchain for Trade Promotion Execution?

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

The hype around blockchain technology is growing because man continues to seek the next best thing. The question is whether this radical new way of transacting business is applicable to trade channel promotion. I’m sitting on my veranda in the hot Texas afternoon drinking my ice tea and mint leaves, turning the ribs every 8 minutes and reading my latest book. No, it’s not the tales of the old Royal Navy’s Captain John Aubrey or the latest Mitch Rapp novel; not today. I just cracked open my recent Amazon delivery of Mark Smith’s book, Blockchain: Step By Step Guide To…

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Tactical Trade Promotion: The Fourth Dimension

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

Can you name the top three tactics used by sales people in planning a promotion? …tic toc…buzzer! If you said temporary price reductions (TPR), displays and feature ads, you are right.  I would love to state the actual number here; but our survey on revenue and trade promotion management has yet to be launched.  However, we will have it out soon, and this and other exciting and NEW information will be available – stay tuned! Nevertheless, if I asked what the fourth most common tactics would be, I may get responses such as discount price coupons, BOGO’s (2-for-1’s) or perhaps…

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Point-of-Sale Data Use Cases Fuel Effective Trade Promotion Execution

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

Point-of-Sale data has become one of, if not the most important factor determining the success of a trade channel promotion.  But has it achieved its full usefulness? I think not. Shortly after the turn of the millennium in the aftermath of Y2K, Consumer products companies across all channels began concentrating on the expansion of knowledge and intelligence about the consumer, and, more importantly, the ability to predict outcomes. The global big data initiative was catapulted off the flight deck and the mission of shopper reconnaissance was executed in earnest. The digital transformation we are neck-high in now is just beginning;…

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Paddling Upstream with Downstream Data

By | Market-Driven | No Comments

Have you ever paddled a canoe down a fast-moving stream? I am not referring to taking on Class IV or V white water rapids; but at least a challenging and slightly dangerous course that will get you pretty wet if you don’t pay attention. You must think in real-time and, at the same time, be looking ahead of the immediate threat to those you are about to face – and those come at you faster than you can often imagine. The line of danger is defined as how you do both – navigate the immediate and demanding obstacles and predict a…

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Shopping at Whole Foods Market? Click Amazon Prime

By | Market-Driven | No Comments

Amazon’s announcement of its acquisition of Whole Foods Market will be a landmark business move that has far reaching effects to the Consumer Chain and the way CPG suppliers go to market. There are so many pleasures of life in Austin, Texas. Even though I’ve moved out of the unbelievable growth explosion of Austin proper, living this Texas Hill Country life and being close enough to run into town to see a band on Sixth Street, run the hike and bike trails or check out Circuit of the Americas is pure cool. Amidst the eclectic Austin lifestyle of Tex-Mex, BBQ,…

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Price Optimization: It IS what it IS!

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

The old saying, “The best price is the right price” ranks in my book right up there with another old saying, “Thanks for sharing!” Or my daughter’s favorite response to an obvious answer…”Duh.”  And that one drives me crazy enough; but don’t you hate it when someone tells you “It is what it is?” What a profound statement.  Who came up with that one…Forrest Gump? Well at least making sure your product is priced right IS a profound requirement. To get to what IS the best price has taken on an even higher level of importance in the arena of…

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Promotion Optimization: Artificially Speaking

By | New technologies, Supply chain excellence | No Comments

“Danger, Will Robinson!”  For those of my non-millennial colleagues who have seen reruns or even us Baby-Boomers who actually saw the show, the 1965-68 TV series Lost in Space produced some rather kooky, if not downright weird images. The now famous “B9” robot character would sound out this monotoned warning when it sensed a potential threat to his small companion, played by Billy Mumy. The late 1960’s version of an intended application of futuristic artificial intelligence (AI) certainly played its role well, running the entire ship and providing immediate real-time intelligence about the surrounding environment. We know from the already rapidly…

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