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Rob Hand

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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What do I get outa this anyway?

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

The late, great ex-Beatle, George Harrison, once write a song entitled, “If You Don’t Know Where You’re Goin’, Any Road Will Take You There.”  Really, George? In the often-maddening world of trade promotion, the road to real ROI is not so easily marked; and when you do get there, you may not know where you are.  It’s more like Buckaroo Bonzai’s profound uttering, “No matter where you go, there you are.”  Either way, what DO you get out of it? There are research reports, white papers and even YouTube videos galore on the topic of ROI for trade promotion.  Many…

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Innovation

Clientelling and Trade Promotion

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

Over the past several years I have been involved with some rather sophisticated technologies around consumer goods and retail. One of the more exciting solution areas I have worked with is Clientelling – a software application that is typically deployed by a retailer, but can also serve the supplier’s objectives as well. If you have ever walked into a store, car dealer, or service company and been approached by a sales associate holding an iPad®, you have interfaced with a Clientelling Application. This is a software application that typically contains information such as inventory, promotions, pricing, service and other critical…

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What’s Going On? Let’s Find Out.

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

I have never been a survey taker. Not really. But I do like to see what other people say about things, so naturally, I am a fan of intelligence and knowledge. The problem is that the information we seek must originate somewhere; and that is generally going to come from someone asking questions and other people answering them.   Right? For longer than I care to state, I have been involved in trade promotion management and execution (what I am calling “TPx,” because it involves far more these days than planning, audit and settlement). And for at least that long, I…

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The Empowered Consumer and Trade Promotion

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

Trade promotion execution is but one component of the Consumer Chain, albeit a very critical one indeed. So, in a recent conversation about trade promotion execution with the head of a corporate revenue management organization I asked the question: “Where does the consumer fit in all that?” After a short delay, he answered, “Nowhere really – TPM is essentially a deal between us and the retailer.” Hmmm. OK, then; a deal to do what? Fund promotions, right? You know, those tactical actions that are designed to attract the interest of the, uh, consumer, right? “Yes, I get you,” he says;…

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TPx: So Where ARE We Anyway?

By | Supply chain excellence | No Comments

LoL.   I have to laugh. Not to wax nostalgic here; but it has not been all that long ago that “trade promotion,” as a business process was looked upon as more of a necessary inconvenient evil rather than the mission critical sales and marketing asset it is today (and, frankly, ALWAYS has been!).   What’s so funny?   Well, for me personally, it is a validation of a life’s work.   Those of you who know me a long time know full well what I have been saying to executives, analysts, vendors, integration partners, trade organizations and the media since…

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Coming of Age: The Digital Consumer Chain

By | Supply chain excellence | One Comment

One of my tenants for good parenting is to understand that your child is likely moving at a much faster pace of emotion and intelligence than you did; and the continual challenge is to be out front of the issues and trends at least enough to be prepared to guide, counsel and nurture them as they move through each stage of life.   We played with cap guns and toy soldiers – kids now play with HALO and wield Link’s sword in an all-to-realistic fantasy world of “Legend of Zelda.”   Nothing is left to the imagination; and digital animation has created an entire…

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