Our client, a large Fortune 200 CPG company, had several challenges with performance, usability, accuracy and lack of adequate visibility of their Trade Promotion Management systems for North America. Overall trade-spend exceeded 35% of sales and it was the second biggest component after ‘cost of the goods sold’ in this client’s P&L. As a result, the value of improving the usability of trade management solutions and the effectiveness of promotions was enormous.
The performance of the planning tool was poor, a large number of promotion types were being used and the processes were designed to circumvent the system performance issues. Calculation engine was offline. In addition, the reporting and analysis solution environment including ‘latest estimate’ calculation wasn’t getting updated on a timely basis and SLAs (Service Level Agreements) with business were missed on several occasions. Planners didn’t have visibility into the promotional P&L on a real-time basis, and the reporting was slow.
TekLink worked closely with the customer and the software provider to analyze the issues, systems, and processes and proposed a multi-wave approach to implement HANA and Accelerated Trade Promotions Management on HANA, taking into account several factors such as the technical environment, hardware readiness, leadership mandates such as ‘quick time to value’ etc. Based on the customer’s specific needs, a separate BW on HANA environment was established, with the Development and QA environments on Amazon Cloud and production on premise. A strong foundation was set in the first two waves, aimed at addressing critical reporting and planning issues. The data models and ABAP were optimized, HANA studio was leveraged for characteristic derivations and several innovative methods were used to improve overall reporting and planning process performance. Several process changes were effected – day-level planning was introduced, several promotion types eliminated, event based updates were re-designed, and display pallet functionality was streamlined, to name a few. Promotion effectiveness dashboards were built using BusinessObjects dashboarding tools. The platform was further leveraged to simplify processes and improve usability.
Near-real time visibility during planning enabled a paradigm shift for key account managers. A strong foundation was laid, reporting as well as planning performance improved multi-fold and all SLA issues were eliminated. Day-level planning enabled improved planning accuracy. On-line processing, simplified layouts, and streamlined processes improved the usability of the tool. Promotion effectiveness library enabled visibility to ROI by promotion / event down to material and customer. The new platform opened up opportunities for further changes to processes and usability. The effected changes to usability, performance and visibility have put this customer on a path towards improved trade promotion effectiveness that in turn helps boost the operating margin.