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Trade Promotion Management

Concentrated Supermarket ownership has been a fact of life for FMCG companies in Australia for more than two decades. With this concentration of ownership, high Trade Spend percentages have become established and Spend rates of 25 % and higher are not unusual. In this climate, FMCG companies have had to focus on, Trade Promotion Management, Trade Spend Control, Promotion Optimisation and Claims Processing. If you need software for gap analysis, improved logistics, promotional optimisation and demand management then Comoran is there for you. Since most of the major ERP systems have been developed outside Australia and the concentration of retail outlet ownership has been a phenomenon unique to Australia, FMCG companies have found that their ERP systems do not have the required facilities.

Trade Spend Control Application

As a result the Account Manager system was born. Today, Account Manager is used by companies who have SAP, JDE, BPICS and Baan as their ERP systems and we are ready to handle MfgPro and Movex. In order to get the complete picture of Promotion performance it is necessary to monitor Compliance in stores. So a companion system to Account Manager, Field Management System (FMS) was developed. FMS now provides additional facilities to check Stock Levels, monitor Facings, record Shelf Prices and (if required) take Orders. We have had a decade of experience in this area and the results speak for themselves.

The Benefits of Trade Spend Control

Our users have experienced reductions in their total Trade Spend in excess of 10% of Turnover - money which goes directly to the bottom line of the P&L. At the same time, they have found that they can target their promotional activity to gain increased sales on every occasion, reduce or eliminate stockouts and maintain profitability.

Who can use Comoran systems?

Today, the phenomenon of concentrated retail outlet ownership is emerging in Asia, Europe and the USA. We have installations servicing Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore with interest emerging in The Philippines, Taiwan and (perhaps unexpectedly) the United States


The Account Manager system is a PC-based system developed for the Microsoft Windows environment using Microsoft SQLServer relational database, Microsoft Visual Basic programming language and Microsoft Access as the Graphical User Interface. The system starts from the Summary of Promotion display which shows all the promotions for an Account, the Advertising and Support activities provided by Marketing and , if desired, additional information such as school terms, public holidays etc. From this summary display, an Account Manager can add new promotions or view the details of any existing promotion using the Promotions Details display. This display shows the products in the promotion and, for each product, the deal, case estimates and co-op details.

Entering or changing the deal for a product causes the system to display the base forecast for the product in the Account and a case estimate for a given price based on Scan data. The case estimate may be confirmed or altered and the system computes the markdown and turnover for the product and up-dates the totals for the Promotion. Similarly, a total figure for co-operative spend may be entered and the system will spread this figure based on volume or value and again up-date the totals for the promotion.

A key aspect of the system is that it not only evaluates the spend as a percentage of Turnover for the current promotion, but also evaluates the Total spend in the Account for the whole year. In this way the system shows the Account Manager not only where he/she stands at a given point in time, but, more importantly, where he/she will end up at year end. This information provides a powerful tool for predicting over or under spend situations so that timely corrective action may be taken. A profit analysis of each promotion from both the Supplier’s and Retailer’s perspective is also available. The software enables the Account Manager to experiment with alternative “What If” scenarios to arrive at a “Win/Win” promotion Plan for his/her Account(s) which meet the objectives of both the Supplier and the Retailer.

All of this is accomplishes with far less effort than a manual system and, when the promotion is confirmed, the system automatically produces all the routine paperwork including :

  • Promotion Confirmations
  • Promotion Summaries
  • Major Account Confirmation Formats
  • Accruals
  • Production Forecasts

The software also provides post evaluation facilities, to allow assessment of the promotion against actual sales from the warehouse and/or actual sales across the supermarket check-outs. This highlights situations where Investment Buying has occurred and quantifies the Investment Buy. One of the most important features of the system is the data, which it automatically captures to enable the overall forecasting for a Supplier to become increasingly well honed.

Accurate feed-back on how their organisation is tracking

The system provides State Managers, National Account Managers and National Sales Managers with facilities to view their overall position and predict their year-end result. This view is automatically updated whenever actuals are loaded into the system and as new promotions are confirmed in the system, thereby giving these senior managers constant, accurate feed-back on how their organisation is tracking.

By predicting overspends so that they can be prevented, by allowing Account Managers to conduct “What If” evaluations, by providing a profit view of promotions, and by relieving Account Managers of routine paperwork, the system allows a Supplier to optimise their Trade-Spend and obtain the best value for their promotional dollars. Finally, using the interface facilities to an existing mainframe, the system eliminates tedious and potentially error-prone manual entry of promotions data.

In summary, these are the areas Account Manager is designed to address

  • To provide an improved method of developing Promotional Campaigns and prevent overlaps and conflicts
  • To optimise the effectiveness of the individual promotions within these campaigns.
  • To track Trade Expenditure and give early warning of any deviation from plan, so that corrective action can be undertaken within the current program.
  • To provide quick feedback on the actual performance of each promotion so that effective promotions can be repeated and ineffective ones discontinued.
  • To track and record the actual sales and the corresponding price of your products in each Account - both on promotion and when on normal sale. In this way concrete data is available on which to base future Sales Forecasts.
  • To provide a system for managing Deal and Co-op Claims. The objectives are to prevent erroneous claims from being paid and to enable accrued funds to be released to the bottom line of your P&L.
  • To provide a quick and effective method of information communication between the Account Managers and the Accounting and Production Departments.
  • To identify and quantify Investment Buying in Accounts.