Readers' Choice Survey 2016: Editors' Picks

In this section, CGT’s editorial staff shines a spotlight on 20 technology solution and service providers that are making a substantial impact on how consumer goods organizations innovate with technology. These companies don’t fit snugly into the Readers’ Choice Survey’s 15 mainstay categories due to their smaller size or niche focus. Nonetheless, they have been endorsed by consumer goods executives in conversations with our editorial team throughout the year and are, therefore, worthy of your undivided attention:

Specialty: 360pi helps brands successfully navigate the multi-channel landscape with real-time insight into who is selling what, where, when and for how much.
What’s New? In 2015, 360pi tripled its brand base, including the acquisition of a global athletic shoe manufacturer.
APL Logistics
Specialty: APL Logistics is a global supply chain specialist for the CG industry. Experts develop solutions to help growth in established and emerging markets. Network encompasses all major geographies backed by a multinational workforce of more than 6,000.
What’s New? APL Logistics is a member of the Kintetsu World Express group. In 2015, the company launched ShipMax Alliance, a collaborative shipping platform.
Specialty: CPGToolBox is a TPM solution built on the Salesforce platform enabling consumer packaged goods companies to affordably access the workflow, metrics, business logic, and analytics spreadsheets lack.
What’s New? Added Fruit of the Loom to its client roster and solidified partnerships with Mindtree, Gigwalk and Plex.

Specialty:  EdgeVerve through TradeEdge offers insights-driven sales platform for global brands to maximize visibility as well as accelerate profitable growth in the emerging markets.
What’s New? EdgeVerve is growing its presence in the consumer products industry. The company has added 300 new distributors to its worldwide 3000+ distributor network in the year 2015.
Specialty: Enables differentiated, channel- and customer-specific product content through its Product Information Management (PIM), portal, and syndication platform for consumer packaged goods companies.
What’s New? Went live with Fender Musical Instruments globally and sold three $1+ billion retailers in home furnishings, cosmetics and office products.
GENCO, A FedEx Company

Specialty: GENCO provides Product Lifecyle Logistics to a diverse range of manufacturers and direct-to-consumer brands; including warehouse and distribution, systems integration, process automation, packaging, returns management, liquidation and transportation.
What’s New? Omnichannel and direct-to-consumer customers, such as Bare Escentuals, have increasingly turned to GENCO for multiple solutions in a single operation — fulfillment and returns, to and from, stores and consumers.
InContext Solutions
Specialty: Through virtual reality simulations, InContext Solutions provides retail and shopper intelligence for creating and executing new in-store concepts. 
What’s New?ShopperMX Indicators is a new offering that delivers near-real time behavioral and attitudinal shopper feedback.

Specialty: Janrain’s secure, identity-based marketing platform enables consumer brands to build direct customer relationships through opt-in registration. Leveraging unified user intelligence, brands can engage their customers with relevant, personalized experiences across all digital touch points.
What’s New? A leading beverage distributor leveraged customer data from a unified profile to create the world’s first fully personalized TV campaign.

Specialty: NTT DATA provides premier professional services including consulting, application services, business process and IT outsourcing, and cloud-based retail execution and loyalty solutions that help its clients on their digital-enterprise transformation journey.
What’s New?  NTT Centerstance became part of NTT DATA to create a powerhouse Salesforce application and consulting practice.

Specialty: PROS is the revenue and profit realization company that helps food and consumer packaged goods companies align product, demand and availability.
What’s New? A highlight this year was the Ventana Research Leadership Award PROS won alongside customer BRF Brasil Foods, who improved their business performance using PROS applications.
Quri Inc.

Specialty:  Quri is a Retail Intelligence Technology solutions provider that is fueling performance-driven merchandising in-store for brands.
What’s New? Thanks to the support of over 100 consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, Quri received $17MM in Series C Funding allowing it to open and staff several new offices and launch The Quri Academy; an industry education initiative for CPG manufacturers to ease the adoption and accelerate the ROI of Retail Intelligence Technology.
RI (Retail Insight)

Specialty: RI blends its commercial and analytical skills with industry expertise to solve its clients’ business challenges, enabling sustainable performance improvement through its portfolio of software products.
What’s New? RI is bringing its Commercial Planning and Field Force Execution tools together to provide a full planning and execution solution.
Saama Technologies Inc.

Specialty: Provides CPG manufacturers with predictive analytics power to track and optimize trade promotion activities.
What’s New? Saama is implementing a global Post Event Analytics solution to one of the top 10 CPG manufacturers in world.
Sequoya Analytics

Specialty: Consumer behavior is constantly changing, reacting to economic climate, emerging formats, price increases, innovation as well as varying promotion offers. Manufacturers require scalable foresight to predict consumer response to price and trade in order to maximize volume, revenue, growth and ROI.
What’s New? In 2016 Sequoya Analytics will release the next generation in predictive analytics, Sequoya 20/20.
Software Paradigms International (SPI)
Specialty: SPI is an award winning technology services and solutions provider for retailers around the world.
What’s New? With this year’s acquisitions of Direct Tech, QwikCart, Double Prime and Best Fit Mobile, SPI now offers complete Retail IT solutions and services: Mobility, e-commerce, integration, consulting, merchandising, analytics, vendor management, infrastructure and more.
Sparta Systems, Inc.

Specialty: For 20 years, Sparta Systems has been helping customers bring products to market safely and efficiently by delivering quality management software solutions that provide control and transparency throughout the enterprise and their critical supplier network.
What’s New?  Sparta Systems is growing its presence in the consumer products industry, particularly food & beverage, automating quality and compliance processes internally, as well as externally with suppliers and contracted vendors with the latest release of Stratas, a fully featured, end-to-end supplier quality management solution.
Spring Mobile Solutions
Specialty: Provides CPG companies with advanced mobile apps for sales, merchandising and delivery that drive productivity and revenue.
What’s New?  Spring closed new business with Cargill, Faber-Castell and Ajinimoto as it continues to grow its roster of large enterprise clients and expand into new international markets.

Specialty: Advanced demand planning and supply chain analytics software.
What’s New?  Rated No. 1 by Nucleus Research for inventory optimization plus established a partnership with Retail Velocity to sense demand at the POS level.

Specialty: Ugam is a global company in managed analytics that helps retailers and brands make better merchandising, marketing and channel management decisions. Its offering combines a proprietary big data technology platform with deep domain knowledge and analytics expertise.
What’s New?  This year, Ugam celebrated its 15th anniversary of helping customers make smarter decisions about assortment, pricing and omnichannel strategies.
Upside Commerce, Inc.

Specialty: Upside Commerce is a real-time marketing platform for consumer brands. Its engagement analytics and predictive performance features help to convert online demand into in-store purchases with the most complete consumer behavior data. Creates personalized promotional experiences at the right time for consumers using the Dynamic Consumer Exchange (DCXTM), delivering “your brand their way.”
What’s New? Global partnership with SAP for consumer brands.