SlimFast Turns to the Cloud for Trade Promotions

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SlimFast Turns to the Cloud for Trade Promotions

By CGT Staff - 12/01/2015
SlimFast, a nearly one billion dollar weight loss brand at its peak, was acquired by a private equity firm in 2014 with one business goal -- deliver one of the biggest brand turn arounds in recent CPG history. The acquisition positioned the brand to hit the reset button and develop a seamless trade promotion and deduction management process to organize 150 retail partnerships across a dozen distribution channels. The task of achieving a highly-accessible, multi-national financial sales platform that easily integrated with its Sage ERP X3 and Salesforce CRM tools led SlimFast to CPGToolBox.
 
“The brand was making a shift to spend more marketing dollars and that required us to find a better way to operate in a complex marketplace,” says Karen Van Dongen, VP of sales and business development at SlimFast. “We needed a Trade Promotion Management (TPM) solution that could deliver effective, transparent and timely promotional planning and settlement processing.”
 
With trade representing nearly 25 percent of gross sales, the decision to adopt a cloud-based TPM solution built on the Salesforce platform was a major step in achieving the organization-wide transparency SlimFast desired. Following a 120-day deployment, the brand gained instant visibility into real-time business information allowing a streamlined and collaborative approach to business planning, promotion planning and deduction management.
SlimFast experienced significant benefits from its new ability to record and track promotion and non-promotion deduction types such as shortages, damages, late shipments and handling fees. According to Van Dongen, the immediate and daily access to such granular data enabled the brand to perform root cause analysis on deductions and make adjustments in the supply chain accordingly.
 
After implementing the solution, SlimFast had the tools to better manage and maximize its national decentralized sales network. The high-level of transparency provided by the TPM tool empowered brokers with the critical information needed to strike more profitable deals, while dynamic dashboard reports enabled senior management to easily review broker activities.
The promotional calendar within the CPGToolBox platform also provided an integrated view of the brand’s marketing spend to more effectively evaluate the real-time ROI of media dollars.
 
“This is an intuitive tool that puts a host of critical information at our fingertips,” says Van Dongen. “Enhancing our existing Salesforce platform with CPGToolBox was a cost effective investment that will ensure we have continuous control over where and why dollars are being spent.”
 
As ongoing efforts are made to strengthen the brand, SlimFast is working towards optimizing and automatically feeding syndicated data directly to its dashboard reports to obtain next level insights into trade spend.