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CPG Transformation Success: Key Themes from the 2024 POI Spring Hybrid Summit 

Contributors: PK Sundar

Clarkston recently attended the 2024 POI Spring Hybrid Summit in Chicago, Illinois. This year’s theme was “Transforming Success: The Power of Holistic Enterprise Planning through Revenue Optimization, Advanced Analytics, and Retail Execution.”  Consumer products industry leaders and peers gathered to discuss the latest challenges, opportunities, and best practices surrounding topics like revenue growth management (RGM), omnichannel, trade promotion, data and analytics, customer experience, and more – all systems and processes enabling CPG transformation success.

Overall, the main takeaway that we heard as a theme throughout all the sessions is these systems are not just a multi-year financial investment for your organization, but a personnel investment as well. As such, treating them with intention and planning ahead is paramount to ensure your people will adopt the systems for your organization to realize maximum benefits. Below, Sarah Broyd and Steve Rosenstock share four key themes from the 2024 POI Spring Hybrid Summit.

Key Themes from the 2024 POI Spring Hybrid Summit 

1. Don’t lose your focus on the consumer. 

Many companies are falling into the trap of focusing on short-term efforts that will maximize profit at the expense of focusing on the consumer and what their needs actually are. If companies only focus on short-term profits, their brand equity will eventually suffer, as they won’t be developing products that are ready for consistent, long-term customer sell through.  

Once you find the right products that the consumer wants, you can subsequently then ask questions on how or where they want these products. Is the product being sold in the right pack amount? Is it in the right size? Is it being sold through the right channels? By shifting your organizational focus onto the consumer’s needs as opposed to focusing on examining a profit and loss statement for profit improvement opportunities, you’ll be impacting the levers that will drive sales in the long term by developing products that people actually want and selling them through channels that meet the consumer’s needs. 

2. Revenue Growth Management (RGM) and Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO) require strong foundational master data. 

RGM and TPO analyses are built upon examining historical data. For RGM, this data may include shopper behaviors, product assortment, pricing, etc. For TPO, this will likely be historical promotional data and subsequent sales for those periods. Based on the analyses of said data, actional recommendations are developed through either a tool or human resource to then improve or optimize those specific activities (ex. changing a seasonal promotion to optimize sales based on historical data). If the data that’s being used to drive these analyses aren’t strong or accurate, this means that the recommendations as outputs will be, by default, inaccurate and lead to mistakes. This is why it’s imperative that your foundational master data for any of your trade or revenue growth management processes or systems be as accurate and strong as possible. 

3. Approach your TPO projects with an Agile methodology. 

Historically, system implementations take a more waterfall approach, and TPO/TPM systems are no exception. However, by leveraging an agile methodology for a TPO implementation, companies will have a feedback loop that truly drives the benefits of the solution for their organization; they’ll also be able to fine tune the features and collaborate with the end users to ensure that the solution is truly effective for their needs.  

If your organization is looking to implement a TPO solution, you should find a vendor that is comfortable operating with this agile mindset, allowing for more tweaks or additional sprints as feedback is received or new features are identified that will be helpful for the end users in the future. Agile methodology has the benefits of a condensed timeline toward a minimal viable product (MVP), a user-centric approach, and continuous updates via smaller sprints and releases, which help achieve the goal of addressing the business objectives of the project. Within the same amount of time, more can be achieved through this optimized approach. 

4. Never underestimate the need for change management. 

Most people are resistant to change, especially when a new system or process is being implemented at an organization. In order to ensure that your investment into a trade/RGM system or process improvement effort will achieve all the benefits desired, you must be intentional about managing the change. Without buy-in from all levels of the organization – from senior leadership on the importance of the initiative to the end users that will be using the system to make their day-to-day activities more efficient and effective – the system or process will ultimately not be utilized as it should be in the long term. Especially when thinking about these systems as a multi-year long investment, organizations will want to ensure that they’re receiving all the benefits possible for the amount of capital and resources invested into the implementation.  

Looking Ahead 

Attending POI this year allowed us to connect with industry leaders to refresh our perspective on industry trends while also enhancing our considerations for consumer products companies looking ahead. If you’re looking for guidance or expertise on any of these key themes or other sales and marketing best practices in the CP space, reach out to our experts today.  

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Contributions from Elias Lambros

Tags: Event Recap