Trade Promotion Management (TPM) system implementations require a number of key decisions to be successful, and one of the most difficult decisions can be whether or not your brokers should be integrated into your deduction management process. While there is no single right answer, there are 3 key options to weigh when considering whether you should include your broker in your TPM deduction management process.
How Should Brokers Be Incorporated into your TPM Deduction Management Process?
Option 1: Integrate your brokers into your TPM system and process and manage all broker data within your TPM system
In this option, you are able to control your own data and reporting, with complete visibility. You will not need to manage integrations from other tools and you can institute standard processes across brokers if you work with multiple. However, this process requires designing processes for workflow and approvals in your TPM system that can accommodate internal and broker teams. Additionally, many larger brokers, such as Acosta and Advantage, still manage deductions in their proprietary systems, so there may be a potential increase in broker feeds for duplicate management in their system and yours.
Option 2: Integrate deductions with the brokers TPM system
In this option, you have a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your broker and potentially reduce your broker fees. However, you could incur additional cost, risk, and complexity that you would need to manage during your TPM system implementation. You would also lose visibility to in-progress deduction reporting and increasing your reliance on your broker-partner, making it harder to switch partners.
Option 3: Partial integration with broker partners
In a hybrid or partial integration you would send the brokers your deductions so they have visibility in your tools, but have them still manage deductions in your TPM tool. The benefits of this approach is that you can continue to control your own data and reporting, with complete visibility. You would also be able to standardize processes across internal teams and your broker partners. The downside of this option is that it will still require design and integration work during your TPM system implementation. Also, you should expect some duplicate efforts between systems which may result in the occasional human error during deduction processing.
A Final Thought: Consider Bringing TPM Deduction Management In-House
Implementing a TPM deduction management system can be a great opportunity to make some strategic changes to your trade processes, and it might be the right time to evaluate whether your broker relationship is providing you with the keys to be successful. This doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing decision; you can consolidate brokers, choose to bring some work in-house, or realize that your current setup is working well.
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