How much does your business spend on trade promotions to drive product sales? According to a recent Forrester report, the average for a CPG company is 20 percent of revenues, but the investment vs. return doesn't always add up. You already know that some of that money doesn't generate any return, but it gets worse: Forrester estimates that one-third of that spend – about seven percent of a typical company's revenues – actually generates negative returns, cannibalizing high-margin lines and encouraging "pantry loading."
As the sales and operations planning (S&OP) leader, there are a few principal responsibilities: setting priorities, planning and executing your supply chain strategies, driving incremental improvements while quickly adapting to changing market and customer requirements, and linking changes in demand to changes in supply while keeping in mind the financial results. But that's just within the average day-to-day activity – it is also expected that advance changes in thinking and execution will be developed to help solve S&OP limitations.
Promotions are often implemented as successful marketing tactics to assist in attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, testing new product concepts and quickly reacting to changing consumer demands. Not only do they provide brand recognition, but they also give marketers, product developers and sales people an additional avenue for creativity. While specialty products and limited-time offers can build brand revenue, implementing promotions isn't as easy as one might think when factoring in supply chain management requirements such as fulfillment and distribution.
Analyst Insight: Demand planning can be both a complex and demanding exercise to fully conduct. To get past the initial challenges, it is tempting to consolidate demand planning into a few simple metrics and goals to support adoption. Blue Hill believes that this approach will ultimately sabotage the best-intended intentions to support enterprise demand planning. – Hyoun Park, Chief Research Officer at Blue Hill Research
The holiday season has come to a close, but fashion brands and retailers are still faced with opportunities and challenges after the holiday gift rush. Social media can dramatically increase demand for particular styles and items within minutes or hours (think Pinterest or Instagram).
Analyst Insight: Sherman's Law of Forecast Accuracy states that forecast accuracy improves in direct correlation to its distance from usefulness. It's time to stop being driven crazy by demand variability. Don't be driven by demand; sense, shape and respond to demand. Your company can better predict and respond to demand variability through integrating forecasting techniques with demand planning techniques; in a word, collaboration! - Rich Sherman, Principal Essentialist, Trissential
Analyst Insight: For the past 30 years, sales and operations planning (S&OP) has been espoused by the Oliver Wight organization based on its founder's concepts. It has manifested itself to include inventory (SIOP) and has morphed into integrated business planning (IBP). However, only within the last five years, has it been heralded and crossed the chasm to mainstream business practice. We think it may only be the tip of the iceberg though, not the core solution to step-change improved performance. - Rich Sherman, Supply Chain Discipline Expert at Trissential