Building a collaborative and mutually profitable relationship with retailers is a common challenge among consumer packaged goods manufacturers. Farmer John®, maker of packaged deli meats and the world-famous Dodger Dogs® hot dog, has taken advantage of the powerful insights that come with Trade Promotion Management (TPM) technology to strategize smarter, react faster and forge more win-win opportunities with retail customers.

When coordinating a promotion with retailers, many manufacturers struggle to make timely and accurate decisions due to the lack of visibility into committed and unused trade dollars and the inability to measure lift and ROI. This is not the case with Farmer John. Armed with the AFS Trade Promotion Management Retail (TPM Retail), Farmer John has the ability to make concise trade spending decisions in a matter of days, not weeks, resulting in the company gaining half a million pounds off one month of incremental promotions. With forecasts and easy-to-access analytics at their fingertips, Farmer John can instantly access a snapshot of its trade spending commitments and determine if a promotion proposed by a retailer can be executed and know whether or not it will be profitable. This swift turn-around has made Farmer John a choice manufacturer among retailers more frequently – a real coup in the very crowded and competitive deli category.

“We gained more business and more merchandising opportunities because of the new-found visibility we have with the AFS TradePro™ (now AFS TPM Retail) system,” says Martin Chen, Director of Business Development at Farmer John. “Trade activity is now visible and accessible to everyone which has improved our decision-making processes and allows sales to pull the trigger more quickly. In the past, when we used spreadsheets, it took weeks to coordinate and execute a simple deal at the retail level.”

Prior to AFS TPM Retail, trade activity at Framer John was tracked on individual spreadsheets, not a single, closed loop TPM system, forcing the team to perform several tedious steps in order to sync data to its accounting system. The reliance on spreadsheets ultimately resulted in very limited trade promotion analytics and forecasting capabilities.

Today, Farmer John is capitalizing on the wealth of reports and analytical insights provided by AFS TPM Retail to initiate fruitful category management conversations with retailers. That dialogue can then be married directly to budgets setting the stage for a more collaborative and productive planning process. “It’s empowering to understand which promotions are effective and then talk strategically with retailers about trends, budgets and exactly what Farmer John can do to help increase profits for everyone at the table,” says Chen.

The Results

AFS TPM Retail helped Farmer John:

  • Reduce merchandising decision times from weeks to days resulting in more opportunities at the retail level
  • Sort and identify big spending accounts and volume generators to ensure time and energy is spent on the contracts driving a majority of spending and volume
  • View spending efficiencies pegged against its gross sales
  • Mine data down to a specific product and locale to better determine if a SKU is actually profitable (or not)
  • Eliminate the tedious process of updating and combining spreadsheets then manually syncing data to the company’s accounting system
  • Arm sales with near real-time forecasts and spending commitments enabling them to react or make adjustments with customers quickly
  • Provide the management team with an instant snapshot of current and future spending commitments
  • Track all its trade activity in one centralized system accessible to the entire organization

About Farmer John

Farmer John, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation, is headquartered in Los Angeles. Farmer John produces more than 1,200 items for the retail and foodservice channels in the western United States. Offering an array of fresh and value-added protein products, the Farmer John brand holds leadership positions in many categories. The world-famous Dodger Dogs® are one of the many products marketed under the Farmer John brand. The company employs more than 1,500 people in Southern California. For additional information, visit www.farmerjohn.com.