As a recognized leader in the natural and organic foods category, Pacific Natural Foods knew it needed to get a better handle on promotional spending. Lonn Whitmill, division manager-grocery at Pacific Natural Foods, was specifically interested in how that spending related to volumes and promotion-ability for its soup, broth and non-dairy beverage product lines.

“It was our broker Acosta who initially recommended AFS Trade Promotion Management Retail (TPM Retail) as the ideal partner to help us manage trade promotions more effectively,” commented Trista Awtrey, business analyst for Pacific Natural Foods. Several of Acosta’s other vendors had already experienced success with the same trade promotion management (TPM) software solution.

Initially, Pacific Natural Foods used the TPM software primarily for cataloging and organizing promotions. They started by entering OI promotions and moving them over to Innatrack, its ERP system by The Barke Group, to apply to orders. Now, four years later, the entire sales and marketing group utilizes AFS TPM Retail, along with the accounting and the order entry team.

“Thanks to (AFS TPM Retail) we are becoming more proficient, our sales team is getting better at forecasting, and we continue to see a greater profit in our promotional activities,” stated Trista.

The Results

Pacific Natural Foods has used the TPM solution to:

  • Improve gross margin for retail business by 3.4 points since starting with the solution in 2007, resulting in millions of dollars in trade savings while growing sales
  • Utilize forward-looking estimates of spends and volume, improving finance team’s forecasting, cash flow management and spend liability
  • Greatly reduce the amount of time spent on order entry
  • Match up network support with promotions to reduce the loss from unauthorized trade spending
  • Recover a greater amount of charge-backs by having clear visibility into what is authorized spend and what is not
  • Better plan for the future by understanding where and what they are spending so the company can focus on removing promotions that are not profitable
  • Have greater visibility and accountability into promotional spending to ensure spending plans are being executed properly
  • Trace deductions for specific promotions and products
  • Ensure all accounts are completely up-to-date; the integration efforts with AFS TPM Retail exposed old and inaccurate information in the company’s ERP system and helped clean-up data

About Pacific Natural Foods

Located just outside Portland, Oregon, Pacific Natural Foods is a recognized leader in natural and organic foods. Pacific Natural Foods is passionate about great taste, and believes that recipes based on the delicious flavors found in nature taste better than anything else. The company utilizes pure, simple, and all natural or organic ingredients that come only from a guaranteed source through its Certified to the Source program, ensuring the quality, safety and delicious taste of every recipe Pacific Natural Foods makes.