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30 May CUSTOMER PRESENTATION: pladis UK present at POI Budapest

On May 16th 2018, Tom Driver, Head of Commercial Transformation at pladis UK, presented: “Delivering Profitable Growth with Customers – Supporting Sales to Create Winning Plans” in front of over 100 consumer goods professionals at the Promotion Optimization Institute (POI) Conference in Budapest. The presentation discussed pladis’ revenue management journey with Exceedra and covered: the technologies implemented, change management, stake holder management and integration of trade planning between departments.

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Tom Driver presenting at POI Budapest

About pladis
pladis are a global leader in biscuits and confectionery, operating factories in 13 countries that make hundreds of delicious products. pladis brands are amongst the best loved and most recognizable in the world: Ulker, the leading biscuits and confectionery brand in Turkey and the Middle East, McVitie’s, a leading biscuit brand in the UK and Europe, and Godiva, a leading international premium chocolate brand. 

Why change?
pladis were spending around £240m of trade investment across 5,300 individual promotional activities. They were using a 20-year-old system designed on 1980s technology to plan these activities and manage the associated spend. This system was increasingly no longer fit for purpose. Despite a huge amount of effort, promotional forecast accuracy measured from this system was just 55% which drove a negative contribution swings between what they planned their promotions would deliver and what actually happened.
pladis had a team of over 100 highly skill and trained sales people yet on average each member of the team only spent 15% of their time on customer facing activities. This meant an eye watering 90 days per week was spent by the sales team reconciling numbers from multiple systems, completing manual tasks that should be automated and generally compensating for the tools that were in place to ‘help them’ to do their jobs.

Implementing Exceedra
The business had committed a significant investment in a market leading promotional management system, Exceedra, which would benchmark pladis against the best in their industry. The implementation of this was no small task and pladis had a full-time project team working tirelessly on this for over 18 months. The effort however, has been worth it as they are now beginning to track payback for the project investment and they predict this will take little over a year.

In his presentation, Tom offered 3 key learnings he realized from the early stages of the project:
Learn from others; research good & bad examples of TPM implementations and build learnings into the product plan. Do not take shortcuts
Data; pay attention to the data as this is not just something for the technical team
Customizations; do not ‘over-customize,’ take the advice of the software vendor

Early successes
pladis have already seen some early successes against their original business case. The sales team are now spending much less time forecasting and accrual errors have dropped significantly; getting it to zero is a now real possibility.

Advice to others
Tom offered some actionable advice in his presentation, for those who are undertaking a trade improvement project:
Retain & Use Experts: use the experts in the early stages of go-live, not just the IT help desk, and ensure you have user manuals and training in place from day 1.
Get Stable: pladis have had several stability issues over the last 4 months and for every 10 of them, 9 have been their own fault. “You have to give yourself a period of time to get stable. The length of this time is directly proportional to the number and complexity of the customisations you’ve put into the system.”
Build Trust: Prove the numbers coming out are robust, prove the calculations & prove the system.

Where are pladis now?
pladis UK are starting to see the benefits of implementing an intuitive Trade Promotion Management system. They have demonstrated this to the CEO of pladis global and are now looking at how this can help this business across multiple, global locations.

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