Because trade spending typically grows to a dollar amount equal to 20% of gross sales, accountability for that money is important. Keeping track of commitments that are being made on your behalf, who is making them, when they are being made, and if they change are critical pieces of information needed for validation of payments & deductions, audits, and the management of people on your team.
In a disconnected process, texts, emails, and spreadsheets are all pieces of the puzzle. When put together properly, they tell the story of the promotion’s approval and history. Too often though, the puzzle is not complete. Decisions are made with incomplete information, and this creates risk. Approvals are not clearly documented, which makes accountability difficult to enforce. Because information is in different places, it takes more time than it should to make approvals, and audit them when necessary. Problems with manual approvals multiply as you acquire customers and add more people to the process.
A Trade Promotion Management (TPM) system completely encapsulates the approval process. It captures the details of what was submitted, its approval, messages between submitter and approver, when it was approved, and by whom. You can require re-approval of changes. Good platforms allow you to use business rules to automatically approve promotions that meet thresholds, and when there are exceptions, easily see the details needed to approve or deny the activity.
A huge portion of your brand’s P&L is at stake. Spreadsheet and email approvals are too risky to rely on perfect process execution. Using a cloud TPM system streamlines the process and adds control that mitigates this risk.