An UpClear client since 2017, Nature’s Bakery upgraded to the latest version of the SaaS platform –BluePlanner 5– to take advantage of new features, data integration, advanced analytics, and enhanced indirect sales planning functionality. Nature’s Bakery makes plant-based, nut-free, and dairy-free snacks. One of the fastest-growing brands in their category, Nature’s Bakery was acquired by Mars Inc., the family-owned global snacking and food business, in 2019.
The acquisition by Mars Inc. marked a new chapter for Nature’s Bakery. As part of this new phase, Nature’s Bakery engaged UpClear as they reviewed their adoption of Trade Promotion Management (TPM). While there was extensive use of BluePlanner’s promotion planning capabilities, the Nature’s Bakery team knew there were other elements of the solution that hadn’t been elected when they first started using the system, and there were several pain points in their business process they sought to overcome.
As the dialogue continued, there were several challenges to address in the project. First, their acquisition introduced new business rules and processes that were required by their new parent company, replacing pre-existing internal operations. And the healthy snack company had limited IT resources due to parallel projects. Both added to the complexity of executing the project.
Coinciding with Nature’s Bakery’s strategy shift to a deeper use of Trade Promotion Management was UpClear’s rollout BluePlanner 5, the latest version of the sales planning and trade spend management solution for Consumer Goods brands.
The UpClear and Nature’s Bakery teams worked diligently to make the upgrade process as seamless as possible. Now complete, the Nature’s Bakery team is now using new and improved planning interfaces and functionality, including an updated distributor/indirect retailer planning model. Additionally, they have extended use of the system to include the Payments module to manage deductions. And just as important as functionality are upgrades made to data management. Prior to the project, the Nature’s Bakery team was only leveraging BluePlanner’s platform upload tool; there was no automated integration in place. The addition of UpClear Data Services has made the exchange of data between their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and BluePlanner automatic.
The upgrade process delivered significant benefits to Nature’s Bakery. Data Services now automatically loads transactional data, like shipment and deductions. The use of the Payments module adds structure to the business process and creates a level of detail they didn’t have when just categorizing deductions amongst their general ledger accounts.
All of this gives the snack brand faster access to deeper and more actionable data and a holistic understanding of business performance.
Says Sossi Badalian, Nature’s Bakery Commercial Finance Director:
“For the whole year, I’ve been doing trade reporting out of ERP piecing things together. It’s been a really difficult task to do. I am really excited for this relaunch of BluePlanner to get everything in BluePlanner and get sales and trade reporting out of it in one shot.”
Nature’s Bakery has experienced immense growth over the years of its partnership with UpClear. Within that time, Nature’s Bakery has increased its capabilities to withstand the challenges that come from additional growth. Less manual data maintenance enables greater efficiency. Now, fully armored with the latest BluePlanner technology, Nature’s Bakery can experience full visibility into trade spending, promotions, and customer performance.
UpClear makes software used by Consumer Goods brands to improve the management of sales & trade spending. Its BluePlanner platform is an integrated solution supporting Trade Promotion Management, Trade Promotion Optimization, Integrated Business Planning, and Revenue Growth Management.