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Software Products

Trade Promotion Management and Trade Promotion Optimisation

    Trade Promotion Optimisation is the second-largest item on the P&L behind cost of goods. Trade spending has tripled in the past two decades, globally, and some experts predict it will soon reach 40% of annual sales and, for many companies, will exceed the cost of goods sold.

    Trade promotion is a high priority for Australian CPG and FMCG companies, with 25% of marketing spend allocated for trade promotion, while retailers run a hybrid EDLP (Everyday Low Price) & Promotional approach. In this complex landscape few companies understand what they get in return for their promotional spend and how to optimise their processes. Many businesses suffer from ineffective trade management with promotional campaigns turning into wasted efforts, failing to provide the desired ROI. 

    Adding to the complexity is the widespread use of home-grown spreadsheets and manual manipulation of data, making it difficult if not impossible to optimise promotional plans in a way that maximises Category growth and Product Penetration.

    So, it is understandable that we see the common practice of taking last year's plan and tweaking it, without identifying ways to improve or optimise, and at times trying to force them to solve new problems.

    To address this situation, we see many companies looking for software solutions to digitalise their workflows and optimise their promotions. There are two main components to that process, and (despite many vendor’s claims) they are not the same, and are rarely executed by the same Software:

    1. Trade Promotion Management (TPM) systems
    2. Trade Promotion Optimization (TPO) systems

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    Trade Promotion Management (TPM) systems

    For companies wanting to replace the home-grown spreadsheets and automate the labour-intensive processes for data loading and handling, customer planning and budgeting, TPM is usually the starting point.

    TPM systems are used by a broad range of users (e.g. Merchandisers, Category teams, Trade Marketing, Strategy and customer finance) for the transactional workflows associated with planning, managing (funding, budgeting and reconciling promotions) and monitoring promotional activities in a more streamlined manner. 

    Being transactional at its core and including basic analytics, the key intent is not to completely address the challenge of missed returns and wasted efforts on bad promotions, although TPM does play a role in the workflow from the perspective of collating, reconciling and visualising the past performance results. 

    Trade Promotion Optimisation (TPO) systems

    Trade promotion has a potential to increase sales but only with data-driven strategies in place. An IDG survey showed some large global manufacturers making a move beyond the basic trade promotion management tools towards achieving trade promotion optimisation (TPO), defined as the ability to run ‘what if’ simulations when planning promotional campaigns. This, the report said, was “now one of the strongest desires among larger companies”.

    Trade promotion optimisation (TPO) are sophisticated systems capable of advanced analytics (e.g. advanced price elasticity and cannibalisation modelling capabilities) to enable users to automate the exploration of a large number of what-if scenarios, running optimisation algorithms across a promotional program, whilst considering various constraints and objectives (e.g. trading terms constraints, market share objectives, promotional guardrails, supplier constraints, category growth objectives, etc)

      Trade Promotion Management Trade Promotion Optimisation
    Tactical management of trade promotions


    Not applicable
    Strategic management of trade investments Not applicable Yes
    Predictive analytics with what-if scenarios Not applicable Yes
    Transaction management (settling claims, clearing deductions etc) Yes Not applicable

    Post-event analysis

    Yes Yes


    A successful TPO can deliver a range of benefits including:

    • Reduced time and labour required for creating new promotional plans
    • Improved returns from optimised promotional plans
    • Increased market share
    • Stronger manufacturer-retailer relationship

    TPO solutions extract data (both transactional data as well as Promotional Slotting Boards) from the TPM system to perform its workflow and then ingest back into TPM optimised promotion plans delivering the right mix of promotions that drive category growth and sustainable share. It is important to note that this is a process ridden with Science and complexity, and no two deployments are the same. The algorithmic techniques therefore need to be trained in each client’s data and the various constraints/objectives used by the Optimiser (e.g. trading terms constraints, market share objectives, etc.) need to be configured to each Client’s needs.

    Complexica's Promotional Campaign Manager (PCM) application combines some of the essential features of both TPM and TPO. PCM, with its predictive and optimisation capabilities, provides practical decision support and both tactical and strategic management of trade spend. 

    To explore how our software can improve your promotional planning process and optimise your trade spend, please contact us

    Learn why Lion Drinks selected Complexica's Promotional Campaign Manager for AI-driven Trade Promotion Optimisation

    Discover why Metcash selected Complexica's Promotional Campaign Manager (PCM) to manage and optimise promotional planning for its 2,700 retail stores

    Read how Liquor Marketing Group is increasing the promotional effectiveness and financial outcomes achieved by 1,400 retail stores


    To schedule a demo or learn more about our software productsplease contact us:

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    "Larry will be our digital expert that will enable our sales team and add that technological advantage that our competitors don't have."

    Kerry Smith
    CEO, PFD Foods
    $1.6 billion in revenue
    PFD Food Services uses Complexica's Order Management System

    "Lion is one of Australasia’s largest food and beverage companies, supplying various alcohol products to wholesalers and retailers, and running multiple and frequent trade promotions throughout the year. The creation of promotional plans is a complicated task that requires considerable expertise and effort, and is an area where improved decision-making has the potential to positively impact the sales growth of various Lion products and product categories. Given Complexica’s world-class prediction and optimisation capabilities, award-winning software applications, and significant customer base in the food and alcohol industry, we have selected Complexica as our vendor of choice for trade promotion optimisation."

    Mark Powell
    National Sales Director, Lion

    "Our products are distributed across a broad set of outlets operating under different business models, ranging from ‘big-box retailers’ to small convenience stores. This affects our ability to influence range, share-of-shelf, and stock holdings at the store level, and also adds complexity to our retail execution and field sales model. We have partnered with Complexica to help us automatically predict the ‘next best stores’ to visit at any given time, provide each rep with the 'next best conversations' for each store, and dynamically optimise individual call plans."

    Mark Fenton
    CEO, SodaStream

    "Following a successful proof-of-concept earlier this year, we have selected Complexica as our vendor of choice for standardizing and optimising our promotional planning activities. Complexica’s Promotional Campaign Manager will provide us with a cloud-based platform for automating and optimising promotional planning for more than 2,700 stores, leading to improved decision-making, promotional effectiveness, and financial outcomes for our retail stores."

    Rod Pritchard
    Interim CEO, Australian Liquor Marketers
    $3.4 billion in revenue
     Australian Liquor Marketers choose Complexica’s Promotional Campaign Manager

    "After evaluating a number of software applications and vendors available on the market, we have decided to partner with Complexica for sales force optimisation and automation. We have found Complexica’s applications to be best suited for our extensive SKU range and large set of customers, being capable of generating recommendations and insights without burdening our sales staff with endless data analysis and interpretation. 

    Aemel Nordin
    Managing Director, Polyaire
    Polyaire chooses Complexica for sales force optimisation and automation

    "DuluxGroup is pleased to expand its relationship with Complexica, a valued strategic partner and supplier to our business. Complexica’s software will enable DuluxGroup to reduce the amount of time required to generate usable insights, increase our campaign automation capability, personalise our communications based on core metrics, and close the loop on sales results to optimise ongoing digital marketing activity."

    James Jones
    Group Head of CRM, DuluxGroup

    "Instead of hiring hundreds of data scientists to churn through endless sets of data to provide PFD with customer-specific insights and personalised recommendations, Larry, the Digital Analyst® will serve up the answers we need, when we need them, on a fully automated basis without the time and manual processes typically associated with complex analytical tasks.”

    Richard Cohen
    CIO, PFD Foods
    $1.6 billion in revenue

    "As a global innovator in the wine industry, Pernod Ricard Winemakers is always seeking ways to gain efficiencies and best practices across our operational sites. Given the rise of Artificial Intelligence and big data analytics in recent times, we have engaged Complexica to explore how we can achieve a best-in-class wine supply chain using their cloud-based software applications. The engagement is focused on Australia & New Zealand, with a view to expand globally."

    Brett McKinnon
    Global Operations Director, Pernod Ricard Winemakers

    "70% - 80% of what we do is about promotional activity, promotional pricing -- essentially what we take to the marketplace. This is one of the most comprehensive, most complex, one of the most difficult aspect of our business to get right. With Complexica, we will be best in class - there will not be anybody in the market that can perform this task more effectively or more efficiently than we can."

    Doug Misener
    CEO, Liquor Marketing Group
    1,400+ retail stores
    Liquor Marketing Group LMG uses Complexica's Promotional Campaign Manager

    "The key thing that makes such a difference in working with Complexica is their focus on delivering the business benefits and outcomes of the project."

    Doug Misener
    CEO, Liquor Marketing Group
    1,400+ retail stores
    Liquor Marketing Group LMG uses Complexica's Promotional Campaign Manager

    "Australia needs smart technology and people, and it has been a great experience for me to observe Complexica co-founders Zbigniew and Matt Michalewicz assemble great teams of people using their mathematical, logic, programming, and business skills to create world-beating products. They are leaders in taking our bright graduates and forging them into the businesses of the future."

    Lewis Owens
    Chairman of the Board, SA Water

    "Having known the team behind Complexica for some years ago now, I am struck by their ability to make the complex simple - to use data and all its possibilities for useful purpose. They bring real intelligence to AI and have an commercial approach to its application."

    Andrew McEvoy
    Managing Director, Fairfax Media - Digital

    "I have worked with the team at Complexica for a number of years and have found them professional, innovative and have appreciated their partnership approach to delivering solutions to complex problems."

    Kelvin McGrath
    CIO, Asciano

    “Working with Complexica to deliver Project Automate has been a true partnership from the initial stages of analysis of LMG’s existing processes and data handling, through scoping and development phase and onto delivery and process change adoption. The Complexica team have delivered considerable value at each stage and will continue to be a valued partner to LMG."

    Gavin Saunders
    CFO, Liquor Marketing Group
    Liquor Marketing Group LMG uses Complexica's Promotional Campaign Manager

    “Complexica’s Order Management System and Larry, the Digital Analyst will provide more than 300 Bunzl account managers with real-time analytics and insights, to empower decision making and enhanced support. This will create more time for our teams to enable them to see more customers each day and provide the Bunzl personalised experience.”

    Kim Hetherington
    CEO, Bunzl Australasia
    Bunzl Australia uses Complexica's Order Management System

    "The team behind Complexica develops software products that are at the cutting edge of science and technology, always focused on the opportunities to deliver a decisive competitive edge to business. It has always been a great experience collaborating with Matthew, Zbigniew and Co."

    Mike Lomman
    GM Demand Chain, Roy Hill Iron Ore

    "The innovations that the Complexica team are capable of continue to amaze me. They look at problems from the client side and use a unique approach to collaborating with and deeply understanding their customers challenges. This uniquely differentiates what they bring to market and how they deliver value to customers."

    John Ansley
    CIO, Toll Group

    "Rather than building out an internal analytics team to investigate and analyse countless data sets, we have partnered with Complexica to provide our sales reps with the answers they need, when they need them, on a fully automated basis. We are excited about the benefits that Larry, the Digital Analyst will deliver to our business.”

    Peter Caughey
    CEO, Coventry Group

    “Complexica’s Order Management System and Larry, the Digital Analyst will provide more than 300 Bunzl account managers with real-time analytics and insights, to empower decision making and enhanced support. This will create more time for our teams to enable them to see more customers each day and provide the Bunzl personalised experience.”

    Kim Hetherington
    CEO, Bunzl Australasia
    Bunzl Australia uses Complexica's Order Management System

    "As the leading brand of plasterboard in Australia, CSR is always seeking ways to provide a better customer experience and solidifying the Trade Centres' reputation for providing quality, value and local expert advice. Given the rise of Artificial Intelligence and big data analytics in recent times, we have engaged Complexica to explore how we can provide the Gyprock Trade Centre team with predictive insights on sales and customers, as well as optimised recommendations that are store and customer-specific, rather than endless reporting that needs to be analysed and interpreted."

    Troy Jones
    Regional General Manager, CSR

    "After an evaluation process and successful proof-of-concept in 2016, we have chosen to partner with Complexica to upgrade the technological capability of our in-field sales force. The next-generation Customer Opportunity Profiler provided by Complexica will serve as a key tool for sales staff to optimise their daily activities, personalise conversations and interactions with customers, and analyse data to generate actionable insights."

    Stephen Mooney
    Group Sales Capability Manager, DuluxGroup
    $1.7 billion in revenue
    Dulux Group uses Complexica's Customer Opportunity Profiler

     "After evaluating a number of software systems available in the marketplace, we have ultimately selected Complexica as our vendor of choice for sales force automation and CRM. Given the large SKU range we carry and very long tail of customers we serve, Complexica’s applications are best suited to deal with this inherent complexity without burdening our staff with endless data entry."

    Nick Carr
    CEO, Haircaire Australia
    Australia's largest distributor of haircare products
    Haircare Australia to use Complexica's Customer Opportunity Profiler, CRM and Order Management System


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