The vendor offering TPx must enable six key customer-planning functions, with a complete solution that meets market requirements for each function: * Strategic and account planning. * Promotion planning and budgeting. * Calculation of financials and other KPIs for both manufacturer and retailer. * Promotion execution and monitoring. * Settlement. * Post event analysis. This analysis does not cover vendors that specialize in enabling any one of the above, but as a more complete approach to managing trade promotions.
Analytical capabilities involve: * Graphics – Integration of graphical representations and the ability to obtain additional information through hovers or drilldowns. * Dashboards/ KPIs – User-configurable lenses that enable the monitoring of multiple dimensions of the business and provide access to insights. * Alerts – The ability to specify conditions that will result in a notification through the TPx system, email, or text message. * Reporting – Predefined reports or embedded report writers. * Query – Embedded technologies such as online analytical processing (OLAP) to enable data analysis; ability to export to Microsoft Excel, manipulate the data, and bring the results back into the application. * Artificial Intelligence – This is an advanced set of capabilities that can learn, predict, and surprise you with answers to questions you haven’t thought to ask or insights you haven’t asked for. Where business intelligence allows you to drill into questions based on some hypothesis or anomaly, AI does not require the “ask.” These capabilities are far from mainstream, but are beginning to enter the trade promotion cycle, so it is time that we call them out. Such analytics provide insights about the aspect(s) of the promotional cycle and we only rate them as to their ability to provide these insights into areas outlined under TPM and TPO Functionality above. Ergo, there are many powerful analytical tools on the market, but we only look at those that are embedded in TPx and shed light on its processes.