Annual planning doesn’t have to start from scratch

The annual planning process is a ritual most CPG companies embark on each year. The process consists of evaluating current year progress and making projections for the coming year in terms of expected sales and level of investment with their retailer partners.  Some companies take a “top down” approach, others take a “bottom up” approach and many are doing a combination of both.

Planning can be a time-consuming process because of how these projections are kept.  You see, many CPG companies “start from scratch” and create elaborate, formula filled spreadsheets that are incredibly detailed, but very manual to update and keep current.

The process looks like this:

Planning usually starts at the top with senior level executives creating an overall growth target and “pushing” that target down.  Marketing and Finance may also get involved in the process by driving growth targets for each of their brands, and potentially down to the SKU and account level.

Building something down to the item level by customer in a spreadsheet can quickly become overwhelming to maintain and keep accurate. Because of the “manual” nature of keeping things in a spreadsheet, human error usually causes some confusion and planning delays. After all, it’s natural for business managers, finance, marketing, and sales executives to ask multiple questions about entries and formulas used for specific items and / or customers.

Wouldn’t it be great to simplify this process and make it much faster and much more efficient?  That’s where CPGToolBox comes in.  Our annual planning Target Management functionality allows senior executives to create an overall growth target by business unit.  With a push of a button, “top down” items and customer level targets are created instantly based on previous year’s contribution to the overall sales.  No more “starting from scratch” as historical data is pulled from the system and used in automatically creating targets for the coming year.

Business / Account managers can then “tweak” their customer’s plans based on their own “bottom up” planning to ensure they reach their overall growth goals for the coming year.  The annual planning Target Management functionality provides real time visibility to all functions at once, so everyone is looking at the same information at the same time. By significantly reducing the “back and forth” questions between Business / Account Managers and senior executives, the process becomes much more efficient.

Furthermore, Account Managers save time by automatically creating an overall sales plan target for each of their customers. This provides them with immediate visibility to those targets as they build their annual promotion plan.

Let CPGToolBox take the time and stress out of managing the annual planning process and provide you with more time to develop innovative ways to grow your business.