The CPGToolBox Trade Spend management solution built on the Salesforce platform is a powerful one-two punch for emerging and developing markets. In this Q&A, Ricardo Cuellar, Director of Revenue Management Capabilities at PepsiCo LATAM, outlines his CPGToolBox + Salesforce partnership experience.
Q: Tell us about the challenge you faced in 2018?
RC: When I took on this role in 2018, we were one of the last sectors at PepsiCo to formulize an ROI capabilities team at the sector level. So, we were a little late to the party. We also had a really challenging data and analytical infrastructure, which is common in emerging and developing markets. The fundamental question was ‘how do we leapfrog from basic to world-class’ in a relatively short period of time.
Q: What was the vision for digitally transforming? Tell me about the process.
RC: We wanted to digitize and turn what was our lack of systems into a strength. We knew the tools were out there. It was a matter of picking the right partners, picking the right tools, and making a bold decision to jump into the future. It was all about bringing together the right tools and processes for us to reach the level we wanted to be at.
Q: From a toolset perspective, Trade Promotion Management was the specific area of improvement you were looking at, correct?
RC: Correct. That was one of the key areas we wanted to push forward. We were also doing work in terms of our overall analytics platform for revenue management, but TPM/TPO was a very specific area that we wanted to focus on and advance.
Q: So, tell us about the decision-making process. How did you decide that CPGToolBox built on the Salesforce platform was a fit?
RC: The specific needs we had for LATAM were this: a cost-effective tool, a tool that was flexible and easy to use, a tool we felt our Key Account Managers would embrace without hesitation, and a tool we could implement fast and effectively. We did a big Go-To-Market project with Salesforce, and as part of that project we created the right integration layers. Being able to deploy CPGToolBox and avoid the point-to-point integration that is painful and expensive was very appealing to us.
Q: You got to piggyback on the existing GTM integrations that already took place in LATAM so concerns around master data were handled. Is that accurate?
RC: Correct, that is very accurate.
Q: Tell us about your go-live experience.
RC: We went live in May 2020. We did our training for Key Account Managers in June and then proceeded to load our July and August promotions. We are now expanding into four more accounts within the market and are starting to do post-promotion evaluations. It’s early days for us, but we’re super excited to further add accounts and leverage the capabilities CPGToolBox and its TPO component is bringing to us. We wanted to start with a couple accounts and iron out any potential issues you always face with an IT related project.
Q: How has the experience been so far? Any gotcha moments?
RC: No, we’re very happy. The most important thing for us was the Key Account Managers. Whenever you bring in new processes or a new tool there can be some resistance. But, CPGToolBox is very easy to use and that was something that attracted us at the very beginning. And now that we’ve gone through the training and started managing the budget, the benefits and attributes of CPGToolBox are coming alive. We’re getting no push back or resistance from the local market to embrace the platform and its capabilities.
Q: What’s next for your digital transformation journey?
RC: For us, it’s about expanding these capabilities to other markets. Now that we’ve proven the concept in one market, how do we expand? How do we continue to leverage the TPO component CPGToolBox brings us such as baselines, uplifts, coefficients and forecast estimations? We are looking to bring in machine learning and AI types of analytics and insights to further optimize our investment.