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Trade Promotion Management in CRM 2007 – What is your working context?

 

Working as a product manager, thinking about competition and doing analysis of the same in your domain (CRM for consumer products industry, especially Trade Promotion Management in my case) you will discover (not surprisingly) that there are some other software vendors in your field – some small specialized ones, some big ones. However main competition is neither specialized players nor ‘vendor’s tray’ organizations, main competition is home-grown applications and Microsoft Excel®.

Gartner’s Dale Hagemeyer presented on TPMA Conference in San Francisco that Microsoft Excel® still has more market share than any single vendor, despite its lack of industry functionality…

What does this mean for software vendors? Well, this means mainly two things: there is a market to replace legacy systems (and competition) and your software product competes against the usability of home-grown applications and Microsoft Excel® – very often coming together. The latter one is the topic I will focus on in this blog.

Trade Promotion Management is not a simple business or scenario or process (however you see it), but we compete against highly specialized home-grown apps and excel usability. We have been listening to our customers and users. With CRM 2007 we are delivering a solution that meets our user’s needs and eliminates CRM tradeoffs as high user adoption and user productivity is one of our key priorities.

To pick one example, looking at the latest version of our software the working context concept has been introduced to the trade promotion management scenario including Trade Promotion Management, Trade Funds Management and Trade Claims Management.

A generic definition: context is the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event. Following this definition the working context is defined by a set of attributes that surround the work events of the user (role). Each user can define multiple working contexts to support the situations he/she faces in his/her work.

Basic principle of the working context is that it will be used to filter all searches, advanced searches and the marketing calendar with data defined for the working context attributes. Also during creation of new objects and copying of existing objects, the working context attributes will be defaulted wherever applicable and useful. As a result the working context is designed to avoid multiple data entries, streamlines and speeds-up the creation processes and search processes a user is frequently executing in his day-to-day work.

Besides the working context we provide a huge list of features and concepts to increase usability and pass competition:

  • Working context
  • Calendar with integrated key performance indicators
  • Mass change, mass copy
  • Editable list concept
  • New web 2.0 user interface, drag & drop functionality, personalization
  • Defaulting of trade spends
  • Filtering of Planning Profiles
  • Enterprise search
  • Saved Searches
  • Quick Create links
  • Back and Forward breadcrumb navigation
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Excel® like table filter – there it is again …

 

Probably I forgot some new features and concepts, but this list should already provide good insights that we have a clear goal – win the user! And there is more to come …

All these features work together as you can see in the following demo where I combined the working context and the quick create feature, and as you combine them they are even more powerful – so find the optimal mix for your business role:

If you have read that far … now there is the opportunity to contribute and influence future development.

  • What’s your working context? What kind of support would you like to have from a working context?
  • Which task could we support better by applying a working context?
  • Which attributes would be beneficial for your job in addition to the existing ones?

 

I would really appreciate to get feedback from all of you!

 

If you are interested in other blogs I wrote so far you can click here.

  

Using SAP Service Marketplace Quick Link /RKT-CRM or http://www.sap.com/solutions/business-suite/crm/CRM_2007_features.epx you can get more solution-related information.

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3 Comments

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  1. Christopher Lafaire
    Hi,

    I am a Consumer Business consultant and have implemented multiple TPM systems including SAP TPM. I know that SAP has invested heavily in the new CRM 2007 version, but there is always room for improvement. Is context management just a ‘pre-defined’ set of criteria to help the user (such as when doing searches or as your example when creating a trade promotion), or does it help restrict data.
    By ‘restict data’ I mean if a sales person in charge of retailer ‘A’ performs a search for all trade promotions does context management prevent the sales person from viewing Retailer ‘B’ trade promotions?

    This is a standard functioanlity in other vendors solutions and I know that some CB companies that have implemented SAP TPM have used custom development in CRM 5.0 to overcome this limitation.

    If context management doesn’t restrict data; Is data restriction in the development pipeline?

    Also I your previous blog (# 1), you mentioned Claims validation, its my udnerstanding that the validation that is performed in CRM 2007 is by having the user view a BI report, and there is no automated way that the system can validate if the customer has bought products in a specific period or at what price the customer bought the products, the user has to perform this validation, is this an accurate representation of the claims validation functionality?

    Thanks for sharing with us info. on your blog,

    Chris Lafaire

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    1. Timo Wagenblatt Post author
      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Working context is not a security or data access concept. It helps preset data and improves users efficiency, but doesn’t restrict the data that can be selected.

      To your question, there are standard concpets to exactly meet the requirements you outlined in your examples above. There is the access control engine (ACE) and there is territory management. Both applications are able to restrict data.

      Re blog #1, it is right that the user is required to approve a trade claim with CRM 2007. This is a standard requirement to improve visibility and accountability of spending. There are multiple ways how the validation can happen, using a sophisticated validation sheet in order to have a very detailled validation process (one part of that is a validation layout (similar to a planning layout) that can be modelled to the specific needs, holding actuals etc.) another process is the validation based on reserved (committed) or accrued amounts.

      Having that said, we also see the use case of automated claim validation in certain scenarios and we will support this OOTB in future version of CRM. As you said, there is always room for improvement.

      Best regards,
      Timo

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  2. pavan kumar
    Hi Timo,

    As pointedout by you that User had to Approve a Trade Promotion in CRM 2007 but we have a Trade Funds concept So if we use this there is no need of Approval of Trade Promotions.Initially we will allocate a fund and each time at the time of creation or saving a Trade Promotion System has to validate it by checking the availability of Funds.

    Regards
    Pavan.

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