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Microsoft Industry Blogs

As the use of cloud and digital technologies grow in the retail and consumer goods industries, they are transforming how retailers, consumer goods organizations, and their customers interact. This post is part of a series of blogs that explore how Microsoft and Microsoft partners are helping retailers and brands transform their businesses.

As the retail environment becomes more complex, keeping up with pricing and promotions is a growing challenge

Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies are selling across more channels than ever before to meet customers’ expectations for their shopping experiences and keep pace with competition. Additional channels such as e-commerce inevitably lead to a more complex sales process, as retailers and CPG companies find themselves managing pricing and promotional activities across disparate systems and devices.

Disconnected spreadsheets, apps, and manual processes exacerbate the challenges of managing promotions and trade spend across multiple stores and channels. Many retailers and CPG brands are unsure of how successful their prices or campaigns are until end of month reporting comes through. The lack of consistency and visibility hurts: on average, 20 percent[1] of CPG revenue is spent on trade promotion, yet more than half of that[2] promotion spend results in a loss.

In addition to cutting the costs associated with promotions, retailers and CPG companies must adjust prices faster than ever to keep up with an ever-changing global market. As an example, online retail giant Amazon changes its prices more than 2.5 million times a day, balancing between maximizing revenue and preserving margins.[3]

Existing pricing and promotion tools weren’t designed for today’s fast-paced environment. Traditional, multi-channel software for managing pricing and promotions often contributes to slow information flow, is too cumbersome to allow swift reactions to price changes, and requires manual processes for updating and managing pricing. Companies must ensure gross margin is higher than product costs for successful promotions—reducing associated operational costs is key to that endeavor.

Retailers and CPG brands need a new approach to drive real-time pricing and offers and maximize opportunities. Managing prices more closely makes a major difference. In many cases, even a simple one percent increase in effective net price can move operating profit upwards of 10 percent.[4]

Introducing Pricing and Promotion Execution from Flintfox

The Flintfox Pricing and Promotion Execution solution, built on Microsoft Cloud technology, provides the real-time pricing visibility and control retailers and CPG companies need. The solution uses a cloud-based pricing engine to calculate thousands of pricing requests per second, streamlining processes, improving pricing speed and calculation accuracy. This empowers companies to quickly and easily maintain pricing rules and trade agreements, while maximizing earnings and minimizing the amount of money left on the table.

The solution integrates seamlessly with existing systems and consolidates disparate sources of pricing into one—providing companies one source of the pricing truth for all their omni-channel trading needs. This approach maximizes efficiency and provides unrestrained pricing flexibility on any product or customer attribute, enabling companies to keep up with ever-changing customer demand and match competitor pricing without compromising accuracy. The solution also provides real-time performance and transactional insights that give teams a deeper understanding of trade profitability. With these powerful insights, retailers and CPGs are empowered to take corrective actions more quickly to keep up with competition and improve revenue growth.

Learn more

Flintfox is a leading Microsoft ISV that develops pricing and trade promotion execution solutions for manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and retail businesses on the Microsoft Cloud. Try the Pricing and Promotion Execution solution on Microsoft AppSource today.

Flintfox’s solution is part of Microsoft’s cloud solution portfolio for the retail and consumer goods industries, which also includes AFS Retail Execution, AFS POP Retail Execution, Plexure Retail Personalization, Neal Analytics Inventory Optimization and Dynamics 365.