One Blog |November 2, 2015 | POS Tracking Software
A Recent Customer Conversation About POS Marketing Management
If this is your first time on our site, or first time checking out our blog, let me give you a very brief introduction to OnTrak Software.
About OnTrak Software
We are a point-of-sale (POS) marketing technology company that helps our customers — primarily beverage alcohol distributors — Track, Measure and Manage their investments in POS marketing materials using our suite of cloud-based Digital Tools. We call it POS Tracking Software.
For nearly ten years, our customers have been telling us that POS costs and speed to market are out of control — one’s too high and one’s too slow. One of the reasons for these twin negatives are the traditional paper forms for ordering, producing and delivering POS promotional materials just can’t keep up with the POS demands from suppliers and retailers.
While suppliers often have generous recovery programs designed to offset the distributor’s investment in graphics personnel and equipment, actually getting those marketing recovery programs to provide benefits to the distributor can require extensive reporting regarding the types and effectiveness of the POS initiatives.
OnTrak Customer Example
OnTrak’s suite of Digital Tools addresses all of these issues — but you probably figured we’d say that. Let’s continue by discussing one of our real live customers, a “middle-plus” market distributor of beer, wine and spirits wholesaler covering several states and representing dozens of suppliers.
What Did Your POS Cost?
I recently asked our customer how much they spent on the POS orders they processed in September of this year. The answer was, “I don’t know off the top of my head, but I can get it for you in a couple of minutes.” Literally, a few minutes after I hung up the phone, I received an email from my customer, one of the larger medium-sized beer, wine and spirits distributors in the US, with the number $41,995.40. In the case of our customer, the dollar figure they noted was their cost for the production of a very specific type of POS marketing — menus: Mostly wine menus.
Typically we see “beer dominant” distributors spending on POS increase during the late spring and summer months and “wine dominant” distributors spending on POS spike during the last 3 or 4 months of the year — more or less tracking with the busy seasons for beer vs. wine and spirits sales. This customer is clearly wine dominant and uses our MenuTrak product to automate beverage menu creation and supplier bill-back recovery.
How Much Did You Recover From Your Suppliers?
Well, I couldn’t just let that nearly $42,000 cost figure stand without knowing how much of the expense they recorded would be eligible to be recovered from their various suppliers marketing allowance programs.
So, I asked our customer to tell me the amount recovered.
This time, the answer was given while I waited on the line: $41,972.87.
Nearly 100% of the cost?
I was on the phone, in total, about 5 minutes. I did ask how long this report would have taken without the business analysis report writer than comes with MenuTrak. The response was: “Days. We wouldn’t have been able to run the report for a week or two after we closed the previous month; also there are virtually never any questions about the reports or the amounts detailed, everything is laid out by supplier, customer, product promoted and associated costs via the POS. Every detail a supplier requires is on the report.”
So, we have an over $100M beer, wine and spirits wholesale distributor who is able to account for what is advertised at the point-of-sale, when, how much the POS cost to produce, and how much of that cost is offset by the suppliers. The production of the report took less than 5 minutes.
The Bottom-Line Benefits Of OnTrak
This distributor uses the OnTrak products to place POS orders, track the flow of work through production and delivery, measure, record and report costs both to “internal customers” and externally to suppliers, ultimately allowing the distributor to manage the expenses of perhaps their second largest expense item, after payroll or fuel — POS promotions.
On top of these features, our customer is enjoying the benefits of improved POS accuracy — that is, there are fewer errors and reworks — getting their POS to market more quickly, and spending hours generating and filing recovery reports with suppliers, rather than days or weeks.
One additional and very much appreciated (but not planned for) benefit is the improved cash flow, with respect to recovery dollar settlements, due to the OnTrak recovery reports being able to be generated quickly, completely and accurately with all of the data required to generate quick settlements of recovery dollars due from suppliers.
OnTrak now offers 3 other Digital Tools for today’s beverage distributors in addition to MenuTrak: SignTrak (for custom temporary signs), PermaTrak (for permanent POS), and SampleTrak (for beverage sampling.
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