Manzana Products is a producer of organic apple cider vinegar, apple sauce, and apple juice in California. The company has a rich, 100-year history of producing apples out of Sonoma County, and today operates as both a private label and CPG brand business that prides itself on using clean ingredients with no additives or preservatives. Their brand, North Coast, is in major retailers across the country.
As the retail business for the North Coast brand grew, Manzana found it increasingly difficult to understand where their trade spend was going. In addition, deductions were becoming harder to track and control. David Whitbeck, the VP of Sales and Marketing, was challenged by the company’s CEO to find a solution.
David Whitbeck, VP of Sales and Marketing
“I knew the only way we were going to manage deductions is to find a software company or third party to help us,” Whitbeck said. “We interviewed probably four or five different providers, and during that process, one of the companies, in listening to our needs, actually recommended Promomash.”
Before Promomash, the team at Manzana used multiple spreadsheets to track trade spend, but still did not have a full understanding of what was being spent and where. As a result, not only were they in the dark about where they stood with their trade spend and deductions, but they were also unable to determine what an effective promotion looked like.
“Are we giving too much off? Are we promoting for too long or not long enough? These are the types of questions we were looking to answer as we entered the partnership with Promomash,” said Whitbeck. “Evaluating our promotions and knowing where our money goes, not just for promos, but all the different fees that our distributors charge, and being able to manage that, was a must,” he explained.
“Whenever we had a need or concern, the Promomash team just bent over backwards, and even went as far as making changes for us...That's what's really valuable about the partnership, the fact that they're willing to listen and work together to understand what we needed to change and why.”
The Solution & Results
In August of 2022, Manzana subscribed to the Promomash 360 plan, which included the Trade Promotion Management and Deduction Management platform and services. Since then, the insights gained into the business – as well as the savings from recovered deductions – have been significant.
In the first seven months of service, the Manzana team realized a return on investment of over 250% based on deductions recovered by Promomash.
“Promomash has really opened our eyes to not only where we're spending, but what we're spending it on and even where we’re not spending,” said Whitbeck. “Once the deduction data started to come in, we realized that our trade spend in certain distributors was unsustainable…but we now know how to attack the issue and get it to where it's reasonable and sustained.”
As a result of the new insights, Whitbeck said his team has started reaching out to customers where trade spend was higher in order to work together to find a solution and develop more sustainable partnerships. He sees Promomash as an essential part of his day-to-day operations.
“I go on Promomash almost daily,” said Whitbeck. “We manage our trade rate – the percentage of sales we reserve for trade spend – to a certain range, and that's one thing that I look at all the time.”
As for the deduction challenges Manzana was facing, the Promomash deduction management team quickly became an extension of Whitbeck’s team to review, validate, and dispute any invalid deductions on the company’s behalf.
In the first seven months of service, the team of Promomash deduction experts were able to recover deductions for Manzana amounting to over 250% of the subscription cost paid by that point. This represents a significant return on investment that continues to grow with each passing month as more invalid deductions are recovered.
In addition, the Manzana team is saving hundreds of labor hours each month that would have been used chasing or trying to organize deductions. Instead, they can now redeploy resources to more strategic, value-added activities.
What’s Next: Crisp Real-Time Data
The results Manzana has seen so far with Promomash are only the first half of the journey to smarter trade spend and promotion management.
“It's a two-pronged goal for us. First, there’s the deduction side where we understand what we're spending and manage that to a reasonable level to target the areas we're focused on,” Whitbeck explained. “The second piece is to figure out how we can determine how effective our promotions are, and how well we promoted.”
Now that the first part of the goal has been accomplished, the Manzana team is leveraging the Promomash and Crisp partnership to bring a daily feed of actual sales data from Crisp into Promomash. This will allow the team to fully realize the power of the promotion-level ROI and P&L reporting in Promomash – and be able to see plan vs actual results side by side.
“I'm really excited about being able to see what we actually did compared to what we were planning,” said Whitbeck. “I think that's going to help us become more efficient, where we might be able to spend less money and sell more during a promo. That's the whole goal – to be able to spend less, yet still get the same or better results.”
🍎 A Fruitful Partnership 🍏
Ultimately, working with Promomash has allowed Manzana to gain a better understanding of their promotional spend, saving the company a significant amount of money. Whitbeck looks back in appreciation of the flexibility and partnership approach to their specific needs.
“Whenever we had a need or concern, the Promomash team just bent over backwards, and even went as far as making changes for us,” said Whitbeck. “That's what's really valuable about the partnership, the fact that they're willing to listen and work together to understand what we needed to change and why.”
Looking ahead to the expansion of the partnership with the addition of Crisp, the results are expected to get even sweeter.