AFS Technologies: Promising Software Brilliance

Joe Bellini, CEO What makes AFS Technologies leverage the best-suited approach for the solution and the customer’s needs in the CPG space? “It’s our mission to streamline the organizational processes taking place inside CPG industries throughout the world,” says James Caudill, Vice President, AFS Technologies. The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry today is powered by software that aligns every aspect of CPG operations to the needs of the consumers. Enterprises can surpass the expectations of the savviest shoppers by anticipating, planning, and managing demand for consumer goods. However, there still lies a loophole to the software expertise leveraged by retail units. “We’ve heard from our customers the need to move beyond our current functionality and thus based on predictive analytics we are fully optimizing their trade promotions,” ponders Joe Bellini, CEO, AFS Technologies.

Handling its prime operations from its Phoenix, Arizona base, AFS Technologies stretches its software proficiency to the CPG industry and other retail units. The organization tends to the impediments surrounding the CPG domain; furnishing customers with innovative solutions that automate the processes, enhance productivity, and give rapid time to value; besides evidently optimizing clients’ potential. With an experience of over 30 years under the management’s belt, the firm has addressed the needs of more than 1,300 different clients, scattered across 50 countries, by delivering proven technology that has helped to increase visibility into retail execution, supply chain, and the trade promotion management.

AFS Technologies’ global presence is noteworthy, as they strive on their mission to streamline the organizational processes taking place inside CPG industries throughout the world. Moreover, the solutions offered by the company are not just adaptable and responsive, but also take innovation significantly into consideration. The organization has shown its brilliance in innovation by integrating deep analytics capabilities that provide businesses with a competitive edge. AFS Technologies presents a host of solutions, which include Trade Promotion Management (TPM) for both retail and foodservice industries; besides reflecting competence for retail execution, enterprise resource planning (ERP), order management, and data visualization.

The firm with its proactive, purpose-built offerings, and easy-to-use applications, directed towards streamlining the retail operations, has assisted the CPG industry. With AFS Retail Execution, businesses can easily manage their in-store tasks, while the management analyzes, executes, and optimizes various sales strategies focused on shelf and category share. “Our solution offers an industry-specific set of features that empower field sales and merchandising teams to address the costly disconnect between store/shelf strategy and actual execution at retail,” comments Caudill.

To address the emerging consternations surrounding the food and beverage industry, AFS Technologies deploys their highly scalable ERP solution. The product helps businesses of all sizes to handle complex sales performance deals, besides assisting in extensive bill back management. The design team at AFS Technologies comprehends the significance of order management for systemizing the entire sales organization, and the AFS Order Management System (OMS) has been custom-built to specifically address this need. The software helps enterprises by centralizing their processes and critical information, to proliferate sales. The company additionally invests in furnishing order management tools for both retail and foodservice sales agencies.

We’ve heard from our customers the need to move beyond our current functionality based on predictive analytics and move toward more fully optimizing their trade promotions

Through the Sales Agency Management software, the organization delivers a comprehensive solution for small, mid-sized, and national retail and foodservice sales agency organizations, promising success in the rapidly transforming sales agency environment. Another remarkable offering from AFS adding value for CPG industries would include their Warehouse Management System (WMS) software. The highly scalable WMS tool improves the overall warehouse infrastructure by automating manual efforts, reducing labor and inventory efficiencies; and furnishing remunerative insights. “The AFS WMS release handles PTI and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) compliance right out-of-the-box for 3PL companies,” adds Joe. AFS Technologies drive their solutions to forge connection between disparate application types and data sources. The integration solutions are designed to enable businesses to utilize the purpose-built applications and operate them along with their generalized enterprise systems. The CPG industries are reaping extensive benefits with AFS Technologies’ Trade Promotion Management (TPM) software suite, crafted appropriately for both retail and foodservice sectors.

Streamlining CPG Industry

CPG companies globally are realizing direct benefits of integrating TPM offerings into their business practice. Customers leveraging the software can plan, allocate, execute, settle, and analyze their trade spend with a powerful set of easy-to-use capabilities, which foster utmost visibility across finance, sales, accounting, and supply chains. AFS Technologies’ TPM Retail is the most appropriate tool CPGs can utilize to swiftly validate the effectiveness and profitability of their trade plans. The software suite draws its functionalities from Nielsen’s predictive, price and promotion models; ensuring user always has access to the latest data models. “We are excited to announce the alliance between AFS and Nielsen because we believe this provides our customers with the cost-effective, rapid, and ease-of-use optimization capability they have been missing,” extols Joe.

Apart from boosting net sales up by figures as close as five percent, within a short timeframe, TPM showcases competence for trade promotion effectiveness and quantifying trade promotion efficiencies. The standpoint of the software lies in its ability to manage overlapping events and monitor promoted product activity, with minimal IT involvement. Businesses are able to generate a calendar view of the brand and trade activity, to identify the correlations between both the sets of processes utilizing TPM Retail.

AFS Technologies extends its TPM software for Foodservice industry as well, supplying businesses with contract management tools, full claim validation and settlement services; and data analytics. The software works in a fashion similar to TPM Retail, adding value towards foodservice segments dealing in canned foods, packaged baked goods, packaged frozen foods, and countless more. Through TPM Foodservice, CPG enterprises are able to effectively handle contract management, claims management, besides incorporating the use data analytics within their existing ecosystem.
Joe remarks, “Predictive analytics must be integrated into the TPM system so that account managers are able to incorporate the lift factors as they evaluate their trade events to ensure optimal performance.”

Visualizing Trade Spend Activity

AFS Technologies has a clientele list, which goes on to highlight their proficiency in creating software solutions, specifically crafted to address the emerging needs of the CPG industry. The story about Weetabix North America talks about how the TPM solution can effectively remedy a situation, where gaining complete visibility into the spend activity becomes crucial for the organization. Weetabix is essentially a manufacturer of delicious and healthy whole grain breakfast cereals. The lack of transparency into their trade spends activity, which stood at a staggering twenty-one percent of gross sales, was what precisely bothered Weetabix. The search for an efficient solution was eminent, and they found the TPM offering from AFS Technologies. James Perez, Trade Fund Manager, Weetabix North America expresses, “We decided to explore a technology solution that could help us manage trade promotions in a smarter and more targeted way.”

"Our solution offers an industry-specific set of features that empower field sales and merchandising teams to address the costly disconnect between store/shelf strategy and actual execution at retail"

By implementing TPM into their existing ecosystem, Weetabix gained eighty percent visibility into their tack spend activity, within a window of fourteen months. AFS Technologies further assisted Weetabix in identify and contesting invalid deductions leveraging the immense scope its TPM offering. “If we feel that a deduction is invalid, we can challenge it. We have backup at our fingertips and extracting information is incredibly easy,” remarks Laura Nistor, Inside Sales & Customer Marketing Manager, Weetabix North America.

The cherry on top to the firm’s comprehensive solution portfolio is their best-in-class, dedicated support team that provides 24/7 support coverage for critical issues. The AFS Support engages with an organization in multiple ways by prioritizing support tickets, monitoring an organization’s status of a request, and providing multi-language support.

Delivering Faster Solutions and Insights

Apart from the fact that AFS delivers software purpose-built for consumer goods companies, the firm’s proven implementation ensures swift delivery, resulting in a quick return on investment for an organization. What adds even more benefits for their clientele is their SaaS-based software and which requires little to no maintenance or infrastructure cost. The configurable approach gives the clients, flexibility to make their own changes— without involvement from IT.

AFS has also built a powerful data visualization solution, AFS Data Discovery, which enables organizations to pull data from multiple sources, develop reports and dashboards, and finally use them to optimize executive insights. No wonder, the enterprise was recognized in Gartner’s 2016 Market Guide for Retail Execution and Monitoring Solutions for the Consumer Goods Industry. “The value we are generating for our customers is significant and thus we expect our growth to give us the volume to enhance our solutions even further,” states Joe.

By streamlining the CPG process, visualizing trade spend activity, and delivering faster solutions and insights, AFS Technologies are taking the CPG industry by storm.

AFS Technologies

Phoenix, AZ

Joe Bellini, CEO

Provider of solutions purpose-built for consumer goods companies