Joint business plans or customer business plans have been a significant focus for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies and their retail partners for more than a decade. In theory, they provide a platform for a constructive dialogue on delivering profitable growth for both parties inside the framework of mutually agreed long-term strategies. In practice, these lofty goals are often side-lined. The “business plan” is a trading agreement capturing the investment from the brand owner alongside the business drivers the retail partner is prepared to support.
The business plans have joint KPIs and are regularly reviewed by retail partners to ensure the brand owners deliver on their financial commitments. However, the retail partners’ execution of the business plan is often less frequently considered, which can mean that opportunities are missed to flag early and maximize the value creation from the sales drivers in the plan.
Because of these gaps, there is a clear opportunity to transform the conversation with customers to have a continuous dialogue on execution and driving incremental sales growth.