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Bierman: the business & personal coach in FMCG

Getting new products on the shelf is a laborious process these days. As is holding shelf space positions. Manufacturers are manipulated. Is there still hope in these days of amputated trade margins and demands for margin compensation? Today, it boils down to negotiation skills. To account managers and sales managers who can resist the powerplay of major retailers. To creativity. Fundamental question: ‘Which arguments serve to fascinate retailers today, besides improvement of margin and sales conditions?’
And, directly connected to this question: ‘How can supplier preference be influenced, resulting in the targeted shelf positioning with the required support of the shop floor?’

Coaching by Bierman is tailor made. In our view, coaching and improved professionalism are an integrated part of the issues in sales and marketing of the manufacturer. Practical, clear targets are defined together with the managers that we provide coaching for.
No voluminous manuals that get stacked somewhere never to be consulted again, but with advice, clues and starting points that can be implemented right away, adapted for the specific issues and goals of the manufacturer.

What is Bierman's support like and what comes first? On this page we provide an outline.

The initial homework
An essential part is Bierman's homework prior to the sessions. The issues and the solutions that we introduce must be presented in a familiar context. No theory but practice.
In this preparatory phase we consult two sources:

  1. Bierman's retail database with information from the trade [Food Retail, Drug, Out of Home, Foodservices, Do-It-Yourself]
  2. The know-how of the client/manufacturer
sub 1:
The Bierman retail database
Since 1976 we have gathered information using our category analysis, on shop floor level as well as on Head Office levels. Our goal: finding solutions for issues that are usually hard to deal with. Collecting these solutions as used by the retailers themselves.

sub 2:
The know-how of the client/manufacturer
The manufacturer has market knowledge. Staff members are often creative. It wouldn't be efficient or productive not to use any of that. In the homework phase we travel along with one or two representatives, or we focus differently on the shop floor. We want to know what's happening on the shop floor: ‘what goes well there and what could be improved.’
The shop floor is the nerve center where all processes --working optimal or not optimal-- join together. The starting point of everything. Assortment, logistics, presentation, consumer, sales, in store marketing, cooperation. The shop floor is the starting point of everything.

Furthermore, we insert interviews with a team that's selected according to the issue at hand, with staff members of all disciplines: account management, trade marketing, sales management, logistics / supply chain.
Staff members consulted in this phase don't need to prepare anything. Bierman provides the first moves and together we scan the market and we collect the information that's relevant. All interviews are recorded on tape and subsequently transcribed.

Dialogue with the retailer
Ping pong in retail lingo

Bierman support goes way beyond some in-service training. Our ping pong sessions are the onset of a creative process in the Sales / Marketing organization, meant to deal directly with existing issues. One of the most urgent issues is growing a distrubution network. ‘How do we get maximum distribution in a satiated market, within minimum time?’
It's fundamental to introduce products/concepts accoring to a process under full and complete control by the manufacturer, without any escape for buyers/retailers. We know this process.
Using brain storming and cross fertilization we can lead the way to useful new ideas, with Jos Bierman benchmarking and presiding the meeting. No role playing, no theoretical monologues, but actual practice, retail language and fruitful discussion.
Call or e-mail for an tentative exchange of idea: 0315-24.34.94
And consult our checklist with today's issues: FMCG-issues

The advice. The implementation
Bierman is not a consultant limited to providing advice. Translating the findings into practice and supporting Sales and Marketing during implementation is part of our core activitities. We frequently participate in sessions on head office level. There, we defend the category analysis, with sales/management presenting their plans for cooperation.

For practical coaching
you need to know best practice

P.J. Bierman
Phone: +31 315-24.34.94
Email: (<josbierman@fmcg.nl>)