Accenture CAS Software enhanced to help consumer goods companies improve sales processes and operations

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To help consumer goods companies take the guesswork out of store promotions, Accenture has enhanced its Accenture CAS software with better support for promotional planning, sales processes and operations. Leveraging its flexible architecture, Accenture CAS release 10.1 includes new baseline and promotional planning capabilities to create an integrated sales platform that can result in more successful promotions and boosted revenue. Additional updates include new mobile functionality that can help maximize efficiency and additional options for distributor management.

Accenture CAS release 10.1 can help account managers quickly and easily plan for promotions with confidence. A new single screen baseline planning process simplifies baseline predictions and refinements with an automated quality check that quickly gives users an analysis of data quality so that they can filter out inaccurate or duplicate entries. Accenture CAS release 10.1 includes new features such as built-in analytics capabilities to help clients predict what, when and how much consumers will buy; a new alert system that reviews historical data of similar promotions; and an automated Trade Promotion Optimisation (TPO) check to gauge the feasibility of a promotion based on factors such as price and product availability, creating a "playground" where users can refine and adjust baseline prices to see effects on the sales cycle.

Business-driven data patterns—such as new items or discontinued products—and long data gaps can present difficulties in promotional planning. Accenture CAS release 10.1 addresses this through the automated data check as well as a statistical model toolbox for predictive modeling. This consists of template baseline models that are used for both consistently promoted products and regular-behaving products, and three uplift models for measuring the incremental impact of a promotion. Improved algorithms allow the best-fitting model combination to be automatically applied to the data for each product, enabling more efficient planning.

"Responding to changes in consumer and shopping behaviors at the national, regional and local levels can be operationally challenging," said Henning Fromme, Accenture CAS product strategy and development lead. "Accenture CAS release 10.1 addresses these challenges with simplified, top-down planning functionality, putting optimisation capabilities right in the hands of account and trade planners –where it is needed – so that they can directly build the best account and promotion plans for their company and retail partners."

Additional enhancements around mobility continue to make Accenture CAS a natural choice for merchandising applications and on-the-go promotion execution. Available on numerous mobile devices, these features include an advanced calendar that can arrange site visits in order of priority for increased efficiency, and the ability to review all promotional information at a glance, giving users all necessary information to execute on a sales strategy. With added support for customer contract management, users can also create or update contracts from their mobile device.

Finally, the combination of Accenture CAS software with new functionality from Accenture NewsPage increases support for all route-to-market sales and delivery models in markets served by distributors, including company-owned distribution points and third party distributors. Now available as a decentralized deployment, Accenture NewsPage can be implemented on premise or in the cloud, depending on the existing technology and needs of each distributor location. Consumer goods companies still benefit from a consolidated view of all distributors, with better control over promotions, improved productivity and streamlined inventory and sales processes. Additionally, a new 'geography tree' feature allows distributors to adjust and update the structure of a consumer goods company in real-time, without having to make changes to the underlying code. This means that business users can fine tune their own sales team models in accordance with local or regional changes in company hierarchy.

Accenture CAS with Accenture NewsPage is an integrated sales platform for the consumer goods industry with a suite of retail execution, trade promotion management and distributor management software, including direct store delivery, field service and trade promotion optimisation. Both are part of the Accenture Software portfolio of products.

Accenture CAS is also a key component within Accenture Commercial Services for Consumer Goods, a business service that helps companies increase sales and margins through an end-to-end offering of management consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing that improves interactions with customers, channels, and consumers through innovative analytical, multi-channel and operational capabilities.

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