January 5, 2023
Samantha Johnston

With Crisp, PANOS cooks up insights to feed the whole family

PANOS’ VP of Strategy and Trade uses Crisp to find sales opportunities and optimize inventory for the company’s eight brands, increasing profitability across the entire business.

PANOS Brands is an umbrella company home to eight brands that inspire delicious, better-for-you home cooking. Their portfolio includes Walden Farms’ sugar-free, fat-free dressings and syrups, KAME’s line of authentic Asian noodles and sauces, Chatfield’s carob-based cocoa products, Amore’s Italian cooking pastes, and other brands dedicated to making healthy meals taste better.

Time for a family tech upgrade

PANOS Brands’ products span across more than 25 different segments, all under the purview of VP of Sales Strategy and Trade Belinda Cook-Smith. It’s a lot to keep track of, but the leadership team at PANOS uses data-savvy and technology to manage the business efficiently and at scale. That’s why they spent the past year investing in a suite of new tools, including an ERP platform, promotion management software, and updated data subscriptions from distributors. “We like to make fact-based decisions,” Belinda explains. “We start every business decision with, ‘What are we seeing? What does the data show?’ But in order to do that, you need access to the data.”

On that front, the process of aggregating retail portal data for eight different brands was still incredibly time-consuming, and the old way of doing things just wasn’t going to work anymore. “We’re in an unprecedented supply chain environment between inflation, stagnation, global disruptions, freight issues, and the pandemic,” Belinda says. “It’s been an awakening, and has caused us to all pause and examine what we do and how we do it. Business as usual is no longer the way to do business.” So PANOS turned to Crisp to automatically ingest, aggregate, and normalize data across all of their products.

Keeping up with the speed of sales

Now with Crisp, PANOS’ sales, operations, and marketing teams have real-time data at their fingertips to track sales performance across all segments and retail locations. Belinda is no stranger to a good pivot table, but she appreciates how Crisp’s clickable dashboards and visualizations dramatically speed up her time to insight. In fact, Belinda estimates saving over 100 hours so far with Crisp, just by being able to automate data ingestion and consolidation. ”What we love about Crisp is we can go in and visualize our sales trends with just a couple of clicks,” she says. To start, Belinda will filter on a specific segment in her Crisp sales dashboards, and then track sales performance at the distributor, retailer, and item level. With year-over-year dashboards, the PANOS team can also track how these trends have changed over time as the company grows. 

If anything comes up that needs further investigation, the team can get to the bottom of the issue in minutes. “While we’re on a call with anyone from our executive team to buyers, we might identify a question such as, ‘Who is the top retailer for this item or this segment? What are the top five products? Which stores have ordered recently, and where are they?” Belinda explains. “Now, I can say ‘I’ll get right back to you,’ then pull up Crisp’s dashboards, use the heat maps, or download a report with the answers I need. This takes minutes, but it would have taken weeks to get to that answer before Crisp.”

“Now, I can say ‘I’ll get right back to you,’ then pull up Crisp’s dashboards, use the heat maps, or download a report with the answers I need. This takes minutes, but it would have taken weeks to get to that answer before Crisp.”

Belinda Cook-Smith, VP of Sales Strategy and Trade

Belinda also proactively looks for opportunity gaps where a little extra effort can help retain orders and drive growth. She uses Crisp’s Voids Dashboard to identify where sales might have dropped off compared to previous time periods. With that information, the sales team can go back to the broker and suggest getting in touch with the buyer to offer a free-fill and encourage a re-order. 

The sales team also keeps an eye on same-store sales velocities, which helps them manage PANOS’ trade spend budget. After running a promotion, the team will check Crisp to see how the promotion is impacting sales on a daily basis. 

Not out-of-stock, not overstocked

Crisp data is also central to inventory management and planning at PANOS. Crisp is the starting point for the company’s Sales & Operations planning process, aligning all teams around a shared source of truth. From there, they feed current sales and inventory data into forward-looking demand planning and forecasting. Once the S&OP is in place, the team regularly checks back to Crisp and measures against their plan for monthly tracking and consensus-building.

Keeping product in stock is always a concern for brands today, but PANOS is equally cognizant of managing oversupply. PANOS’ operations team tracks on-hand inventory at DCs in Crisp to determine just how much product to send to their distributor customers and when. For instance, they might see in Crisp that one product has six weeks of supply at a given DC, and they know a certain shipment quantity will be sent to retailers soon. Based on these inputs, they can determine the necessary quantity to replenish the DC while keeping inventory in the optimal 6-10 week range. Through this process, Belinda estimates they’ve saved $50,000 in inventory carrying costs since implementing Crisp.

By managing oversupply, PANOS has saved $50,000 in inventory carrying costs since implementing Crisp.

With sales and inventory on track, the PANOS team is focused on planning for a successful 2023. This requires reviewing S&OP plans, double checking promotional activities, and planning in advance for any seasonal rush periods. And with Crisp, she makes sure every product in the PANOS family is set up for success.

To learn how Crisp data can power your brand, contact us for a demo. For more inspiring stories and data best practices, subscribe to the blog.

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