August 29, 2018

Managing Food Brokers with Metrics and Thrive Plans.

Last week, a reader asked by email a great question on metrics to use in monitoring food broker and sales performance along with staying "top of mind." 

The question and comment regarding the broker scorecard fall into two distinct categories and actions: accountability of the broker and region manager along with the "top of mind."  It's important to understand accountability and "top of mind" are separate activities. 

The scorecard is a mandatory component to managing the broker. The "top of mind" occurs with actions and efforts in how the region manager interacts with the broker. 

I'll share my view on the external broker scorecard that is shared with the broker and the internal scorecard that offers insight into how the broker manager is performing relative to managing his team of brokers and others. 

Managing Food Brokers

It begins during the contracting phase with food brokers and the designation of their accounts. My guidance is to list their market in terms of buyers and account expectations as compared to regions and geography. This designation begins the review and scorecard for broker management. 

Broker Scorecard 

Review by Account
Key Objectives
Key Account Calls

Sales vs. Quota
Year, Quota, Sales, % Quota

Year, Units, % Change vs. Year Ago

Share of Market
%, % Change vs. Year Ago

Shipment and Share Trends By Category
Product Category, Unit Sales, % of Total Sales, % Change vs Year Ago, % Market Share, % Change vs. Year Ago.

Comparison of the Market Development by Product Category
Product Category, % of Sales, % of Market, Index Sales vs Market
Prior Two Years Comparison of Market Development by Category

Dollar Sales Rank by Item
Item, Rank, $ Sales, % $ Sales

Unit Sales Rank by Item

Dollar Sales by Category Line
$ Sales, % of Sales

Internal Sales Team Scorecard

In addition to the above metrics, the internal team should have records that provide insight into their performance managing brokers. 

Dollar Sales by Channel/Trade Class

Dollar Sales by Geographic Sales Area
$Sales and % of Sales

Sales by Geographic Area
Region/Division, Dollar Sales, % of Last Year, Unit Sales, % of Last Year

Sales Development
US Population, MM, % of US
Unit Sales, MM % of US
Dollar Sales, MM % of US

Dollar Sales and Unit Volume by Top 25 Accounts

The internal team of broker managers is often organized by geographical region but knowing they are responsible for the accounts that are within the region. I'll divide the country up into regions, divisions, and then states. For example, The Northeast Region is made up of the New England Division and the Middle Atlantic Division. The Middle Atlantic Division includes the states of NJ, NY, and PA. This organization allows me to easily pull population estimates for an area and compare sales development across regions. 

The internal team is responsible for specific channel strategy and selecting the appropriate broker or making direct calls on the channel. 
Fresh, Gourmet and Organic Retailers
Traditional Grocery (Majority of sales in 75 retail chains )
Club Store
Drug Chains
Dollar Stores
Online and Television (QVC)

The above information and scoring of broker performance along with the region managers performance are a big part of working with brokers. The "top of mind" does not occur or happen with these reports and metrics. It's dependent on the actions and methods used to manage the broker.  

In my Thrive! Preferred Principal Workshop I teach the process to become "top of mind" used by the biggest food brands in the world to achieve collaborative success in a market. 

The principals include:
Broker Penetration
Business Analysis
Identify Opportunities
Establish Objectives
Determine Root Causes
Negotiate and Gain Commitment
Develop Thrive! Plans

If you have any additional questions or needs, please feel free to reach out to me or leave me a note here. Also, know that I lead individuals and team discussions or workshops on broker management for groups or efforts in addition to my market growth assistance. 

Have a great week. 

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