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Aforza, a digital twin platform for consumer goods packaging, has received $ 22 million in a series of funding. The investment will help boost staff and create a new US headquarters. Investors include DN Capital, Bonfire Ventures, Daher Capital, and Next47.
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) include food and drink, alcohol, beers and spirits, consumer health care, household products, tobacco, pet care and consumer electronics. The company was founded by former sales executives involved in CPG efforts.
The cloud service sits at the top of Salesforce and Google Cloud platforms to help connect key points in the process of selling consumer goods. This includes business planning, field sales for retail channels, coordinating promotions, managing distribution, and monitoring the impact of promotional trials. This allows teams to continuously test ideas in different markets and add to their success.
Growing in a slow-growing market
According to Application of the World, the company plays a role in the 14.5 billion consumer packaged software (CPG) software marketed by SAP, Microsoft, Adobe and Salesforce. Overall, this device category is growing by only 1.5%.
However, Aforza believes that its strategy of building digital twins to improve workflows will make it more competitive. According to a study by Oliver Wyman, companies that use older CPG platforms have lost at least 5% of sales. And Progressive Grocers found that 70% of its funding for business promotion programs was unprofitable.
“We see a natural disruption in the industry as business planning and field sales teams work together. This is due to the way the two communicate with each other and the systems they use, ”Dominic Dinardo, CEO and co-founder of Aforza, told Venturebet.
Vendors are exploring ways to create digital twins for common things, such as the company’s digital twins and supply chains. Aphrodite is doing the same thing for distribution.
For example, there are barriers between apps for money, business planning, sales and marketing. Even when these systems are integrated, data flow only provides a historical context. As a result, financial impact has to be expected to see investments, business planners have difficulty monitoring performance, and sales teams have a hard time keeping track of their promotions.
Assorza’s digital twin sales and distribution system will help streamline these efforts and provide real-time data exchange across a variety of workflows:
- Launch highly targeted promotions, measure outcomes, and then simulate different situations to estimate budget impact.
- Linking new plans to the retail audit process to determine which stores comply with promotional agreements and to relate these efforts to sales, pricing information and competitive product strategies.
- Capture the financial growth and ROI of the new promotion in real time so that teams can start multiple trials in different markets and then move on to the most successful ones.
Digitalization of temporary objects
Digital twins are usually associated with physical objects such as cars, airplanes or buildings. The supply chains and distribution channels are a bit longer, which can make it difficult for everyone to see the details and mechanics of how it works, how it breaks down and which strategies are most successful.
Aphrodite devices deliver a digital twin to a company’s market and distribution channel. This approach has strong parallels with the supply chain digital twins as it provides real-time closed information to multiple parties.
In other industries, a digital supply chain is a digital copy of a company’s actual supply chain, allowing twins to enter the model in real time. Aforza does the same for business promotion ROI and optimization.
The CPG industry is beginning to embrace the term “business promotion performance” (TPX) to describe the experimental life cycle of new marketing and promotion ideas. This helps companies close the gap between business promotion and retail performance. You can plan, execute and improve promotions in real time.
One thing companies need to monitor is compliance. Just because a large retailer has taken your money to launch a new promotion does not mean that each branch will faithfully upload the new signs, some administrators may disagree or it may take a lot of effort. This can hurt sales, but planning teams may not be able to accurately relate sales changes to what is happening in stores.
Another key to building a digital twin is understanding how external events, such as weather and competition, affect sales efforts. For example, an ice cream company may want to try promotions on several outlets along the beach. Meanwhile, a competitor has launched a series of competitive campaigns. The first field group selects this, and immediately shares it with the digital twin. This input is integrated into the II model, which automatically adjusts the target, suggests a new set of promotions for the sales team to operate, and predicts the impact of various strategies to pass the competition.
Dinardo’s Aforza approach is part of a larger trend that is driving digital transitions in a variety of industries.
“The concept of digital twins is to move your decision-making process, away from the use of historical data and outdated analytical models, into a real, closed-loop approach,” he said.
In Life Science Industry and Salesforce Industries, the success of other leaders such as Veeva Systems in the communications, energy and utilities and healthcare sectors is a testament to that.
“I admire what they did and how they used the cloud to communicate in real time,” said Dinardo.
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