Over the past 18 years, Scanner Applications, Inc. (SA) has become the premier provider of a host of scanner-based promotion services that allow manufacturers to achieve far greater trade promotion efficiencies and retailers to offer consumers significant savings based on what passes through the checkout scanner.
Called scandown promotions, these cost-effective programs operate as instant rebates for consumers, but also have built-in merchandising incentives for retailers. Scanner Applications, Inc., an expert third party service provider, acts quickly as the electronic clearinghouse for these promotions, validating performance and paying retailers on behalf of the manufacturer within five days.
Scanner Applications' role is multi-faceted. As more and more manufacturers turn to the use of scandown promotions, they often discover the inability of their sales force to collect and validate the accuracy of the masses of scanner-generated data. This is especially true of those retailers who purchase goods through wholesalers and have no direct relationship with the manufacturer.
Scanner Applications also assists manufacturers by announcing the coming promotion to all retailers, following up with major retailer and wholesaler groups to insure they have received the promotion offer and assisting the manufacturer's sales force with promotion administration. While a manufacturer's sales force is responsible for selling the promotion to retail customers, Scanner Applications' Retailer Services Group provides knowledge and expertise on the easiest way to work with specific retailers, the most efficient method for collecting the data, as well as providing the best procedures for avoiding deductions. Currently, Scanner Applications manages a retailer database covering 125,000 stores in all classes of trade, including grocery and drug stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, convenience stores and beverage outlets like liquor stores.
Scandown promotions are being used more every month by an expanding manufacturer base. Such promotions allow and encourage manufacturers to more effectively utilize trade dollars by eliminating huge amounts of waste. For years manufacturers have found themselves investing greater percentages of their trade marketing funds into programs that are grossly inefficient. Forward buying, diversion and non-performance by retailers have led to less than one-in-three trade promotion dollars ever reaching the consumer. Retailers, on the other hand, benefit because they can more efficiently capture and utilize trade dollars.
Manufacturers also use Scanner Applications' services to replace FSI coupons. Today at least 70 percent of the cost of coupons is related to their distribution, while the redemption rate often averages less than a meager two percent.
As a result of such inefficiencies and the desire of manufacturers to concentrate on the bottom line, many global marketing leaders are turning to Scanner Applications to help them administer and validate scandown promotions. Since the focus of these programs is on what is actually sold to the consumer rather than how much inventory the retailer purchases, virtually all waste is eliminated from the system. Result based merchandising payments offer retailers significant incentives to generate productive merchandising support. Retailers concentrate on what they do best, merchandising, and are paid for results, not promises. Conversely, by paying only for performance, manufacturers can reward participating retailers with much higher allowances because they don't have to pay for non-performance and other unproductive retailer activities. Consumers receive significantly greater savings without having to find, clip and redeem coupons.
Scanner Applications has proven its concept effective by enhancing sales of products in categories ranging from aspirin and beer to juices and coffee, from cleaning products and paper goods to frozen foods and cereals.
The idea for Scanner Applications was first conceived when Giant Foods, in suburban Washington, DC, became the first retailer to move entirely to checkout scanners in their stores. Scanner Applications CEO, Bob Gibson, then an executive with Procter & Gamble, began designing promotions based on what Giant sold to its customers that was validated by scanner data.
Gibson subsequently founded Scanner Applications in 1987. Since that time, the company has experienced major growth, at a rate of 40 percent per year over the past several years, and has added a variety of experienced sales, marketing and accounting professionals to the SA team.
Among those on the Scanner Applications' blue chip list of manufacturing customers are Procter & Gamble, General Mills, S.C. Johnson, Kellogg's, Quaker Oats, Kimberly Clark, Miller Brewing Company and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. Scanner Applications is a silent partner to many of today's major manufacturers because they are a proven independent source of creative promotions expertise and scanner data validation. – less – More from ZoomInfo »