HMV operates in highly competitive and changing markets, where every sale counts. HMV's key point of difference and a core brand strength is the breadth of its product offer and its ability to create compelling promotional campaigns for its customers. To achieve this, HMV's product buyers work closely with entertainment industry suppliers to create thematic or topical promotional campaigns and to combine related product offerings into a single promotion; for instance books with DVDs or CDs and digital downloads. For new release titles, the key commercial challenges include predicting sales and anticipating competitors' pricing strategies.
Collaborative platform to manage promotion process
HMV's buyers work collaboratively with suppliers to plan and manage the life cycle of each product and deals are negotiated daily with suppliers across thousands of SKUs (stock-keeping units). In order to simplify these processes whilst maintaining a collaborative approach with suppliers, HMV has turned to Trace One's Deals and Terms Management software.
Steve Consalvi, Project Manager at HMV, commented: "We felt Trace One's solution offered better collaboration between our buyers and suppliers. It is easily accessed by all parties online, which simplifies the deals and terms process. Also, as an independent system our suppliers can have total confidence and trust in the new process, which is crucial to supplier/buyer relationships."
Trace One Deal and Terms Management is a web-based system, which allows HMV to set-up and track deals and communicate them with suppliers. Once details are entered into the system, HMV buyers send them to suppliers to approve or amend. Once a deal is active, the system automatically sends reminders of any updates or reviews required during the life cycle of the deal. The terms management section of the system also allows HMV to store all agreed terms in one place for reference.
Successful promotions and improved relations
The benefits to HMV have been both commercial and financial. Consalvi continued: "Trace One's Deal and Terms provides us with a 'single version of the truth' when it comes to all the deals that are made with suppliers, as a clear audit trail is kept. All details are stored on one system, which can be accessed by all parties involved, creating a streamlined process, while enhancing our relationships with suppliers. It has also standardised the process internally at HMV, which means there is a single format for all deals that are made."
Consalvi continued: "Trace One's unique system has undeniably helped HMV save time, money and resource by streamlining the deals and terms process with our suppliers. It has helped fulfil key business objectives by continuing to ensure that our buyers are getting the very best commercial deals for HMV, and giving fantastic offers to our customers".
Greater information sharing and business intelligence
HMV is planning to add new functionality to indicate the performance of certain deals and to ensure information is shared both internally and amongst its suppliers. Consalvi says this may extend to analytics for its suppliers, "enabling the sharing of key information and insight to deliver market-leading promotions which will help increase sales for both parties."