A Little Perspective from Scott Lutz, EVP, Chief Sales Officer
Why did you join TSG?
I joined TSG seven years ago as I was looking for a company that had industry leaders. People that came to the industry from large CPG companies and we’re looking at the future. I was seeking a business that could continue to grow and that was attracting the right kinds of clients. Clients that we could truly call partners; clients that were respected by retailers, had a bright future and valued what TSG had to offer. Additionally, clients that were looking for a partner that could lead them down the right path and help them to grow their business. TSG teamed with clients that wanted to work with an organization that had thought leaders and that were known as experts in their field. TSG had industry knowledge, category expertise and connections at key retailers up to the C- Suite level. They had knowledge on how to make product move off shelves and knew how to best work with category managers. I felt my unique combination of large CPG company and smaller sales agency experience could provide value and help TSG grow to the next level.
What was the thinking behind expanding TSG‘s product portfolio to include the pet wellness category?
I established the pet wellness category at TSG six years ago as there was a real opportunity in the marketplace. At that time, there were a lot of low quality pet food products coming from China including products with toxic ingredients. There was a real opportunity for USA manufactured ingestible pet food and treats. Consumers were looking for high-quality product and retailers were looking for suppliers who could provide this product. Retailers wanted organizations they could partner with that could provide the expertise to guide their success. As an owner of show dogs and hunting dogs, I had a personal passion for the category as well. We partnered with clients who could offer the retailer the right formulations, high quality offerings and consistency of supply.
Working with our clients over the last several years, we have truly become a team of category experts that understand the FDM landscape for pet wellness and nutrition.
What are the most important factors for companies to be successful at retail?
I see the critical success factors to include the company’s assets and their knowledge; what they’re able to deliver, and their category expertise. Are they me too or are they truly offering a differentiated solution? Companies need to be transparent, open and honest with retailers. They need to be forward thinking and planning a minimum of 2 to 3 years out but also be flexible enough to react and operate with a sense of urgency due to today’s pace of business.
Lastly, bringing innovation is key. Driving consumers into the retailers’ stores with innovative products that meet consumer needs and then collaborating on successful programs that drive the profitable sell through of these products will result in success for all parties.