Name: Thomas Rotter
Title: Data Analyst
Company: American Licorice Company
Certification Obtained: CPCA &CPCM

How long have you or your company been involved with the CMA?

American Licorice Company (ALC) has been involved with the CMA for 2-3 years, and I began pursuing certifications during early 2020 when I was hired.

Why did you decide to become certified?

I started with ALC in 2020 with a good professional skillset, but without any background in category management. We are encouraged to pursue professional development and training, and using our relationship with the CMA was a great opportunity for me to become more familiar with the CPG industry, understand the relationships between manufactures, retailers, and consumers, and have another certification on my belt going forward in my career.

What was the most interesting thing you learned as you completed the training and certification?

The most interesting things I learned were the reasoning behind planogram decisions, and the market analysis that goes into that. I loved learning about all of the information that retailers need to consider when choosing products for their shelves.

How do you feel you will use this certification in your current role?

I regularly work with our Sales team in preparation for their meetings with retailers to review planograms and present products. This certification has helped me understand things from the retailer’s perspective, so I’m better able to craft selling stories that appeal to their mindset and the questions they will be asking.

What advice would you give someone considering completing the training and certification? 

I would advise interested professionals to dedicate time on a regular basis to completing their training. Work can always get busy, but it’s important to give consistent attention to the courses, as they build on each other and flow together.