16 Apr Assortment Planning keep it simple & then evolve
Creative versus Number Crunching
A regular theme in retailers globally is the presence of spreadsheets permeating across the whole organization. Assortment planning is an area which involves both the merchandising and buying team. That crucial mix of numbers and the visual / creative aspects have to be equally respected in order to ensure that both teams requirements are satisfied and they have the tools to do their jobs.
Evolving Channels & Markets
With the onset of the digital age and increasing globalization, it is more and more important that an Assortment Planning tool is channel / market agnostic. That a retailer growth plans can be supported and that they can move into many new countries and channels with the support of the right Assortment Planning tool
Modular for ease of acceptance
A modular solution means that the retailers can develop. They can focus on the area which is causing the business the most pain and ensue the team are moving with them whether that be during the automated grading process, option or range planning or the automation of the size profiling process for the creation of purchase orders.
One source of data
It is the spreadsheet word again! Take any one product, style or SKU, in any retailer without one comprehensive source of data. Users will always find a need to use a spreadsheet or several to help them manage all the associated fields and attributes for a product and often those spreadsheets are silos within different departments. Therefore, the ability to have one source of master data which takes the product from inception to completion is paramount.
Usability & Speed
Usability and speed should always be given high consideration and could cripple any successful implementation. A system may look incredible but it needs to be able to maintained at a pace to allow buyers and merchandisers to maintain their numerical and creative goals.
Let’s review this way and then that way
Users like to take a plan and review them in a number of ways both from a numerical and visual perspective, layering on attributes seeing how the number of options stack up against the plan. Visually understanding how the range would look in a particular market, store or channel and even better if this is at the touch of a button.