As the retail industry moves toward omnichannel platforms with increasingly sophisticated product lines, retailers need to rethink and evolve their sales and merchandise planning processes. The goal of efficient retail merchandise planning using corporate performance management and business intelligence tools is to improve the profitability of the company through an optimized planning process. Effective planning can optimize sales potential and reduce inventory challenges, leading to improved margins. Using a business intelligence and performance management solution makes it possible to consider all relevant data in the required granularity. This data-driven planning approach should always be based on a clearly defined planning strategy in order to achieve the best results.
- Planning key factors and investments
- Uniform starting point for the entire planning process
- Testing scenarios
- Commenting features
Merchandise Financial Planning
- Range planning
- Sales and margin planning at product group level
- Billing and discount planning
- Target inventory planning
- Open to buy
- Initiative planning and tracking
- Category management
- Store clustering
- Capacity planning
- Delivery planning
- Assortment planning according to shops
- Sales reporting
- Markdown management
- In-season open to buy
Reporting and Dashboarding
- Plan coverage
- Management cockpits and dashboards
- Briefing books
- Visualization of deviations
Data Integration and Feeder Systems
- SAP for retail
- Exasol DWH
- Microsoft Dynamics AX
- Alexa ERP
- Various PLM systems and other data sources
360-degree planning solution from bdg – from strategic planning to merchandise financial planning and assortment planning to in-season planning
The starting point is the strategic corporate planning. At the top level, Merchandise Planning begins planning the key factors and investments that drive business success. The goal of bdg-implemented business intelligence-based planning is to examine future growth opportunities from every angle – by product group, brand or channel, individually or in any combination. Retailers can test aggregate-level assumptions that can be automatically distributed to more detailed levels using intelligent calculation engines.
Key to profitable planning is the close networking of financial planning (Merchandise Financial Planning) with assortment planning based on strategic planning. The financial framework is set by Merchandise Financial Planning, which is filled with content at the level of assortment planning. The clear definition of interfaces is critical to such a planning process so that the top-down planning of financial goals can be compared with the bottom-up planning of assortment targets. This networking needs to be clarified at which level the transition from financial planning to assortment planning takes place.
The planning by product groups has proven to be useful since constant demand patterns can be derived at this level. Nevertheless, this decision is individual for each company, so that the respective business needs are taken into account.
One approach may be the clustering of homogenous groups, so as not to inflate the planning unnecessarily. Business Intelligence supports this by making aggregations effortless, as well as drilling down to the last level of detail.
Merchandise planning proves to be particularly dynamic, which is why adjustments during a season are essential. Matching the actual performance with the projected performance makes it possible to intervene quickly when needed and to make corrective adjustments to increase sales.
The use of a business intelligence solution optimizes work processes for retailers radically. Instead of wasting valuable time gathering relevant information from disparate systems and databases, a BI application provides all relevant key performance indicators from sales, margins, inventories, to open-to-buy at a glance. In this way, problems can be quickly detected and the appropriate action taken.