Retail Planning

Retail Planning: Restock Intelligently with VMI and POS Data

Retailers don't want empty displays — and the lost sales opportunities they represent. Nor do they want to stock items that don't sell — these take up valuable shelf space and waste staff time. Retailers want just the right product at just the right time, and they want their vendors to make it happen.

Many retailers provide their vendors with weekly point-of-sales (POS) data or 852 data showing information such as SKU by store. From there, it's up to the vendor to make sense of it. This is known as vendor-managed inventory (VMI).

Manufacturers and distributers look to Demand Management to help them tackle these inventory planning challenges. Demand Solutions Retail Planning was designed to deliver by providing store-level inventory planning and replenishment that helps build a mutually profitable relationship between vendors and retailers through supply chain collaboration. This powerful solution optimizes store-level replenishment for manufacturers and distributors who must track thousands of store/SKU combinations using POS data and VMI. Its calculations provide perpetual inventory as well as the model, rate of sale, and reorder quantities down to the store level for improved sell-throughs, increased customer service levels, and higher inventory turns.

Demand Solutions offers built-in social collaboration capabilities that let your stakeholders share retail planning information in real time so they can stay in sync even between meetings. Our predictive lead time module and business intelligence functionality give you even greater decision support as you strive to enhance the overall health of your business. And because the Demand Solutions platform is now available as a cloud-based solution, you can get powerful retail planning functionality without making an up-front investment in software licenses and implementation.

Enable Demand-Driven Inventory Planning with Continuous Replenishment

Demand Solutions Retail Planning is designed to support the concept of continuous replenishment. It makes the demand from each POS location available and empowers the account manager to intelligently analyze the data to create a replenishment order. The data can be managed and analyzed at aggregate levels while the system calculates the replenishment order at the individual store/SKU level.

Your account managers can view retail sales next to shipments and on-hands to ensure the items being shipped to your stores are actually what your consumers are demanding. They can view this data at any level from the total company to individual retailers, store groups or individual stores. Product Group, product family, color, size, new and basic are just some of the available product aggregate levels. Percent-to-Total analysis can illustrate whether you have the right mix of products in stores to generate optimal sales levels. Demand Solutions Retail Planning lets you provide store/SKU analysis, assortment plans, replenishment and special orders across large numbers of store/SKU combinations. You can roll up the numbers to regional levels for ordering and transportation, and take them back down to individual stores to see which sizes and colors are most popular.

Slice and Dice for Greater Profitability

Whether you want to analyze data by store, region, warehouse, nearest supplying port, holiday/weekend-midweek or weather, Demand Solutions Retail Planning lets you combine data from multiple sources. If you're looking for higher profits, less complexity, and lower total cost of inventory, the POS planning tool helps transform your vendors into smart partners.

One key advantage of Retail Planning is its dynamic assortment planning feature. As the major chains tighten rules on the amount of inventory they will stock — effectively pushing suppliers toward a just-in-time system — vendors have been assigned the responsibility of extending forecast management and inventory planning to the store and item level. Retail Planning allows you to run multiple simulations and make detailed adjustments at any level before final approval of the new assortment plan.

Execute Item Forecasts — Seamlessly

Retailers like you need to know how your products are performing at all levels, including in retail outlets. You also need to be able to make quick adjustments when sales outperform or underperform against your plan. The Demand Solutions Item-Level Planning module has the missing pieces to this puzzle. By delivering a Curve Builder, Planning Tools, Modeling and Requirements interface, and Dashboard viewer, the Item-Level Planning module gives you the tools you need to automate your supply chain and seamlessly execute item forecasts.

The Curve Builder gives your users access to historical performance data for any item. Measures such as Retail Sales, On-Hands and Shipments are at your fingertips in the Retail Planning data warehouse. You can group Accounts, Stores and Items into clusters and view them across any data range.

Put Your Best Strategies into Action

Having an accurate plan is essential — but that plan is only as valuable as your ability to put it into action. This is where the components of the Item-Level Planning interface come into play. By passing data into Demand Solutions Requirements Planning and Retail Planning, the Item-Level Planning module streamlines supply chain integration and automation. Warehouse on-hand requirements are generated from the sales plan and passed into Requirements Planning, where they're matched against forecast requirements to derive manufacturing orders or finished goods purchase orders. At the same time, store/SKU stock levels are passed into Retail Planning as reorder points used in the creation of weekly replenishment orders.

In its dynamic assortment planning, Demand Solutions Retail Planning empowers your account managers to develop replenishment levels by key product and account characteristics such as color, size, product family, product line, or brand for each account. Salespeople can view information ranked on any field and create graphs, print the information, email it or share it directly with a customer on a laptop screen. This sharing of information streamlines inventory planning by supporting optimal shelf allocation plus assortment and replenishment strategies for each store. Retail Planning also provides exception reporting, "what-if" assortment planning, and account analysis. These tools enable your salespeople and buyers to identify promotional opportunities, spot potential cost reductions, and assess changes in demand.

With Retail Planning, your users are in charge. A sales representative meeting with a buyer can provide hundreds of data metrics such as sales inventory, receipts, returns, shipment and promotional quantities. Replenishment orders are calculated by taking the model quantity minus the current perpetual inventory.

Share Data for Greater Consistency Across Departments

Demand Solutions Retail Planning provides customizable, multi-dimensional OLAP cubes that enable online dashboard and exception reporting. You can link information from corporate data warehouses or datamarts to the Retail Planning analysis repository to provide your users with access to real-time corporate reporting data. By linking this data to a secure web-based pivot table interface, Retail Planning allows sharing of data to achieve greater consistency among your sales, marketing, and manufacturing departments. You also can create tear-off cubes to allow your users to take OLAP data with them when network access is not available.

To learn more about Demand Solutions Retail Planning and other supply chain management solutions for your industry, visit our customer videos page.

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