Integrated Supply Chain Management: Connect. Analyze. Restock intelligently.
Retailers don’t want empty displays—those mean lost sales opportunities. Nor do they want items that aren’t selling—they take up valuable shelf real estate and require their staff to manage it. Retailers want just the right product at just the right time, and they want the vendors to do it.
Retailers can provide weekly point-of-sales (POS) or 852 data showing information by SKU by store to vendors. From there, it’s up to the vendor to make sense of it – welcome to vendor-managed inventory (VMI).
Manufacturers and distributers look to Demand Solutions to help them tackle these inventory planning challenges and Demand Solutions Retail Planning was designed to meet this challenge—store-level inventory planning and replenishment that helps build a mutually profitable relationship between vendors and retailers through collaboration. This powerful solution optimizes store-level replenishment for manufacturers and distributors who must track thousands of store/SKU combinations. Its calculations provide the 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.
Continuous replenishment: demand-driven inventory planning
Retail Planning is designed around the Continuous Replenishment concept. 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.
Account managers can view retail sales next to shipments next to on-hands to ensure that the items being shipped to the stores are actually what the consumer is demanding. They can view this data at any level from the total company, to individual retailer, store groups or individual store. Product Group, product family, color, size, new or basic are just some of the product aggregate levels that are available. Percent-to-Total analysis can illustrate whether the products are in the stores in the proper mix to generate the optimum sales levels. Demand Solutions Retail Planning delivers the ability to provide store/SKU analysis, assortment plans, replenishment and special orders across large numbers of store/SKU combinations. 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
By store, by region, by warehouse, by nearest supplying port, by holiday/weekend-midweek, by weather—Demand Solutions Retail Planning lets users combine data from multiple sources. The POS planning tool helps transform vendors into smart partners for retailers who are looking for higher profits, less complexity and lower total cost of inventory.
A key advantage of Retail Planning is dynamic assortment planning. It allows a vendor to run multiple simulations and make detailed adjustments at any level before final approval of the new assortment plan. As the major chains tighten rules on the amount of inventory they will stock, effectively pushing suppliers toward a sort of just-in-time system, vendors have been assigned the responsibility of extending forecast management and inventory planning to the store and item level.
Companies need to know how their products are performing at all levels, including the retail outlets. They also need to be able to make quick adjustments when sales outperform or underperform against the plan.
The Item-Level Planning module has the missing pieces to this puzzle. From the Curve Builder and Planning Tools to the Modeling and Requirements interface all the way to the Dashboard viewer, the Item-Level Planning module gives companies the tools they need to automate their supply chain and seamlessly execute item forecasts.
The Curve Builder gives users access to historical performance data for any item. Measures ranging from Retail Sales to On-Hands to Shipments are at the users' fingertips with the Demand Solutions Retail Planning data warehouse. Account, Stores, and Items can be grouped together into clusters and viewed across any data range.
From information to action
Having an accurate plan is a necessity, but that plan is only as valuable as your ability to put it into action. This is where the Item-Level Planning interface components come into the picture. By passing data into Demand Solutions Requirements Planning and Retail Planning, the Item-Level Planning module makes supply chain integration and automation a breeze. Warehouse on-hand requirements are generated from the sales plan and passed into Requirements Planning where they are 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 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 provide salespeople and buyers the ability to identify promotional opportunities, spot potential cost reduction and assess changes in demand.
With Retail Planning, the 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.
Customizable, multi-dimensional OLAP cubes can provide dashboard and exception reporting capabilities online. Information from corporate data warehouses or datamarts can be linked to the Retail Planning analysis repository to provide users with access to real-time corporate reporting data. Linking this data to a secure Web-based pivot table interface, it allows sharing of data to achieve greater consistency internally, among sales, marketing and manufacturing. Tear-off cubes can be created to allow users to take the OLAP data with them when network access is not available.
Demand Solutions - Retail Planning