Create a planning function for assortment and inventory that brought customer information to the forefront of the decision process.
Note: The existing planning and decision making was owned by finance with vendor partners insights into performance and competitive pressures.
INITIAL PILOT & TARGET
5 FTEs grew to 40 over 2 years with KPI’s of cost avoidance, process improvement and efficiency and increasing sales and GM.
The target was to review 250 categories by year two , but with the updated process and systems in place they reviewed 350.
The planning team had to interface with supply chain, inventory, marketing, merchandising and cost management to wrangle the project with finance providing critical validation of performance metrics. Data science was critical to building tables and standardizing data.
SYSTEMS & DATA
Due to size and scale of both the retailer and the project, a cloud-based data accelerator was put into place to streamline the data across the functional teams. A key element of the project was to standardize the data inputs and through APIs, Excel Spreadsheets and PDFs they ingested data and created consistent attributes on existing products and then changed the process for new item set up.
STRATEGIZE WITH A FOCUS ON THREE ARAS
Speed to get it up and running quickly. Agility to move through hundreds of categories at ease. Quick wins to assure ROI, organizational belief and adoption.
CREATE A CONSISTENT PLANNING PLAYBOOK
Dashboards were created to ensure data was consistent and validated by finance. Iterative changes to the dashboards and reporting metrics were easier to update because data inputs and attributes were standardized. These micro customizations cemented the ability for each category to analyze their specific business and helped gain organizational adoption of the project.
BRING THE CUSTOMER INTO THE MIX
First-party transactional data, especially as it related to top tier loyal customers and non-traditional third-party data were introduced into the decision-making process to understand things like leakage. Understanding how best customers were shopping and what they were purchasing informed a range of actions from assortment planning to in-store merchandising. Competitor’s online assortments were scanned for opportunities both for web and in-store localized opportunities. Understanding competitors’ localized pricing enabled a window into promotional intensity to drive margin improvements.
PLAN SPACE ACCORDINGLY
Stores’ space planning was taken into consideration: adjacencies, shelf space, even margin rates were analyzed to maximize performance. The insights and opportunities gleaned from these reviews kicked off a 9-month store remerchandising program informed by data to affect every store in the chain.
REDUCED PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE FROM
7 MONTHS TO 3.5 MONTHS BY STREAMLINING INCORPORATING WEB & STORES FOR THE FIRST TIME
INCREMENTAL REVENUE BY IDENTIFYING PRODUCT WHITE SPACE JUST IN HOME DÉCOR/KITCHEN & BATH/SEASONAL CATEGORIES
INCREASE FROM LOCALIZATION WITH BETTER ASSORTMENT PLANNING AND PRICING
IDENTIFIED IN NEW WHITE SPACE
IDENTIFIED IN LOCAL MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
ORIGINAL PLAN BY CREATING CLOUD-BASED DATA ACCELORATOR THAT STREAMLINED DATA ACROSS CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAMS