JustEnough recently partnered with Apparel magazine on an informative report - Time for a Fresh Take on Assortment Planning & Allocation. The report features highlights from interviews with Capgemini, EKN Research and JustEnough customer, Kathmandu. It’s such an important topic for today’s retailers that we are featuring the report in this issue of OnDemand.
There is an urgent need for greater seamlessness and integration between what are still two separate camps within many apparel retail organizations: planning and allocation. It’s no longer a one-way street — plan and then execute. Successful retailers see planning and allocation as a two-way street. Bi-directional processes are essential to keep information flowing and plans evolving, from planning to execution and then execution back to planning.
Amid omnichannel complexities, retailers have worked to tear down silos between channels. Many now approach planning with a single pot of inventory in mind to service demand across all their channels. Yet there can be disconnects between planning and allocation when it’s time to execute plans and adjust to the unexpected.
“Assortments and allocations miss customer and demand trends quite often,” says Sahir Anand, vice president of research and principal analyst, EKN Research. “If changes in assortments and allocations can happen in a coordinated and unified way, sales and revenue will not suffer nor will gross margin due to excessive markdowns.”
The latest retail IT solutions can help planners and allocators “read” and react to what is happening in the business, retrending and revising their plans along the way. But to really excel, retailers also have to undertake organizational change.
“We can’t lose focus on the same issues we’ve always had,” says Lindsey Mazza, senior manager, North American supply chain technologies practice, Capgemini. “We have to invest in the new technologies and new organizational structures that will be better for the future.”
Read the complete Apparel report here.