This is the third article in our series based on a research report JustEnough recently sponsored with Boston Retail Partners into the current state of the industry around Merchandise Planning which uncovered strategies that retailers can focus on to enable effective planning in today's omni-channel world.
We will now continue to look into the elements the survey found that retailers can focus on to enable effective planning in an omni-channel world. Please contact us, if you would like to learn more about how JustEnough solutions are helping leading retailers to successfully plan for their omni-channel operations.
Retailers are making strides within the organization as more than half of those surveyed have already integrated their planning processes, organizations and systems across channels. Unfortunately, most retailers that have completed their integration initiatives indicate there is need for improvement (Exhibit 7). This issue may be a symptom of the older systems that many retailers still operate that cannot truly support omni-channel operations or a unified organization. In many cases, this may be a “faux” integration with manual processes, conflicting teams or technology patched together to reach across channels.
Exhibit 7: Integration Initiatives
Pursuing an omni-channel inventory strategy presents retailers with the opportunity to break down organizational silos and take advantage of synergies across the enterprise. In some instances, this may involve consolidating disparate teams into one unified team and eliminating redundancies. With advanced applications doing much of the heavy lifting, employees are able to take advantage of the data to formulate and execute better strategies. The integration of planning systems across channels gives planners enhanced insights, which enable them to make better strategic recommendations with respect to price, promotion and inventory.
You can read the complete BRP 2015 Annual Merchandising Planning Report here.