With changing demographics and pressure on margins, well-designed practices for merchandise planning and analysis of results are critical to retail success. A differentiated assortment of goods that meets market demand ensures chains will be able to increase sales, protect profits and satisfy customers.
Implement an intuitive merchandise planning and reporting environment
The IBM Cognos Financial Merchandise Planning Performance Blueprint uses IBM Cognos 8 Planning and IBM Cognos 8 BI to help finance and operations plan collaboratively to achieve a single set of financial goals and business objectives:
- Develop annual merchandise sales and gross profit plans for multiple divisions or channels.
- Establish targets for key financial considerations, such as returns and markdowns, based on corporate growth objectives.
- Develop department or category-level plans for key financial indicators including sales, returns, markdowns, promotions, shrink, cost of goods, gross margin, supply chain costs and gross profit.
- Plan for the impact of markdowns and promotions on inventory value and margin.
- Conduct meaningful year-over-year comparisons and projections.
- Pro-rate costs to meet profitability requirements that support sales and margin targets.
- Measure and compare planned versus actual performance of merchandise by department, category or channel.
- Analyze and report on sales by category, merchandisers and vendors.
- Track profitable lines using scorecards and dashboards.