As a matter of fact, Merchandise planning is one of the main factors which require changes as soon as possible. Almost every company or manufacturer is looking forward to revise it within the next two years. Latest BRP report clearly mentions that more than 66 % retailers and merchants are seriously taking actions to upgrade this system. This report also shows a surprising factor that huge numbers of manufacturers are not happy with their current merchandising systems and plans. There could be several reasons behind but the most significant one is the continuous change in trade systems and trends worldwide. Those who are going to upgrade this planning system should remember these points.
Figure out what is and is not compatible:
Compatibility of the planning system should be identified. There is a need to see what is working and what is not working with the current system being used. It may be trivial for most of readers but it is also critical and there is no reason to ignore it. It has a direct role in business success. On the other hand, experts believe that this step should be taken to confirm all initiatives are going to prove true potential as soon as possible. No doubt, there will be things working well but it is also necessary to see what is going well.
Monitor previous results:
In order to conclude where the achievement and prospects are, assessing previous plans against real results is important. This requires not be a complicated process and can be done using margins, units and dollars. Checking the details of planning and their results for a few previous years would be enough to determine the value of strategies developed by professionals. This should be done at departmental or office level. This approach enables the owners and managers to see the performance of professionals working in the planning department.
Define your corporate strategy:
This must be done as a primary task. Every company, businessman or manufacturer has a corporate strategy leading him to success. However, a poor strategy may lead to failure of initial investments and initiatives. Manufacturers having different products and services should define a comprehensive strategy which deals with all fields. Try to avoid giving preference to a single item or customer community during Merchandise planning because it may damage your business structure.
Evaluate capability of all tools:
As a matter of fact, you would be using multiple methods and tools for the promotion of business. There are numbers of planning tools available for the users in industry. It is necessary to focus on the capability of each tool in order to give equal weight. For example, if you are using demos to convince the customers or for marketing purposes then ensure that each demo has been designed according to the preferences. Prepare a checklist which includes all the factors showing potential of each tool you are going to use for the planning.
Capacity, Skills and resources:
Make sure that you have all these things in order to prepare a perfect plan. Availability of these three things is necessary for a smooth and easy process of planning. In most of the cases, resources don’t produce benefits for the manufacturers because of lack of skilled professionals to utilize them properly and timely. There is no reason to ignore the value of capacity and skilled persons in this process. Only the resources are not enough to ensure a perfect merchandise plan.
Focus on data issues:
Getting the correct information is essential in merchandise planning system. This should be done on timely basis because it is a difficult practice. Issues present in the data should be identified as soon as possible. There are multiple ways to make it. For example, one can check the data sheets from the start of a strategy or plan. Compare the revenue growth and all corporate factors in order to see which planning aspect needs further improvement.