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When Omni-Channel Merchandise Planning is Anything but Omni

Is this your company?  You have Retail Stores, Outlet Stores and an Ecommerce site. You plan each channel separately, but because it is under the “Direct To Consumer” umbrella, you can see your Total DTC Rollup.

But what if you also have a Wholesale channel? How do you plan that channel, and more importantly, where do you plan that channel?  And most importantly, how can you get a Corporate Planning Rollup to see where your Sales, Margin and Inventory Targets are versus your Actuals and your Forecast? Our guess is it takes a lot of manual work and Excel spreadsheets.

What if it did not have to be this way? What if you could do your Retail and Wholesale Planning in one Planning solution, and be able to see a Corporate Total across Sales, Margin and Inventory? Sound too good to be true?

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But it is not impossible. Investing a little time and effort up front, can save the company thousands of work hours, and potential millions in margin.

Let’s talk Balance Set. Each Channel likes to measure “Sales” differently. For Retail, it is usually Net Sales. For Ecommerce, it could be Shipped Sales, or it could be Demand Sales. For Wholesale, it is usually Shipped Receipts to the retailer. Then there is the complication of Returns. All of this creates the challenge of aggregating to a Total. We have helped clients tackle this, so we know it is possible.  The key is making sure you have Sales metrics that factor in all the possibilities. With a well thought out Balance Set, and each channel having a specific planning process, you will be amazed at how easy it is to recap everything downstream.

Same principle for Margin. You may need multiple Margins, but in the end, you can add the Sales metrics together, and the Margin metrics together to get a Corporate Sales and Margin. The key is making sure there are touchpoints at specific levels of the hierarchy to roll up these metrics. More specifically, your Metrics and Hierarchy need common points to recap the results.

If your head is spinning, that is ok. At RPE, we take complex requirements and mesh them with today’s Planning solutions to produce the true omni experience. We do the heavy lifting, asking the right questions,  to the right people to create the perfect process for your teams to follow. We find the commonality in your Balance Set to meet each Channel’s unique needs.

If this sounds like something you would like to explore further, reach out to Dawn Ross at dawn.ross@rpesolutions.com to learn how our team can help you achieve omni-channel Planning.