A properly constructed merchandising optimization system helps in solving many problems. I was convinced of this during my six years of work in the FMCG manufacturing company, which carried out deliveries to the hypermarkets, supermarkets and droggery retail chains. In this article, I will tell you about the top 5 problems that I managed to solve with the help of high-quality merchandising.
1. Stock balances and deadlines
Situation: the product is on the leftovers, there is no movement on it, and the deadlines are coming out. Most often, the human factor is triggered – the product was not put on the shelf on time, and it remained to die in the bowels of the warehouse, lose the turnover coefficient and confidently approach the category " Deadlines. Refunds".
This problem is solved by the merchandising mechanism, when the merchandiser has a task: to put all SKUs according to the merchandising planogram by a certain date and provide a report with a photo. As a result, the merchandiser carries out the layout - all the necessary goods are transported from the warehouse to the sales area, exhibited and successfully sold.
2. Systematization of information about stores, the number of commercial equipment
The number of units of commercial equipment, types of structures, dimensions, linear and square meters of the shelf - all this must be assembled into a single system. But this is often the problem: data sources are different, there are no unified registers, and some of the data is completely absent.
The task of merchandising systems is to create such databases, with the help of which it is possible to systematize information on trade equipment and synchronize it with the dimensions and economic indicators of goods. Such synchronization makes it possible not only to calculate the loading of commercial equipment in width and depth, but also to participate in forecasting sales.
3. Development and construction of merchandising planogram
Often, the sources of planograms are bulky Excel books, which, when “drawn”, turn into an inconvenient data array consisting of tables and photos. It takes a considerable amount of time to visualize the layout scheme, sometimes companies even hire designers and then print entire guides on the layout. But when using office applications and printed materials, difficulties arise. Replacement, withdrawal and input of a new name, opening of new stores and compliance with formats – all this is most often done manually.
At the same time, the probability of an error is too high, because the process is not automated, there is a human factor. The creation of a well-established flexible system allows you to quickly change planograms, coordinate them with category managers, suppliers and broadcast them to retail outlets. In my opinion, there is no way to do without special software.
4. Control of the presence on the shelf and compliance with agreements with the retail chain
One of the most important points of the contract with the supplier is the planogram. During the negotiations, they discuss which items, how many faces, in which categories, zones, etc., the goods will be located. How does this control the fulfillment of the agreed conditions? How can a retail chain demonstrate a clear control over the implementation of merchandising planograms? These requests are answered by the merchandising department, which provides reports on the implementation of planograms and layout rules. With the help of such reporting, you can check not only the figures, but also realograms – photos of commercial equipment filled with goods. Thus, the fulfillment of the contract with the supplier is documented.
5. Managing store categories (formats)
Retail chains with classification by format, whether it is differentiation by size, assortment or other common feature, need centralized management of these categories. As a rule, these categories contain commercial equipment of a certain size, shape and content (assortment matrix). Such an array of information must not only be stored as a database, but also managed, be able to change and synchronize with other information about formats. The merchandising system will provide such systematization and will help solve many management problems. With this solution, you can not only collect, but also change, analyze and manage the category with fewer resources.
And this is not a complete list of problems that a properly constructed merchandising system solves. In today's conditions of a huge amount of information, it is impossible to build such a mechanism without high-quality software.
This solution helps to speed up the work on drawing up and changing planogram four times and instantly receive feedback from the entire network (even remote outlets).
And what is more important: the automation leads to the merchandising optimization of the areas of retail equipment and the hall. Now you can control every square centimeter of the shelf. A single software solution also allows you to verify the balances, stock on the shelf, analyze various sales indicators by goods and categories (turnover in units and monetary units, their percentage ratio) in a single space for each rack, their group, store or group of stores. This is what significantly helps in forecasting sales and planning an annual marketing plan.