What To Look For In Retail Planning Software
Planning software is important because it is used to make an accurate, achievable roadmap to the future success of your business. But not all retail planning software is the same. ChainDrive’s retail planning/open-to-buy software has been designed with the input of many experienced retailers and adjusted in response to the requests of a multitude of clients so it already contains what the vast majority of retailers need:
- An extensive options list that includes dynamic controls, segment views, and critical indicators.
- The ability to plan with flexibility so you can forecast units, retail, and cost.
- Multi-season capability so simultaneous seasons can be planned, monitored, and maintained.
- The capacity to lock or unlock results at all levels whether allocating top down or bottom up.
- Stock level forecasting that is accurate via stock-to-sales ratios generating relevant receipt patterns.
- Natural, intuitive integration with point of sale software.
- Charts and drill-downs that provide meaningful comparative analysis of sales and inventory data.
- The leveraging of historical contribution patterns to determine precise dollar distribution.
These tools, along with others equally valuable, enable you to do more than make profitable buying decisions so that your stock levels are maintained adequately. Planning can be easily accomplished with user-definable views so that you determine exactly what data needs to be seen and how it should be displayed.
Look For Adaptable Functionality
Planning software must be intuitive, comprehensive, and flexible in how data is handled. Presentations of data during planning sessions directly affect the usability of the information and every planning team is made up of people who see things in different ways. During a meeting, the ability to instantly graph data in multiple combinations provides a powerful tool for making accurate assessments.
Comparative analysis using your own historical data provides accurate benchmarks against future plans. Consolidating seasonal plans into a corporate view lets you see if the plan contains all the pertinent factors. The ability to freeze specific areas while adjusting others lets brainstorming sessions be active without the fear of losing solid factors. A productive planning session results from accessing all your data and viewing it the way your particular team needs to see it.
The versatility of ChainDrive’s Planning/Open-to-Buy component is a good example of what you need to have in retail planning software. Dynamic, flexible, accurate planning is only possible when you are using professional tools like ChainDrive.