If you are not using Blue Yonder Planogram Generator, you probably only have a surface-level view of what it can do. Combine that with what others in the marketplace may have told you, and that view becomes out of focus. 

There are many common misconceptions when it comes to Planogram Generator, also referred to as PG. Interestingly, the people spreading the falsehoods rarely use the tool themselves. When seeing a demo, some individuals will conclude that PG cannot be used since they have not seen their particular merchandising scenario. In an hour demo, it would be impossible to demonstrate everything that PG can do. My team and I have been using PG for over a decade and we have a combined experience of nearly 50 years. We are constantly encountering new situations and figuring out how to use PG for different merchandising scenarios. 

The limitations of PG are often caused by not having the necessary data loaded into the template or target planograms. Utilizing actions in a different way than intended or using external processes are ways to overcome these barriers. As a result, we are constantly pushing the limit of what PG can do. With each new software release, Blue Yonder adds new actions and enhances existing ones. That being said, I would like to address the top five misconceptions about PG specifically.  

Misconception #1:  

Planogram Generator cannot be used without a CKB database.” 

This is false. Space Planning is where you go to both build your template and configure the action list. Opening them up in Space Planning can generate hundreds of target planograms. This means Space Planning is a requirement, but CKB is not. CKB allows for batch generation, mass loading of assortment and data onto targets, as well as other general benefits of databases.  

CKB is not a requirement, but it does “supercharge” PG.  

Misconception #2:  

“Using PG involves writing computer code.” 

At first glance, an Action List may look like computer code, but it is NOT. An Action List consists of a series of user-selected functions (actions) that tell PG how to merchandise your planograms. Each action is a separate instruction that PG follows. Many of the actions require formulas to be entered using the Space Planning formula builder, making it look more like computer code. However, being able to write simple formulas gets you over half the way there! 

Misconception #3:  

“My category is too complicated to use PG.” 

There is a comment that is often made in this regard. Usually, when we start digging into the planograms and the merchandising strategy that needs to be achieved, we find that PG can be used. However, the user didn’t understand PG well enough to make it work and had no one to reach out to for help. It takes some time to learn PG, you can’t learn it overnight, and learn it much faster when you have knowledgeable help.  

Misconception #4:  

“My category would need 100s of templates, so it’s not worth using PG.” 

This comment correlates with #3. Again, we usually hear this comment from someone who doesn’t have a clear understanding of how templates and action lists can be used. Usually, even in SKU heavy categories with advanced merchandising scenarios, we only need around 6-8 templates on average. I have worked on a category where I did need around 100 templates. But when push came to shove, it was quicker to build 100 templates than it would have been to manually build the 4,600 targets that we were able to generate. 

Misconception #5:  

“PG will give me perfect planograms.” 

While PG has the capability and the potential to generate 100% perfect planograms, in most cases, it will get you about 85% – 90% there. If your merchandising strategy is relatively simple, we have achieved close to 100%. After generation, you may need to make some minor adjustments manually.  

Hopefully, this article shed some light on Planogram Generator’s capabilities and alleviates some of the “noise” surrounding it.

Is Planogram Generator Hard to Learn? – Cantactix 

What is Planogram Generator and how can it help you? – Cantactix 

2021 Blue Yonder Category Management Suite Release – Cantactix 

Want to know more about Planogram Generator? You can schedule a free assessment to determine how it can help your company.