Those of us that enjoy building planograms know that there is an art behind planogramming. There is also a combination of data and a ton of knowledge and wisdom (science) to go with that.
I love how art and science come together to create a visual billboard in the middle of an aisle, enabling and even enticing the customer to make purchasing decisions. But often, we are so focused and spend so much time and effort on the mundane, repetitive tasks involved with planogramming that there is little time to enjoy the art of it all.
Let’s face it, no one wants to spend their time opening hundreds (or even thousands) of planograms one by one, uploading data and making manual adjustments. Then, even after the planograms are completed, there is additional validation, analysis, and reporting that needs to be done. These tasks can be painstaking and are, quite frankly the source of much job dissatisfaction within the space management industry. But someone still has to do it.
This is where planogram automation comes in. Automation enables the user to replicate manual processes accurately and consistently. Data can be loaded to all planograms in mass. Items can be swapped out, and facings can be adjusted across all planograms. Merchandising strategies such as brand blocking or sorting products along a shelf can even be carried out in mass. Floating shelves can be created and populated with the correct items for quick validation.
Let’s briefly review the benefits of automation and some tools that can supercharge your planogramming experience.
- Time Savings and Efficiency
The main benefit of using automation tools is time savings. Batch processing is utilized to quickly cycle through and update planograms. This enables tasks that normally take someone hours or even days to complete manually to be done in minutes. This means that tasks that normally take an entire team to complete could be done by just a couple of people.
- Accuracy and Consistency
As humans are working on planograms, we make mistakes as well as bring our biases with us. For instance, if three people are working to add items, you could get 3 different versions of the desired outcome. Items may be placed in different locations, in a different order, with different facing amounts. If my favorite flavor is cherry, I may choose to give cherry more facings even if the data dictates otherwise.
Since automation tools are computer programs, they can only make unbiased data driven decisions (accuracy). A computer will carry out the instructions that the user provides in the same way across all planograms (consistency).
- Enablement of Quick Validation and Analysis
Once planograms are completed, they must be validated for various points of accuracy. Some examples would be creating floating shelves for certain items, pulling reports that compare the old versus the new, showing share of shelf, or using a DC matrix. Automation tools can help streamline this type of analysis.
- Employee Retention and Job Satisfaction
Often during a category review or relay, space planners are working extended hours, stressing about meeting a deadline. When people’s work-life balance is no longer balanced, job satisfaction begins to plummet. Automation leads to happier employees. Planograms being completed within standard working hours makes everyone happy. Furthermore, when the tedious tasks that used to take weeks to complete are now getting done in hours, you can focus on making sure that the art and science have come together the way you envisioned.
Now that you know the benefits of implementing planogram automation, let’s look at some of these supercharged, industry-leading tools!
Blue Yonder software that utilizes data and user instructions to mass merchandise planograms. This tool can be used to place specific assortments and enact your merchandising strategy on thousands of planograms in minutes. The automation team here at Cantactix are experts in this software. We can help you learn to utilize this tool. Book a demo with us today.
This is a Cantactix homegrown application built specifically to use with Space Planning and Floor Planning. It has a ton of capabilities, some of which are data importing and exporting, image file fixing, item swapping, adding, deleting, sorting, and facing adjusting, creating and adding items to floating shelves, planogram stitching, and fixture allocation. MissionControl also gives you the ability to create workflows that can be easily utilized by your team.
This is a Cantactix homegrown cloud-based application built specifically to use with Space Planning files. It enables the quick normalization of data and analysis of planograms. Reports are 100% customizable based on your needs. Data can be viewed in a table or chart format and is able to be exported in whole or in pieces.
If you enjoy building planograms but have not implemented any kind of automation, you owe it to yourself and your team to do so. Planogramming becomes so much more enjoyable when you can focus on the fun parts.
Schedule a free assessment to determine how automation can help your company; contact us today or request a demo.
Join us at Blue Yonder’s ICON conference in May for Austin’s “Shifting your mindset from manual planograms to automation” session and learn how automation can support your processes—not attending ICON? Set up a meeting with us after the event, and we’ll share what we learned.