If you are building or updating planograms, Blue Yonder’s Planogram Generator can help. Building hundreds or even thousands of planograms by hand is an arduous task, but many companies still do it that way. The category review process is a never-ending cycle. Assortment and merchandising strategies change constantly; therefore, you should also be continually updating your planograms. You may not realize this, but there is a better, more efficient way to automate both the initial building and mass maintenance of planograms. I know this because I have experienced the benefits of Planogram Generator over the past decade.

At the beginning of my career, the space management department only had time to produce 6,000 hand-built planograms per year. The first year after implementing Blue Yonder’s space planning and Planogram Generator, we produced 16,000 planograms. In the second year, we produced 32,000. The year before I left that company to come to work for Cantactix, we were producing and updating just under 90,000 store-specific planograms for 250 center store categories. There are quite a few residual benefits gained from having accurate, up-to-date store-specific planograms. Keep reading to learn how to use Planogram Generator, what it takes to get started, and some of the benefits you can expect.

So, what does Planogram Generator do?

Planogram Generator, also referred to as PG,  is an application that automates the mass production and mass maintenance of store or cluster-specific planograms. Planograms are merchandised using a list of user-defined rules and instructions called action lists which can be adjusted to achieve a desired output.

Users begin by merchandising “template” planograms. A template is considered your optimal merchandising situation for a category. If there are multiple merchandising strategies or fixture configurations within a category, you may need multiple templates. Planogram Generator then uses these templates to merchandise the assortment on the store-specific planograms known as “targets.”

Three main pieces of information need to be gathered in order to create accurate store-specific targets:

  1. Data and Item attributes
  2. Assortment
  3. Category Space and Fixtures

Accurate item attributes and performance data are necessary for PG to adjust facings and merchandise the targets. Item attributes are all of the information that is normally gathered when setting up a new item, such as brand name, manufacturer, height, width, depth, and pack size. Generally, you need movement and sales data broken down by store or cluster. Other metrics can be used by PG as long as this data is made available within the targets. Remember that the planogram will only be as good as the data used to generate it.

Through the use of specific actions, PG can be allowed to drop items based on a metric or a specified merchandising rule. To start with, you will have to determine what assortment is available for a specific store or cluster. This assortment should be placed on the template(s) prior to generation.

Within your category, it is crucial to have accurate space and fixture dimensions for each store.  You need to know the category footage (4 FT, 8 FT…etc.) and the dimensions of the fixtures within that space (H/W/D of Gondola, shelves, kick plate, jumper shelf…etc.).  Getting these dimensions wrong or not collecting all of the details can result in having to deviate from the planogram at the store level. Once gathered, fixture dimensions and placement need to be loaded into targets prior to generating. You can also generate the planogram onto prebuilt fixtures if the store-specific planograms have already been created.

How can Planogram Generator help?

Simply put, Planogram Generator can help you efficiently mass-produce a vast array of space optimized, data-driven, store- specific planograms in minutes. When you use PG, you are able to think about planogramming in a new way in which you are actually able to use your merchandising expertise. Instead of focusing all of your time and talent on individually merchandising every store’s planogram now, you can shift your mindset to creating a template that can execute an overall consistent strategy for all stores (or group of stores).

Once accurate and up- to- date planograms are in place you now have a system of record. You now know exactly what items should be on the shelves in every store giving you the ability to pull various reports for analysis. For instance, you can pull a zero movement report to see what items in what stores are not moving. This may indicate that they are not on the shelf as they should be.  Other possible reports include sales by linear foot or percentage of space by vendor.

Another benefit is that you can now control your item authorizations using the planograms, so you can potentially only allow stores to order what is on the planogram. If you set up a data feed with your inventory control group, they can utilize this information to set up auto-replenishment. Planograms show that when a certain amount of an item is sold, a new case gets allocated to that store’s next truck based on its capacity. You are now driving the supply chain based on planograms that Planogram Generator enabled you to build.

Want to know more about Planogram Generator? You can schedule a free assessment to determine how it can help your company. Contact the Space Management Experts at Cantactix.

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