Feb 16

The unofficial Assortment Planning maturity model

A client recently asked if there was an assortment planning maturity model.  I was pretty sure that someone out there would have published one.  Maybe it was my poor google search skills, but I could not find one.

I decided to create one.

So what is a Maturity Model?

A maturity model helps assess a clients capability in a number of areas and points out the areas for improvements.  It can provide a roadmap of increasing capabilities for the roll out of a process or a solution for example.  A maturity model is an independent set of benchmarks.

Who creates this model?

The maturity model itself while having subjective elements should itself be objective.  It should be based on surveys or backed by strong evidence and or breadth of experience.  Usually, consultants have the breadth of experience or can carry out the surveys and hence they usually are the source of the models.

Who decides the current capability?

Either the consultant or the clients themselves can estimate current bucketization of capability.  Consultants usually can reliably estimate the current level of performance through techniques like interviews, comparison to competitors, reviewing existing data, and their deep understanding working with the client.

The clients themselves can self evaluate their level of performance using a questionnaire or their honest evaluation of the model.  In my view, the maturity model should be clear and have sufficient detail for any client to self assess their current performance level.

The unofficial Assortment Planning Maturity Model

Here is my attempt at the maturity model for Assortment Planning.  It is not derived from any systematic survey and is very subjective based mainly on my thoughts.  If it reeks of my limited understanding and experience of assortment planning at different retailers, that is because it that is exactly what it is.

I wanted to put it out there and improve it based on feedback.  I would appreciate any inputs and comments.

Here is the maturity model for assortment planning.  I liked the format used by AT Kearney for their other maturity models and decided to use something similar.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://stara42.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/AP-capability-model-.pdf”]

Feb 16

Top 5 takeaways from NRF16

 The 5 things that stand out for me from this years NRF are
  1. Stores are becoming more about shopper experience to maintain their relevance and also their symbiotic role in omni channel
  2. Increasing use robots for all things – both mundane (inventory counting) to experiential (interactive product information, size and fit suggestions)
  3. Ubiquitous sensors (beacons, wifi, cameras) and collection of real time customer movements in stores.  It is still TBD how these will affect retailer planning behavior but they are collecting a lot of information in the store for now
  4. Lots of customer analytics.  There are many ways retailers are using to get shoppers to opt-in.  Once they do, there is a lot of cool technology available to mine the information and market directly, in a very personal way to each shopper.  Interesting possibilities to directly influence retail planning …
  5. Not much innovation in the retail planning application space.  They are still behind in  using the best available analytics to help decision making. Same vendors, same old stuff.
Here is a great recap on NRF16 with good information.  Please watch the podcast at the top of the page.