STORES Convention Daily - 2018 Big Show Day 3 - 24
decision-making because you can more
quickly identify winners and losers," Piacentini says. The team can work with vendors to chase popular products, or evaluate
promotional and markdown opportunities
for items that aren't moving as well.
Forecasting accuracy has also improved. "We now measure forecast accuracy at a much lower level of detail,"
Piacentini says. The new granularity encompasses everything from item to color to
channel. Since going live with the system,
the company's accuracy has improved by
four percentage points.
Continued from page 12
grown to include catalog, phone, in-store
and ecommerce, retailers have found the
patchwork of platforms can't keep up.
"Those organizations within their silos
have made decisions to purchase applications and use them, but they haven't shared
that information across the organization,"
Prewitt says. Today's more complex forecasting needs call for comprehensive and
timely forecast data, as well as the ability to
use that information across the enterprise.
Changes in consumer preferences and
habits compound the problems retailers
encounter when using disparate forecasting
systems. Creating a forecast that provides
actionable insight from raw goods to finished products in the distribution center
is increasingly important for businesses
navigating today's retail environment.
"They need to use their demand forecasts to help with their buy for merchandise
and their execution, but also upstream all
the way into sourcing with contract manufacturers across the different levels of their
supply chain," says Keith Adams, JDA
Software's vice president of sales.
A drive to change how forecasting
results are measured is affecting retailers
across the spectrum. Forecasting needs
L.L.Bean changed how forecasting and inventory purchasing was handled, but it didn't
have become more complex, Prewitt says:
"A simple moving average might have been
sugarcoat the amount of effort the com- ment took place during the first three years fine in the past."
pany put into the deployment of the JDA of that window, having launched in the fall
Remaining competitive in today's
platform. "It was a lot of work," she says. of 2014.
business environment, however, means
"But it was so worth it."
"It took probably the first two years having the ability to very quickly recognize
She knew it was important to begin post-implementation to really sort every- slow-moving items, evaluate seasonal dewith a strategic, long-term point of view. thing out and feel like we were starting to mand earlier, spot fast-trend items and take
A strong commitment to organizational see significant benefits from it," she says. advantage of products with short lifecycles.
change management also allowed the team It sounds like a long time, but changing
"It's much more important to be able
to stick with the implementation through its how forecasting and
to react to those very
multi-year time period.
specific items," Preinventory purchasDesigned for results
"The whole program for business ing is handled for
witt says. Retailers
Piacentini, who has 14 years as an transformation is a seven-year program," a company the size
in today's business
IT project manager under her belt, won't Piacentini says. The forecasting deploy- of L.L.Bean - and
around those factors
with a staff of only
having the ability to
instead of more sim70 people to do it
- doesn't happen
very quickly recognize
that may have met
their needs in the
"You need time
to design, build,
demand earlier, spot
Other advantest, implement,"
she says. An interfast-trend items and
measurable but no
nal group was deditake advantage of
less impactful, have
cated to the post-improducts with short
become apparent in
the form of what
enabling the team
Piacentini calls "soft
to continuously immetrics." The team
prove processes and
was previously juggling six forecasting
maximize use of the new system.
Customer service levels in the tools but now needs just one to accomplish
L.L.Bean retail channel have improved everything.
"One of the benefits is increased viswith the launch of JDA. "When ordering
Innovative People Counting
product from vendors for our retail stores, ibility across the entire company on what
Technology. In One App.
before we only had chain-level data about the forecast is," Piacentini says. DifferV-Count's Business Intelligence Platform
how much inventory we had," Piacentini ent systems taking in and churning out
collects all people counting data and
says. "We didn't have that information at potentially different data can hinder the
delivers you accurate reports and
actionable information about your stores,
process significantly. "They might all be
the store level."
campaigns, products and operations.
With about 30 stores, even small right, but they're telling different stories,"
* Cloud based
inaccuracies could result in under- or Piacentini says. "Now there's one version
* Fully customizable
* Includes all retail metrics
over-buying, quickly impacting product of the truth."
* Full integration into existing hardware
As L.L.Bean's various internal groups
availability. "Now we have that store-level
* Available in 12 languages
detail, and our customer service levels have talk with their colleagues - from marketseen 10 percentage points' improvements ing staff to merchants - everyone can use
the same forecast to underpin their efforts.
as result," Piacentini says.
The length of the team's forecasting "It also gives vendors visibility into what
We set high standards.
abilities has also increased, while the our forecast is over a longer time horizon,"
time needed to update those forecasts has Piacentini says.
V-Count 3D Alpha+ provides industry leading
98% counting accuracy rate due to its stereo
Suppliers use the data to plan producgone down. "We've gone from forecastvision technology, and state of the art
ing over a much shorter time horizon to tion capability in their own facilities, to
tracking algorithms. The device is also equipped
with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sensors providing a
now looking over the next 18 months," make commitments on fabric colors and
wide array of analytics and also a push message
to phone capability.
to determine when and in what quantities
Rather than continuing to manually de- raw materials should be ordered.
"They now have that information and
velop forecasts, the new system downloads
data for every product in every channel can do something with it," Piacentini says.
automatically each night. "It improves your "We've cut lead times as a result."
12/13/17 12:21 AM
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