2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Survey Results Revealed

November 20, 2014
2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Survey Results Revealed

With a multitude of emerging tools and techniques available to support and expand business, it is an exciting—and challenging—time to be a retailer.

Consumers want a seamless omni-channel shopping experience which requires more functional capabilities than ever before. Despite significant advancements in the technology to support omni-channel, adoption of transparent cross-channel inventory has yet to become a reality at most retailers. The desire is strong and the need is clear. Now retailers must work to broaden their vision, realign processes and replace their legacy systems. Developing a strategy and roadmap for offering a real-time view of retail is now essential for success.

Boston Retail Partners Merchandise Planning and AllocationRecently, Boston Retail Partners released its 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Survey which explores the current state of the retail industry and how technology is shaping retail capabilities. The report highlights the priorities, processes, tools, and strategies of today’s retailers, and reveals windows of opportunity for retailers as they evolve into enhanced business models that support the growing need for unified commerce.

The research uncovers a few alarming statistics:

  • 60% of retailers still rely on silo’d, static spreadsheets and homegrown solutions to manage their merchandise planning and allocation
  • 69% of retailers maintain separate inventory across multiple channels
  • Only 8% stated they have a working cross-channel forecasting method in place

However, 69% of those surveyed they plan to expand their unified commerce capabilities in the next three years. With so many relying on antiquated solutions and processes, how will retailers be able to effectively expand their unified commerce capabilities?

To be successful, retailers need a strong foundation that includes elements such as flexible allocation, real-time visibility into inventory and expanded coordination with suppliers across their supply chains. As the report’s authors state, “today’s best-of-breed solutions promote the transfer of inventory where it is needed when it is needed, serving an important foundation for the unified commerce process.”

The research shows that a majority of retailers recognize the importance of standardized planning, and thus have introduced formal processes within their organizations, however, many have yet to implement the measures necessary to support the demands of a unified approach across all channels.

Does your organization have an omni-channel strategy in place? How does your supply chain support its success? Let us know and you may be featured in a future post!

Download the Report: 2014 Merchandise Planning and Allocation Survey

Related Content
White Paper: Optimizing Retail Allocation: 10 Must-Have Capabilities
White Paper: Retail Supply Chain Collaboration: 3 Catalysts for Success


Karin Bursa is a vice president at Logility. She can be reached at blog@logility.com.


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