Category management within Retail has been evolving and re-inventing its self since the early ’80s. Dependant upon the business structure and senior influences, category management has been led by almost all Departments within organisations. From retail led to buying, marketing and even supply chain led. In our experience, the lead department is not important. What is important is the operational functionality, the process, the working roles and the structure. These combined effectively optimise category development whilst minimising transitional change and creating well-defined review points. When blended with clearly understood KPIs’ the team and individuals can take their categories to unlimited heights.
Aligning your business.
Whether you are looking at a re-structure or to review your current category management process, or looking to start the journey, we can help. Our experienced team have worked across multiple industry sectors of category management in a full spectrum of roles; buying, supply chain, retail and merchandising. We can help guide you and your team in designing and structuring your category process. We can help with identifying the systems and process required to build the necessary framework to allow your category management teams to focus on the right things.
Category Management the early 80’s model is still a baseline.
The clear benefits of a well-structured category management framework and process include.
♦ Well-defined product categories with clear strategies and business targets.
♦ A robust and well-understood process that is adhered to and supported by all.
♦ The near-seamless integration of new ranges and products.
♦ Collaborative supplier relationships, use of their expertise and market knowledge.
♦ Reduce product writedown and increased seasonal and campaign sell-through.
Setting out your Stall.
The value to any business in getting their category management processes right can not be underestimated. As a retailer, your business success and customer following is primarily based upon the strength of your product offering and your brand proposition. Getting your internal process, job roles, scorecards and KPI’s, calendars and planning all aligned into an operationally efficient framework will define the on a shelf or online offering to your customers. It will also play a key part in controlling your business cost to serve to impact on bottom-line profitability.
Category Management is a business alignment process.
A founding principle behind category management is to put the customer at the “Top of the Triangle”. Through aligned working process across all departments and an understanding that whatever actions are taken must add value to both the business and the customer, category management starts to deliver the real benefits to the business.
Many businesses talk about having a “customer-centric” business model, whilst very few are happy with their internal process to deliver this. We can help you design the best process for your business. In many cases this involves working back from the customer (and the shelf right) right back to the supplier. It is always good to remind ourselves that there is only a finite amount of profit that can be made from supplier negotiations, without their engagement the category management process always remains suboptimal.
Give us a call to find out more about how we can help you.
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