New times, new tools, new team—merchandise planning reimagined at market-leading North American apparel retailer
This market-leading international men’s apparel retailer operates nearly 1,500 locations, has more than $2.5 billion in annual revenue, and employs close to 20,000 people.
Replace independent spreadsheets planning with centralized planning solution across four business units
The company was using spreadsheets to manage its merchandise financial planning process, which led to countless errors and accuracy issues. The four retail divisions of the company used a different data warehouse and sales metrics to calculate financials, so division and enterprise-wide forecasts weren’t consistent. The siloed data made financial roll-ups cumbersome and unreliable. Because the company didn’t have standardized forecasting processes or a single source of truth for its financial planning data, division leaders and company executives couldn’t make reliable, informed decisions. This manual, arbitrary approach to merchandise financial planning wasn’t sustainable or scalable long-term and prevented the company from achieving its growth potential.
Deployed data management, enterprise planning, and merchandise financial planning systems
A specialized team of Blue Yonder system integrators at UST helped the company implement a Blue Yonder data management system (DMS) to consolidate information from the four divisions’ independent data warehouses into a single system. The company also implemented and configured Blue Yonder’s Enterprise Planning (EP) and Merchandise Financial Forecasting (MFF) solutions to standardize merchandise financial planning processes across its different retail divisions—using the new DMS as the data source. After loading the EP and MFF applications with two years of historical financial data, the embedded artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms created much more accurate financial and merchandise demand forecasts.
Gained holistic, reliable view of financials; set stage for scalable growth
The new consolidated Blue Yonder data management system provides company leaders and merchandise planners with a reliable, single source of financial data—something they didn’t have before at an enterprise level. The AI-powered Blue Yonder MFF solution standardizes, automates, and streamlines the work of merchandise planners across divisions and gives them a much more insightful, granular approach to planning. They can now more accurately meet consumer purchase demand at a regional and store level. By replacing spreadsheets with the automated EP and MFF solutions, the company has eliminated the human-error factor from the merchandise planning process, significantly improved the accuracy of financial and demand forecasts, and given divisions leaders and company executives a much more reliable, holistic view of retail division sales and overall company financials. As the organization expands the EP and MFF applications to other merchandise planning roles, it can finetune the forecasting process across the company to improve sales and facilitate growth.