Category Management as a Competitive Advantage

In a recent post, I discussed the new age of category management and how manufacturers can leverage consumer insight and data to build more targeted assortment strategies and a localized shelf execution plan to drive sales growth and profitability.  But category management is much more than space planning.  When approached as a strategic initiative and  executed effectively, it can become a key competitive differentiator.

Next week, I will be participating in the 2012 Annual Category Management Conference in San Antonio. At the event, I will be hosting a session titled, “The Next Frontier of Category Management.” In this interactive session, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m. CDT, we’ll take a deeper look at successful category management practices and strategies of leading companies. John Williams, Director, Category Management at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group will share his insights and best practices. Key points we plan to cover include:

  • What basic category management practices should consumer packaged goods companies master to gain competitive advantage?
  • What areas of category management are companies in the industry not addressing, but should? For example, productivity through automation.
  • What KPIs indicate a company’s readiness to accelerate to the next frontier of category management? Can they proceed successfully without mastering the basics?
  • What strategies should be considered to drive top-line growth, especially in the current business environment? How is the effectiveness of these strategies measured?
  • How do manufacturers collaborate more effectively with retail partners? Does collaboration offer a better read on market trends, changing consumer preferences and how those elements impact the business?
  • What role does software technology play in helping to achieve category management and profitability goals?

As a gold sponsor, JDA will also present a CMA-certified category management session titled, “Maximize Analysis with Tables & Charts in JDA® Space Planning,” on Friday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 a.m. CDT. Hosted by Debra Aldrich, training manager, space and category management, JDA Software, this session will provide examples of how users can maximize JDA Space Planning to uncover details about their products and increase their analytical depth. Aldrich will review the features and functionality to create formulas to customize reports and charts and strategically analyze their data in a way that can have a solid impact on the bottom line. This session is one module within JDA’s newly CMA-certified space planning training program. Together with the Category Management Association (CMA), JDA now offers certified space planning coursework according to recognized, best-practice, industry-wide standards.

Are you implementing merchandising tactics effectively based on changing consumer trends to drive sales and improve your organizations bottom line? I encourage you to attend JDA’s sessions to learn how your organization can turn category management into a strategic business tool.

For updates from the conference, be .sure to follow @JDASoftware and the #CMC2012 hashtag on Twitter.

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