As we start the new year, change is inevitable. We have a new President of the United States, new challenges in the world, and customers who continue to engage with us through greater use of technology. With the pace of technology innovation rapidly increasing, the process for localizing assortments, the need for consumer-centricity, and the emergence of the “always-on consumer” is causing us to rethink our approach to category management in the future.
Last summer, in collaboration with JDA and many key industry leaders in both retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG), the Category Management Association (CMA) launched CatMan 2.0TM. Though the foundation of category management as a business discipline is very much intact, the approach to assortment optimization, store-specific planograms, and consumer segmentation is changing. Many retailers are recognizing the challenges ahead with not only localizing assortments, but also responding to the demands of the consumer. How are these challenges affecting your upstream supply chain, collaboration with suppliers or your operational costs?
As a software provider of category management solutions, it has challenged us too. How does JDA support localization, collaboration and the need to analyze and consume the growing amount of consumer data that’s now available? We do so by providing greater investment in R&D, collaborating with retail and CPG market leaders, and creating solutions to support these critical processes.
We are investing in our solutions to support the creation of assortments, planograms and floor plans in an automated fashion that requires fewer touch points, provides more efficiencies, and enables compliance and tasks at the store level. To achieve this, data science will be key, along with segmentation insights and web enablement through cloud, to support anytime, anywhere buyer/supplier collaboration.
In the future, aligning process to technology and leveraging data to drive shelf assortments will be the new normal. Incorporating not only data, but also science to the art of category management, will be required. And better understanding the impact these changes will have to suppliers and retailers will help all of us reinvent retail for our customers.
We invite you to come hear more from our suppliers, retailers, the CMA and JDA as we discuss the next generation of category management technology at the CatMan 2.0 Delivery Tour on February 8, 2017 at the CMA’s office in Minneapolis. We will be presenting with key CPG suppliers and the CMA about how to enable the process of CatMan 2.0 in the age of the “always-on customer.” We’d love to see you there.
To learn more about some of the trends influencing category management in the next couple of years, view this video.