The new era of retail, driven by digital processes through omnichannel means, is all about the customer; gone are the days when brands and seasons had greater control over the sales. Through the years of digital revolution, the dynamics of the retail market has evolved to echo customers’ growing familiarity with the technology around them and the survivors are the ones who has managed to control and capitalize on innovations to woo their customers.

To substantiate this further, the following chart illustrates the reach and growth of major retail brands, who are at different stages of their digital adoption, through the last decade. While it is quite understandable that Amazon, the frontrunner of digital retail, reaped the maximum out of it, it is equally important to understand how Walmart, a traditional retailer, managed to understand and compete effectively with the digital natives.


Retail Planning- The Dark Horse for Digital Success

While talking about Walmart, one cannot leave out the company’s extensive inventory management system; the cornerstone of their decades-long dominance in the retail market. Even today, while adapting to the challenges and demands of the times, the company has put its supply chain management at the forefront of its innovations; The 2016 Walmart’s revenue report reveals that they still invest a significant portion of their revenue into improving their delivery service in line with their exploding e-commerce environment.

For retailers of today trying to wade through intense competition and critical customer demands, success begins at letting their customers realize that they possess the greater control over their entire retail lifecycle. While ensuring a good seasonal forecast is sure to reap the revenue within a short time frame, a solid Retail Planning solution is mandatory for a sustainable, long-term success.

Demand & Retail Planning with JDA

One of the biggest challenges that retailers face in their quest to digitization is they are often befuddled with the choices they have with solution providers to get their requirements fulfilled. While there are many leading innovators in the market, it cannot be disputed that JDA Software holds a certain dominion over the Supply Chain and Retail Solutions market. Our point of interest here would be their elaborate structure of JDA’s Retail Planning Solution with its four components: Synchronize, Anticipate, Align and Adapt.

  • Synchronize: The diversity in the modes of markets and the omnichannel solution to fulfill the subsequent complexity needs an extensive synchronization solution across platforms to offer a unified view of the supply chain.
  • Anticipate: Forecasting demands can be extended beyond seasonal sales, thanks to ever-growing customer data and the analytics solutions. With detailed demand anticipation metrics, retailers can always be in trend and ahead of their competitors.
  • Align: JDA offers a robust, scalable framework of supply chain management system that can be effectively aligned to the scope and nature of any retail ecosystem.
  • Adapt: Last but not the least, the success of any digital system ultimately boils down to how it transforms to the evolving trends in the market. In the customer-centric world of retail, it is all the more important to constantly innovate and adapt to the ways of the world.

Accelerating Margins with EP and Allocation

Amongst the extensive retail planning solutions with JDA, two of the important components are Enterprise Planning (EP) and Allocation. Let’s see how they fit into context of retailers, irrespective of their nature and where they are at their digital transformation journey.

JDA’s Enterprise Planning (EP) is defined as a “holistic solution for all planning and analysis activities associated with establishing customer-centric, omnichannel financial guidelines to manage inventory profitability and productivity”. EP enables retailers to devise and deploy an extensive retail planning solution for a desired period of time in total alignment with the financial and customer-satisfaction goals of the organization. With the product’s detailed analytics and planning ability, retailers would be able to create and stick to an agenda, built over their financial and technological capabilities, to improve inventory visibility, accelerate productivity and achieve an omnichannel at every level of their supply chain process.

Allocation, on the other hand, drives the planning and process into result-oriented actionable implementations by effortlessly integrating data and channels across an enterprise. This program, along with JDA’s planning solutions, can generate customized micro-level allocation solutions, per store per inventory, to guarantee greater clarity over the retailer’s overall supply chain process.

In Conclusion,

With the cloud surrounding the skepticism over digital retail and its impact over traditional markets finally clearing up, the retail world is slowly but steadily realizing the potential of online technologies to drive offline sales. Thus, the retail future, as we know it, is sure to evolve into an amalgamation of these two worlds to offer superior user experience than ever before, with the key driver being Retail Planning and Digitized Inventory Management Solutions. Retailers will be left with no choice that to join the digital bandwagon and when it comes to that, it will be important for them to realize that digitization doesn’t end with carts and payment gateways.

Bhargavi Seshadri