Category Management

In today's highly competitive retail environment, retailers must work harder than ever to differentiate
themselves in the minds of consumers as well as determine and procure the best offerings for these consumers in an efficient and timely manner. Retailers who act now to effectively exploit existing and developing consumer data technology will be those leading the industry into the next century.

Category management is a strategic tool which allows you to harness today's resources to gain a larger part of tomorrow's market share. Implementation of category management improves your
productivity through:
  • Focusing on consumer needs
  • Aligning categories into strategic business units
  • Integrating key business functions
  • Exploiting new technology
  • Developing strategic business alliances
  • Creating proactive business processes

Category management is more than the application of technology and information tools - it is a business philosophy focused on asset management which facilitates your ability to:
  • Maximize both sales and profitability
  • Optimize shelf space, inventory movement, and customer traffic
  • Reap the benefits of the retail industry's (ECR) efficient consumer response initiative

Our recommendation for retail involves the people, processes and systems of your organization. We suggest that you focus on the following components of the category management process:
  • Development of an overall identity for your company
  • Development of an organizational model with clearly defined roles for buying and merchandising (category managers and replenishment buyers) and built-in accountability
  • Assessment of corporate financial goals
  • Analysis of activity-based costing (ABC) and direct product profit (DPP options
  • Selection or improvement and application of customer and retail data technologies, both hardware and software, as well as training
  • Definition and assessment of categories within the framework of the corporate gameplan
  • Development of strategies, tactics, goals and objectives for category segments
  • Creation-of comprehensive category performance measures and scorecards
  • Category Management Training Programs for buyers/merchandisers and store operations personnel
  • Forging or improving partnerships with other players in your logistics pipeline to reach category sales and profit goals

Effective category management is reliant upon teamwork and cross-functional communication. Our team works in conjunction with yours in developing and executing plans, as well as measuring your performance and refining your approach accordingly.

For more information on this topic contact Pat Fitzpatrick at Atlanta Retail Consulting Inc