In James Gleick’s book, Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, he states, “Our computers, our movies, our sex lives, our prayers- they all run faster now than ever before. And the more we fill our lives with time-saving devices and time-saving strategies, the more rushed we feel”.
Well, James Gleick is right, but there is an exception to every rule and if Gleick’s book was a business book geared towards retailers, there would be an asterisk at the bottom of the page. Companies are either bogged down with their existing technology or they don’t have enough technology. Either way, the exception that is missing in Gleick’s statement is how all of these time-saving devices and time-saving strategies are helping us keep up in this fast-paced, modern and technological world that we now live in.
We are succumb to a relationship with technology, whether we like it or not, but you can decide what that relationship is going to be for you and your company.
Now, more than ever, retailers need to respond with time-saving devices and time-saving strategies. I was sitting with the Head of Retail Planning at a top luxury brand a few weeks ago and she said, “But isn’t this the job of the planner? If they aren’t doing these things, they aren’t doing their job”. My response to her was simple, “Our software does not make the decisions for you. Your job as a planner is to make decisions. Planners should spend their time making decisions, instead of spending their time gathering data, cleaning it up and making reports. mPower drastically reduces the planning time and makes it possible for planners to make decisions, because the software provides the insights and information for appropriate decisions.”
Merchandise financial planning is the skeleton of any fashion business. If I am a retailer and I am beginning my year, what do I need to do? The name suggests exactly what it is; it is a financial plan for the merchandise you are stocking in your company for the upcoming year. The merchandise financial plan is used by the planners to set the guardrails for the buyers when the time is right for them to place buys for the new season. The plan sets the targets top-down or bottoms-up and what you are actually selling is then determined later. The merchandise plan is divided into two sections: pre-season (before it happens) and in-season (after it has started happening, but not yet complete. This is also sometimes referred to as open-to-buy). Within those sections, there are target, goal and budget setting.
Most companies today follow a process where they will create an annual operating plan. Finance will set an annual operating budget for the processes and once those are locked in, you are pretty set in to responding to that.
The problem that we have noticed is that most companies can’t operate on an annual plan anymore, because the business is changing faster than ever before.
What we see today is very siloed business processes that might be optimally planning within their silo, but if you get outside that functional silo, things start to break down when it comes to decision making and actually managing the business itself. Today, there really is no centralized platform out there that allows you to look at your top-down, bottoms-up approach, where all of your plans are reconciled and integrated together. With mPower, we have created one single platform where we look to move beyond a traditional planning process and enable a more agile approach for managing the business, optimizing resource allocation, and most of all, saving time.
Coco wears a Vintage Gucci Suede Wrap Dress, YSL Pearl Tributes, a Vintage Gold Chain, Celine Round Tortoise Glasses, Prada Cross-Body Handbag, Hermes "H" Heure Watch.