At daVinci, we’ve always been focused on helping retailers buy inventory smarter and faster. Previously, that meant assortment planning, and managing the assortment procurement process from creation to purchase-order.
That’s what has made us the ideal solution for many retail organizations around the world for more than a decade. But our customers are looking for more. Because while assortment planning is a central piece of the buy, merchandise financial planning is also critical, and retailers need a platform that can manage both.
We listened to those needs, and we’ve expanded the scope of what we do, in a way that better meets the needs of retailers today—and tomorrow.
In keeping with our central mission to help retailers solve challenge of the buy, we are taking a holistic approach to buy management, recognizing the need for merchandise financial planning alongside assortment planning.
This approach allows us to serve the needs of both merchants (AP) and financial planners (MFP) and bridge the gap between the two.
Where a financial planner could previously use daVinci for buy creation and quantification of the process, a separate platform was required for financial planning.
Our buy management system encompasses the entire process, from merchandise financial planning, to assortment planning, to purchase orders.
It sounds so simple, and so logical. But it’s a whole new daVinci, and it’s a whole new world for daVinci users.
Defining what a buy management system is
We define a buy management system as a technology solution that helps you manage your buying process, from merchandise financial planning through purchase order. It still includes assortment planning, of course, but assortment planning is now tightly coupled with financial planning—from one central location. It automates manual tasks like data entry, tracks and reports on all buying data to give the organization a 360-degree, real-time view, and helps derive the proper buy quantity for any item, giving buyers and planners more time to focus on their core responsibilities and managers more information to make better decisions.
See also: daVinci’s Buy Management System
Understanding the benefits of a buy management system
There are any number of technology solutions clamoring for your capital—some are must-haves, some are nice-to-haves. For a modern retail business looking to compete in increasingly challenging market, a BMS falls into the mission-critical category. Here are three reasons why:
A BMS improves information sharing and collaboration
A buy management system provides a central database where your planners, buyers and managers can share and access the same information. No more spreadsheet silos, or data stored on individual buyer desktops where no one else has access or visibility; no more duplicate data entry or endless follow-up emails asking where the latest report is. Multiple people in the organization can now access, plan and manage from a centralized data source, in real-time. You’ll have current plan, in-season and historical sales data readily at hand, allowing for easier and more strategic planning.
A BMS adds automation and increases efficiency
Manual data entry and re-keying information over and over to different systems, and the inevitable data entry errors that are inherent with such tasks, cost companies untold hours of productivity every year. A BMS automates many of these tasks, and reduces others to simple point-and-click activities: for example, you’ll no longer have to re-key purchase orders.
A BMS helps you get your buy right
With all of the information a BMS provides at your fingertips, you’ll have greater visibility into buy unit/dollar quantification and roll ups, and be able to spot trends that your stores are experiencing in sales—and with financial and assortment planning tools in the same system, you’ll be able to tailor your buys far more effectively. You’ll know which product does best, in which region, at what time of year, and you can order and allocate accordingly—before the trend has passed.
Invest in a buy management system for your business
As more companies look to learn more from, and take advantage of, the data housed in their own systems, retail competition will only increase. Turn your data into a competitive advantage and slot “invest into a retail buy management system” into your business plan.
See also: Confessions of a Retail Buyer