Sourcing Planning Tool

An innovative and more efficient way to plan and manage private label business. 

Strategic Sourcing Planning

From sketch to sales 

Many retailers rely on their own private brands to offer their customers exclusive product with extraordinary value. Our solution helps global sourcing organizations manage their supplier matrix, create, manage and track their financial plans, create and manage item plans and manage the production planning process more effectively and efficiently. 

Every retailer does it differently

Our system has been designed with flexibility to adapt to a retailer’s specific merchandise hierarchy and organization chart.

Function & Visibility

Features include:

  • Supplier Matrix
  • Create & manage item plans
  • Production Planning
  • Brand, category, control office management
  • DCD/ETD Date management
  • Financial planning by directory, brand, category, program, item, country, supplier, factory
  • Reviewing plans by director, brand, category, program, item, country, supplier, factory


Learn more about our Sourcing Planning Tool below.

Overview

Many retailers rely on their own private brands to offer their customers exclusive product with extraordinary value. Depending on the number of categories and SKUs, sourcing private brand product can require significant resources on many levels in the organization. If product is globally sourced an even deeper layer of complexity is involved. Managing the global sourcing planning process varies greatly and very few tools exist to ease the process. Most retailers rely on inefficient and error-prone spreadsheet-based solutions.

Enhanced Retail Solutions’ broad knowledge and experience led to the development of an online solution that can significantly help global sourcing organizations manage their supplier matrix, create, manage and track their financial plans, create and manage item plans and manage the production planning process more effectively and efficiently. The system allows Sourcing Directors, Production Planners and Executives to reconcile top-down financial plans with bottoms-up item planning. Following a best practices approach to Sourcing, the system starts at the beginning of the process with a simple Buyer’s Shopping List. Plans start when items and categories are just ideas. As details become available, such as FOB costs, retail prices, suppliers, factories, etc. the pieces get filled in from either manual entry or automated feeds from other systems, such as PO’s or Work Orders. The system has been designed with flexibility to be easily tailored to a retailer’s specific needs.

The powerful reporting engine provides users with the ability to drill, pivot and visualize critical data, enabling sourcing executives to see planned and actual business by brand, category, item or basically any hierarchy. Through ad-hoc reports, exception reports, dashboards and custom decks, the insight and trends tracked provides improved decision making.

Enhanced Retail Solutions cloud-based planning system, paired with a customized database and reporting tool creates a dynamic and easy-to-use supplier and production planning and reporting system designed to facilitate business.


Supplier Matrix

The system keeps track of suppliers and their factories so at any instant the Sourcing team can see what the financial plans are for any given country. The system provides a detailed production plan that can be viewed at various levels (item, brand, category, etc.) and also includes the ability to track reservations, commitments and actualized purchases. The Sourcing organization can create and customize virtually any report to track progress, review plans, and provide vendor recaps & scorecards and executive decks based on each team member’s area of responsibility. And because the system is web-based, approved content can be accessed externally by the suppliers, as well.

In addition to supplier/factory and country tables, the system also provides administrative tables for brand, category and user management, as well as your merchandise hierarchy (Division, Sub-Division, etc.) and fiscal calendars. If you need to import reservations or actuals data at Distribution Center Date (DCD) and then convert to ETA for financial reporting, there is an administrative table that lets you set the difference in weeks or months by country and flow model. This allows your Sourcing team to plan at DCD and report financials at ETA.




Creating and Managing Plans

A key component of this system is the ability to create and manage plans at both program and item levels. Creating a financial or production plan for an item or program can begin at any time during the development process – from concept to purchase. Sales or shipment/receipt curves based on the history of similar items or categories assist the Sourcing manager in defining the future forecast. The forecasts contain estimated units, dollars and FOB cost, by month.

Many of the plan fields are linked to other plan fields to reduce the amount of data entry required to create a forecast. For example, when the user selects the desired Supplier, the system auto-populates the associated Country, as well as the Region, Buying Office location and any other plan fields that are directly tied to that specific supplier. Dropdowns are used throughout to increase the speed of input and decrease data input errors that could lead to inaccurate reporting.

The monthly forecast table auto-calculates the Dollars based on the Units and Avg. FOB cost input for a given month. Space is provided for planning up to 25 months out and the months in the table roll forward with each passing month so that the forecast can continue.

To get your business up and running quickly and reduce the initial workload, the Tool has a “Plan Import” facility to load your existing plans.



The Production Plan

The Production Plan serves as the point of integration of forecasts, work orders, real PO’s, history and contingency plans. It can be filtered by a multitude of fields to quickly display the summarization the user requires.

 Normally, a Production Plan report might suffice, but we’ve found it extremely helpful to Sourcing managers if they are able to run a production plan for a supplier, country, category, etc., and then make immediate changes to the plans without leaving the Production Plan window. 

Below the Production Plan Summary section is a list displaying all of the plans referenced in the Production Plan report. Users can both review and update individual plan forecasts, then see the immediate impact of those changes within the above Summary section.

 Also included with the Production Plan functionality is the ability to view both forecasts and actuals using either DCD or ETA timing. Because DCD timing can lead ETA by up to 60 days, the Production Plan window displays the past 2 months so that the manager can see the forecasts for recent months along with the future forecasts.

 In conjunction with Production Plan reporting, some retailers need to “lock” all forecasts to provide a snapshot of the sourcing business for financial reporting. This tool provides locking functionality, to save off a snapshot of all forecasts on a selected date, as well as a calendar for defining those key “lock” dates. Future “locks” can be preset, and the system will execute the lock automatically on the predefined date.

 The “Previous Lock” plan information is displayed in Production Plan Summary. Managers can access the history from past “locks” in reporting.





Administrative Functions

The key ingredient to optimizing a process is reducing the time it takes to find and manipulate data. Both the front and database back end structure of the Sourcing & Production Planning Tool provides an efficient means to access the key data points in a way spreadsheet-based solutions never can. Users can search, filter, add and edit data quickly and efficiently. The administrative functions of the system allow users with the appropriate permissions to manage the following areas:

Brand Management, Category Management, Control Office Management, Country Management, Data Management, Data Reassignment, DCD/ETC Date Management, Fiscal Calendar Management, Locking Dates Management, Merchandise Hierarchy Management, Supplier Management and User Management.





Reporting

The easy-to-use planning functionality of the system helps to create a base of sophisticated reporting data that the sourcing executives and managers can use to create strategic reports. These reports provide a tangible view of their direct sourcing business, across months and years, from the major category down to the Supplier/Factory level. Our team can customize any report required, such as a 1 click report package or users can create reports themselves on an ad-hoc basis. Some of the key reports include:

·        Total Business ($) by Major Category, including Last Year/This Year (LY/TY) plan and actuals comparison

·        Total Business Unit Cost Average ($) by Major Category, including LY/TY plan and actuals comparison

·        Total Business ($) by Supplier Rank, including LY/TY plan and actuals comparison

·        Total Business ($) by Country, including LY/TY plan and actuals comparison

·        Business ($) by Supplier Rank for each Major Category, including LY/TY plan and actuals comparison

·        Top 10 Suppliers’ Business ($), including LY/TY plan and actuals comparison