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ibs Category Management


Category Managers need accurate and timely information about their category performance, market and demographic trends in order to decide on the best tactics to achieve category strategies and objectives. In most cases, however, decisions are difficult to analyze before execution and often times are based on fragmented, outdated and partial information.

Consolidating category performance information to support the decision processes requires integration to application and data sources that are typically not integrated and are inflexible in their structure.

ibs Category Management ibs Category Management


Development of strategies and tactics to support consumer-based merchandising and marketing is evolving to be a ‘must have' for progressive retailers. To respond to the swiftly changing marketplace, retailers need to have a flexible, configurable category management solution that quickly assesses alternative tactics and executes consistently across the whole enterprise.

ibs Category Management offered by Soft Solutions supports these imperatives. In addition to the ability to drive category strategies from top to bottom of an organization, it includes a powerful simulation engine to run various what-if scenarios and forecast impacts. Delivered with our master data management solution, ibs Referential, ibs Category Management supports a retailer's need to analyze and execute category strategies across various dimensions, including store clusters, consumer groups, banners and competitive markets.

Using ibs Category Management, forecasts are automatically updated by our forecasting engine. A built-in Workflow capable of providing an alert function to inform the Category Managers of under-performing categories. Additional benefits can be achieved when ibs Category Management is implemented together with the Soft Solutions' Suite of merchandise and marketing solutions. Currently in use by CVS, Auchan or Carrefour to manage their categories, it has provided net category margin improvements, thanks to better forecasting and tracking.

ibs Category Management, an integral part of the ibs Suite, manages financial goals and budgets for all the ibs Merchandising Business Suite applications: ibs Deals, ibs Pricing, ibs Promotions, ibs Assortment and ibs Space Planning.

It communicates directly with MDM (Master Data Management), which holds both the data and business layers for the merchandising, purchasing, store list and product hierarchies.


The Benefits and added value of ibs Category Management are:

  • Impacts on results:

    • Improvement of the targets management process & target follow-up in time
    • Multi-levels validation process (top-down, bottom-up, mix) and control on all levels
    • Maintenance of the margin.

ibs Category Management ibs Category Management
  • Impacts on the organization:
    • One unique version on targets, corporate-wide
    • Involvement of all actors in the process
    • Adaptation to the Retailer organizational mode (centralized, decentralized, mixed, crossed).

  • Impacts on strategy

    • Performance follow-up at all levels
    • Reactivity on the actions to be taken to catch up on the gaps with the objectives
    • Efficient market management.



ibs Category Management to face frequent problems encountered by mono and multi organizations companies.

ibs Category Management to optimize consumer marketing mix and margin goals.

ibs Category Management to provide a flexible solution with business-oriented processes.

ibs Category Management ibs Category Management

ibs Category Management is a customer-oriented tool, based on dynamic business process management. It allows customer-centric analysis around quantitative and qualitative information. Observation roll ups, forecasts, budgets and targets are made available and archived.


A library holding Key Performance Indicators is also present to enable instant visibility on the needed information (margins, sales, quantities…) and decision-making (corrective actions).

Strategic milestones are controlled by an embedded workflow and a validation cycle: an instant and automatic planning based on triggering events.

  • Category/segmentation planning
  • Rules and event-based planning
  • Multi-channel planning.

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