Category Management & Frequent Problems Encountered

Why Ibs Category Management - Frequent Problems Encountered

Each category is run as a "mini business" (business unit) in its own right, with its own set of turnover and/or profitability targets and strategies. Introduction of Category Management in a business tends to alter the relationship between retailer and supplier: instead of the traditional adversarial relationship, the relationship moves to a collaborative one, with exchange of information, sharing of data and joint business building.

We take the example of negotiations: The focus of all the supplier negotiations is the effect on turnover of the category as whole, and not just the sales of individual products.

Suppliers are expected, indeed in many cases mandated, to only suggest new product introductions, new planogram or promotional activity if it is expected to have a beneficial effect on the turnover or profit of the total category, and be beneficial to the shoppers of that category.

However, Category Managers usually face some similar issues while working on the Category Management, and need to have a relevant tool to standardize and assist them in their work.

“A Process Without A System: Silo Vision, Disparate Actions”

  • Each division uses its own performance indicators and fixes its own targets. Resulting lack of synergy in action across different divisions of the company, the information is non-shareable. Each Business and/or application generates its own information, with too numerous and complicated applications used, generating high maintenance costs.

  • Business also faces a lack of support in information systems. Performance follow-up is manually done, without a global view. The controls and the visibility on the Business process are limited. Category managers don't have efficient decisional tool and their knowledge is difficult to transfer.

“Each Category Manager Has His Own Approach To Prepare And Conduct Categories Objectives”

So, In order to answer to different retailers needs, a unique and efficient solution must allow to:
  • Analyze activity before the building of objectives with external and internal information
  • Prepare the construction of objectives by calculating the forecast on the current period
  • Build the objectives: definition of quantitative and qualitative objectives and strategic axes
  • Define plans for the different axes of the retailer: merchandising, promotions, purchases…
  • Manage the past, current and future activity: corrective actions or modifications of objectives


A horizontal vision for coherent actions
  • Common indicators used and common targets fixed for all services
  • Flexibility of indicators and calculation rules
  • Information uniqueness on which each application is based on
  • Shareable information resulting in best practices between different actors across organization
  • Assign category roles, objectives and targets
Global analysis and better visibility on Business management
  • Definition of the retailer's strategically objectives and their distribution on different axes:
  • calendar, merchandising hierarchy, organization…
  • Target and Forecast management
  • Target and Forecast versions management
  • Validation cycle management by different targets or forecast breakdowns
  • Qualitative Data Management and its organization in a library
A shared Vision with coherent actions
  • ibs Category Management uses common indicators and targets for all divisions and Business
  • Each application uses the same information to work
  • Shared information results in coordinated actions across the organization
  • Run simulations and monitor category dashboard

“A Unique Decisional And Strategic Tool”

ibs Category Management can deliver dramatic results to support a variety of organizational goals, through an effective application and modulation of the process. It can directly answer to the drivers of the organization and the sector. It operates within any specific market conditions, as well as prevailing macro-economic.