How to Build Your Planogram in Three Days  7/17/2016

Picture this: You’re a category manager for a large retail chain. You’re standing in a ballroom with a conference table and 24 feet of empty shelving. Three days later, after meetings with more than 75 suppliers, all 24 feet are filled and your planogram is done. The suppliers were all pre-screened and came fully prepped with the knowledge of your category goals, the appointments all started and ended on time, and once the planogram was set the samples are organized, packaged, and ready to be shipped to your office, with the follow ups and action items logged digitally. And the best part is, all of this busy work was done for you, so you could completely focus on what’s important – building the most profitable assortment possible for your company.

This is just one example of what ECRM’s Retail Team does for large retail chains. The team, led by Wayne Bennett, ECRM's SVP of Retail, develops individualized plans to help these retailers go to market faster and alleviate many of their daily challenges, whether those challenges are coordinating competitive line reviews or sourcing new suppliers.

“We are able to take a deep dive into each of our retail clients’ current processes,” says Bennett. “We work to gain an understanding of their go to market strategy, to then apply ECRM’s business process, tools, and technology to save buyers and category manager’s time and reduce redundancy, while providing world class business intelligence.”

ECRM’s Retail Solutions are not a cookie cutter process; the Retail Team works strategically with retailers to determine their objectives and areas of focus in order to achieve maximum value.

ECRM's Product Review Management Program
One of the solutions ECRM has developed, for example, is the Product Review Management Program, during which ECRM works with a category manager to help execute his or her competitive line review at an appropriate Efficient Program Planning Session (EPPS) -- those 60+ face-to-face meetings we host throughout the year. The process includes ensuring that all of the retailer's current suppliers are present for meetings, as well as sourcing new suppliers for these meetings based on qualifications/compliance requirements that are set by the retailer. 

Account managers work with these suppliers to inform them of the retailer’s specific needs and capabilities and ensures that they complete any needed documentation requested by the retailer. If a deeper level of education is needed, ECRM will host a webcast for participating suppliers. We also coordinate the meeting room set up and the shipment of product samples to this room prior to the meetings and -- post-EPPS -- to the retailer (see photo below from a Product Review, in which a national retailer built a planogram during an ECRM EPPS).

Retailers that complete their seasonal and category planning with ECRM quickly and efficiently identify opportunities to refresh their assortment to better align with consumer demand.

Following is a list of all of ECRM’s Retail Service Offerings, all of which can be tailored to the retailer’s needs within the category:
  • Supplier Education and Alignment
  • Category Development
  • Sourcing
  • Category Planning
In following columns we'll touch on these other Retail Service offerings and how they can help drive your category growth.

For more information on how ECRM can develop a custom retail solution for you, contact Wayne Bennett, ECRM’s SVP of Retail, at 440-528-4213 or 

ECRM helped this national retailer develop its planogram for the candy category

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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