Toolio - 101

Toolio - 101 is a high level overview of Toolio, fundamental terminology, and concepts that you will need to build a solid foundation.

Updated over a week ago

Welcome to Toolio, the Merchandising Platform for the next generation of retailers! By automating critical workflows, providing real-time insights, and enabling cloud-based collaboration, Toolio will empower you to make faster, data-driven decisions about your most important (and expensive) asset-- merchandise.

Toolio is a cloud-based merchandising solution that helps you streamline your end-to-end planning process from top-down, merchandise financial planning, to seasonal assortment planning and bottom-up, item-level demand planning and replenishment in a single platform.

Toolio Overview & Demo

Toolio Terminology


Toolio has core data models that are used to contain data. A model is analogous to different sheets on Excel, but they do not map one to one. Some of Toolio's core models are Sale, Product, Inventory and Purchase Orders. A model can be customized by using attributes. Each models can be inputted into Toolio with data importing.

  • Sale Data Model - Sales and returns information that is aggregated over a specific time unit, such as day or week. If desired, data can also be shared in the transaction level granularity.

  • Product Data Model - Variant (SKU) level product meta data along with all the required attributes. Attributes from the Product feed will be automatically used to enrich data from the other seeds.

  • Inventory Data Model - SKU level inventory information by location over time. By default we request ending inventory, along with its Cost, Retail and Ticket value for each timestamp. This should be your 'Quantity Available' or 'Available to Sell' value (not your 'On Hand' value).

  • Purchase Order Data Model - SKU level purchase order information. This feed is used to calculate Receipts (i.e. new SKU deliveries) and On Order metrics.


Toolio uses attributes for planning and reporting. You can think of attributes, as dimensions you want to report by or as columns on an Excel sheet. For each of Toolio's data models (e.g. Product, Sale, Inventory), you can add as many attributes as you would like.

Models can have as many attributes as needed for customization. Attributes can be of different types, like text, currency, number or single-select. You can learn more about attributes in the overview document.

What are attributes used for? Attributes are placeholders for data you want to associate with a model. Let's take two examples:

  1. For the product model, you might want to associate store fabric, silhouette, vendor information.

  2. For the sale model, you might want to store whether the sale was for a new or returning product, or the channel the sale happened in.

Each attribute can have a type, which allows Toolio to validate that attribute's data and customize how that attribute appears. Below are the different attribute types supported on Toolio.


Sample Use Cases


Product Image


Unit Cost, Unit Price


Launch date


Units sold, Beginning of Plan Inventory

Single Select

Color, Size, Program


Product title


Options define the values that single-select attributes can take. For example, Department Attribute can be defined to have the Option Values of Apparel, Footwear and Accessories.


Metrics are used to represent any numerical value, such as Sales, Inventory, Purchase Order or Unit Cost. You can learn more about metrics in the overview document.

There are 2 key concepts around using metrics: Actualization & Planning and Raw Metrics vs Derived Metrics.

  • Actualization - Refers to the value assigned to a metric when a time period elapses. In other words, when the 1st week of the year is finished, the metrics for that period are actualized. Gross Sales Retail metric gets its own value, and so on. Each metric that is not a formula (i.e. that is not a derived metric), is actualized based on the data feeds that are provided to Toolio.

  • Planning - Refers to setting a target, or anticipated value for a metric. Typically planning is only allowed for metric values in the future.

  • Raw Metrics - Are values that actualize, based on the data feeds provided to Toolio. For example, Gross Sales Units is a raw metrics, since Toolio gets this value from the Sale feed provided to Toolio.

  • Derived Metrics - Are values that are calculated as a formula of Raw Metrics. An example of a Derived Metric is Gross Sales AUC, since it is derived from a formula, which is Gross Sales Cost / Gross Sales Units.

Custom Metrics & Variants - If you see a metric that you need, but is not supported out of the box, fear not! Just let us know, and we'll add support for that metric. Also, all the metrics within Toolio are fully customizable. That means that the name of the metric and and its formula can easily be customized.


Variants define the different measures of a given metric. A variant might be the Plan variant or the Actual variant or Last Year's value or a % of TLL variant, all for the same metric like Gross Sales Units. You can learn more about variants in the overview document.

Open To Buy

Open To Buy (OTB) planning is important to consider when building your merchandise plan. OTB allows retailers to evaluate inventory levels relative to forecasts and customer demand. In its simplest form, OTB can be calculated with the following formula:

Open To Buy = Receipts Plan - On Order Actuals.

In Toolio, you are able to view OTB values for AUC, AUR, Cost, Retail, & Units.

Workflow Terms


When you are building a new Merchandise Plan in Toolio, Seeding allows you to populate your current plan with historical data or a plan from the past in order to jump-start your plan creation process. By seeding from the past, you can save time and easily inherit historical seasonality curves, product mixes and important ratios like Markdown % and Return %. This way, you don't have to manually recalculate these values for the current plan you are building from scratch.


Views are customizable reports that can be generated using the same underlying data. You can learn more about using views in the overview document.


Toolio's Scenario Playing feature serves two main purposes: planning for multiple scenarios at the same time and snapshotting old plans to access them later. In the Excel-land this is analogous to creating duplicate plan spreadsheets or having multiple plan versions (such as original plan, working plan, last forecast, etc.)


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