Overview

Video coming soon!

Seeding Your Plan Using Historical Data

When planning for the future, it’s important to consider your performance in the past. As you set growth and improvement goals for a future period of time, more often than not, the targets or KPIs you set are tied to improvements above your historical performance e.g. MOM or YOY sales, margin contribution, etc.

Summary

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.

Use Case

Say you are building out a new Merchandise Plan for your organization. Your plan for this year will likely relatively resemble your plan or performance from last year, but you will want to change your sales, margin and inventory targets to account for planned growth and inventory utilization improvements you plan to make this year. In addition, you may also adjust the spread between your product mix this year as you account for new product introductions or special promotions. In order to Seed data from the past, you select:

  • The type of historical data you want to Seed from the past - Actuals or Plan

  • The year in which you would like to Seed data from - 2018, 2019, etc.

  • The time frame in which you would like to Seed the data - (Year, Half, Quarter, or Month)

Once you specify this information, it will bring all of the relevant historical actual (performance) or plan data from the past into your plan from this year. Then, you can make adjustments to those metrics based on absolute numbers, % Plan to LY or % of Total.

Below are a few other use-cases:

  • Building an annual plan where using LY or LLY as a reference

  • Building out a quarterly plan while using previous quarter as a reference

  • Building out a plan for a new class, say flats, from the plan or the actuals of an existing class

Capabilities

  • Seed based on a previous plan years’ actuals or plan

  • Select the source and destination time-frame (e.g. year, quarter, month) for seeding

  • Seed from and to a subset of your plan via filtering by attributes

Walkthrough

*Please note the Financial Planner module has since been renamed Merchandise Planning


Filtering Data

You can filter the data you see on Toolio using the filter button at the top of left of the grid. This feature is available in Merchandise Plan, Assortment Plan, and Item Plan modules.

Let's say you are building out your Men's Outerwear Assortment Plan for Holiday 2021 and want to only evaluate products that are Brown, Black, or Beige.

First, you would click Filter > Add a filter

Now, you are able to select from all fields which you can filter by. Upon defining your desired filter criteria, you can click out of the filter menu and your changes will be applied automatically.

Please note that for different fields, you can select between the include, excludes, equals, not equal, less than, greater than functions. Additionally, you can add multiple filters to further specify the data displayed.


Grouping & Dynamic Hierarchy

Thanks to Toolio’s attribute-based approach to planning, you can dynamically change the product hierarchy you use to view or build your merchandise plans.

Specify the Attributes by which you want to see your data, select the order of their position in the hierarchy, and Toolio will dynamically change your plan hierarchy on the fly.

*Please note the Financial Planner module has since been renamed Merchandise Planning

Use Cases

Say, you want to look at your plans broken down by Division / Department / Class / Channel. All you have to do is to select these Attributes using the "Group by" button. You can save this plan to your View and build a plan within this hierarchy. However, there will be times you will want to break down your plans by Channel first, say to understand your Web vs. Store split. In that case, you can simply reorder your Grouping to put Channel to the top and see your updated hierarchy.


Using Time Frames and Time Groups

n Toolio Item Planning you can easily adjust the Time Frame selection and Time Grouping options to view your data in a meaningful way.

Time Frames

Plan Year Time Frame

Within Item Planning, there are several options for the dates that you can view. You can easily select a specific Plan Year from the dropdown to see an upcoming or historical plan.

Relative Time Frame

You also have the option to select a Relative time frame. A Relative Time frame allows you to choose from options such as the Next 52 Weeks or the Last 4 Weeks.

Custom Time Frame

A Custom time frame allows you to hand pick a specific date range that you’d like to view.

Time Groups

Once you’ve navigated to the date range you’re interested in, you can change the time groups that you are viewing. For example, you can select the Week view to view weeks within each month.

For Months, Quarters, and Halves, you are able to select whether these columns are inserted to the right or left of other time groups within your View. This ability helps you to be able to see the data in a way that makes sense to your planning process.

By selecting the pin icon, you can pin a time group to the right side of the page. We recommend pinning the Total column so you can easily see the total value for each metric over your selected date range.

Once you have made changes on these Time Frame Selections, you can save that in the View to make that your default view.


Using Views in Merchandise Planning

Using Toolio's Views capability, you can create custom views of your data to support different roles and planning workflows within your organization. The video below covers the following:

  • What you should use Views for

  • How to view and switch between different Views

  • How to turn on / off specific Metrics

  • How to turn on / off specific Variants

  • How to create, update and delete Views

*Please note the Financial Planning module has since been renamed Merchandise Planning


Features and capabilities of the Toolio Grid

Overview

The Toolio grid supports many commonly used grid management features that users might be familiar to in Excel and Google Sheets. These features are supported in all the modules unless specifically called out.

Copy / Paste

Toolio allows copying & pasting to and from other grid-based platforms like Excel and Google Sheets. This makes bulk importing and exporting data from Toolio super simple. See below for how it works in action.

Fill Handle (aka Drag To Copy)

Fill Handle allows dragging a value in a cell to the other cells the selection is dragged on to.

Grid Summary

The Grid Summary at the bottom of the Toolio Grid displays aggregations, such as min, max, average and sum, for the cells selected on the Grid.

Support for Formulas while inputting values

Toolio Grid allows using basic arithmetic operations while inputting data into cells. This can be helpful to adjust the value that is already in the cell, such as reducing the value by 50% or scaling it up with a 120% growth.

Please see below for how this works in action.

Please note that Toolio supports only arithmetic operations and not Excel Functions. Formulas are only supported in Merchandise Planning (MP)

Cell State Indicator and Undo

After editing a cell in Toolio, a blue triangle shows up on the top right corner of the cell. This Cell State Indicator highlights that the value of the cell has been edited. If desired, users can click on the Cell State Indicator and see the current value, the original value of the cell and undo the change. Alternatively, you can undo by highlighting the cell and press Command & Z for Mac or Ctrl & Z for Windows on your keyboard.

Context Menu and Exporting

Users can Right Click anywhere on the grid to show the Context Menu which allows exporting the data displayed on the grid to CSV or to Excel.


Reset Plan Values

To clear all values within a plan, click on the 3 dots located in the top right corner of your screen and select Reset Plan Values. A banner will pop up to prompt you to save changes. To save the new values, click Save on the top right corner. To reverse changes, click Cancel.

Please note, this will only reset the plan values for the active scenario. Other scenarios will not be affected.


Scenario Playing

While preparing for the future, it's important to map out multiple scenarios and project the impact of each outcome. Especially today, as the Corona Virus has implications on operational restrictions and consumer behavior that change almost daily, a merchandise planner needs to constantly evaluate different scenarios and adopt new plans on the fly. Given this increased need to maintain planning agility, we're excited to announce Toolio’s new scenario playing feature.

Summary

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.)

Use Cases

  • A planning team is maintaining two scenarios, a second lock-down scenario and a conservative scenario, which you maintain as the Master Plan.

  • You have committed to an Original Plan at the beginning of the plan year. You want to save it as a reference, and want to see how the Master Plan is comparing to the Original Plan

  • You are re-forecasting on a monthly basis, and want to freeze each month's plan as a snapshot with the month’s name. You are not planning to maintain previous months' plans, but want to keep them available as reference and compare your current plan to a previous month’s plan.

Capabilities

In Toolio, the main plan the team is working on is called the master plan. At any point, you can create different scenarios off of the master plan and give that scenario a name. Your changes within that scenario will not impact the plan you have on master.

At any point, you can choose to see multiple scenarios at the same time and compare the new scenario to the master plan. Lastly, if you choose to update the master plan with the scenario you are working on, you can just promote the scenario to master.

Walkthrough

Please see the video below for how scenario playing works in action.

*Please note the Financial Planner module has since been renamed Merchandise Planning

FAQs

Are Scenarios scoped to a single View, or are they shared across Views?

Scenarios are shared between different Views and different modules. So if you have a Planning View and a Finance View, the same scenario will be shared between the two.

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