Channel & Location planning can be complex - Clusters help to make the planning process easier. In order to distribute your line plans down to the Location level in Assortment Planning, Toolio utilizes Clusters. This article provides an overview of Clusters indexed below for easy reference:
What are Clusters?
Clusters are best thought of as groups of locations. For example, you may want to categorize a list of locations as your Tier 1 Stores, another list of locations as Tier 2 Stores, and group warehouses as a Warehouse specific location group.
Cluster Spreads allow you to do this easily in Toolio AP by distributing your Assortment Plan Line into multiple Clusters, which can then be spread to the locations beneath each Cluster.
Cluster Planning in Toolio involves 3 distinct components. Before we dive in, let's get familiar with each component:
Inventory locations attributed to a single cluster
Store 1, Store 2, Store 3, Warehouse 1
Group of locations
Tier 1 Stores, Tier 2 Stores, Outlet Stores
Group of clusters
Watches, Jewelry, Straps
The terminology used hereafter will be directly referencing each of the 3 components.
Once your Clusters are fully configured (steps shown below, here), you'll be able to start using planning in AP with Clusters.
Assign Cluster Group
To get started, make sure that the Cluster Group attribute is added to your view in Assortment Plan and that you've finished planning all values for your Assortment Plan Items.
Next, you can select any Cluster Group from the drop down menu. In this example, we are assigning The Cluster Group of Outerwear to our Assortment Plan line.
Manage Spreads - View Clusters
Once a Cluster Group is assigned, you can see the ClustersxSize in the Spread menu.
In this example, our Retail Cluster Spread consists of 2 Clusters: Tier 1 Stores and Tier 2 Stores. Since Tier 1 Stores and Tier 2 Stores are configured to carry 30% and 70% Weight of the Outerwear Cluster Group, we see that the Total Units are distributed accordingly across the Clusters.
Manage Spreads - View Locations
Now that we've seen how the values are distributed down to the Cluster level, we can also see the values at the Location level. To enable this feature, select Size x Location from the dropdown menu within the manage spreads menu.
As a result, you will find that the Cluster Spreads are now displayed at the Location level, with the associated Cluster represented in parentheses. You will also find that the distribution reflects the Locations and Weights you configure below for each Cluster.
Before you proceed with configuring Clusters, please make sure to reach out to your Customer Success team to ensure that this feature is enabled on your account. Your CSM will also make sure that your locations are all configured correctly. Once you have the green light, there are just a few steps you'll need to follow to configure Clusters:
Navigate to your Settings > Data Management > Options menu. You'll need to make sure that the Option for the 'Cluster' attribute is configured with all possible Clusters you'd like to use in your Cluster Spread configuration.
Configure Cluster Groups
Navigate to the Settings > Data Management > Cluster Groups menu and click click Add. Here, you'll be prompted to define the following fields:
Cluster Group Name - the Cluster Group name you'd like to use (i.e Outerwear Cluster Group)
Filter - the filter criterion to apply for this cluster group (i.e Class: Outerwear)
Cluster - Cluster assigned for the location specific to this cluster group
APW - Average per week is the weight you enter for the sales distribution
That's it! Now you're all set to start using Clusters and Cluster Groups in Assortment Plan.
How do I create multiple Cluster Groups for each class, category etc?
In order to create new Cluster Groups, repeat Steps 2 referenced above.
How do I add new Clusters?
To add new Clusters, refer to Step 1 above. You will need to add new values directly beneath the 'Cluster' option in Settings > Data Management > Options. From there, you'll need to add Clusters to your Cluster Groups.