Toolio provides seamless workflows to build long range bottom up plans, by creating long range forecasts for core products, and layering in the seasonal newness on top to help achieve the targets from the Merchandise Plan. Below is a quick visualization of the process around how Merchandise Plan, Assortment Plan and Item Plan all come together.
Before going through all the steps, below is a rough visualization of how the planning process goes between the 3 modules in Toolio.
1. Long Range Core Forecasting
Long-range forecast all existing core items in IP. If desired:
Generate Receipts & Export POs if desired
2. Push from IP to AP to Plan Seasonal Buys
Seasonal buys will ideally happen in Assortment Planning. To be able to see the entire assortment together (and reconcile to the merchandise plan), we need to get all the core products into the Assortment Plan. So for this:
Filter to the appropriate season’s time frame in IP
Filter for the core products
Push core to AP
You can see the detailed steps for this process here.
3. Plan Seasonal Buys
We typically recommend customers to do their Seasonal, one-time buys, in Assortment Plan. Below is a high level overview of the process.
As we have pushed from IP to AP, an assortment starts half-built with all the core products
Compare starting AP (core items) to Top Down Targets to identify how much newness to add
Plan new seasonal choices (first create placeholders, and replace them with final SKUs as the buying time gets closer)
Plan new choices, sales, receipts in AP
Export new choices and pre season buys to your ERP
4. (Optional) Push Seasonal into IP for Week Level Planning & Reconciliation
Most customers can stop at this point. However, some customers will want to see all of their plans together in Item Plan week by week and add seasonality curves, and reconcile to the Merchandise Plan week by week.
It’s important to know that any new, seasonal items will automatically be added to IP once actual data referencing the finalized SKUs are imported into Toolio (i.e. purchase order, inventory feeds). Pushing seasonal items into IP serves to enable IP planning workflows for these products prior to their actuals from being imported into Toolio. To enable this, follow the steps to push seasonal products and apply seasonality curves:
Filter to Seasonal Products in AP
Push from AP to IP
Forecast Seasonal Products doing Spread Current with a given Seasonality Curve
You can see the detailed steps for this here.
What happens if I push the same core product into AP multiple times?
Naturally, you will be re-forecasting your core products at a certain cadence, before the season you are planning starts. After each re-forecast you can safely push core products from IP to AP (selecting appropriate timeframe), to ensure to see how much room for newness you have left.
How does Toolio handle updating placeholder SKUs?
If new choices were pushed with placeholder (non-finalized) SKUs from AP to IP and Toolio starts receiving actuals for the Final SKUs, you will see the plans and actuals split between 2 entries in IP: plans will be associated to the placeholder SKUs, and actuals (like on order units) will be associated with the final SKUs.
To prevent this, please make sure to please go through the process here to update your placeholder SKUs so that they match the finalized SKUs and can be merged into a single IP entry. .