Retail Advisor Newsletter

Quarterly Newsletter

Winter 2015

A Great Plan

As a young adult, one of my mentors used to tell me "Plan your work, then work your plan." In its simplicity, this phrase consists of two key elements of which retailers should be mindful as we move through 2015: careful planning and coordinated execution.

At NRF's Big Show in early January, several different themes emerged: reinvention, customer segmentation, alignment of technology with the organization and the "new employee." Despite the interest in new solutions that support these initiatives, however, Parker Avery also noted a strong desire - and need - for retailers to revisit their foundational technologies before making investments in newer capabilities. Things like enterprise inventory visibility, master data management and infrastructure represent just a few candidates for review. This theme also involves assessing existing business processes to ensure they are coordinated, optimized, and align with strategic objectives. This foundational mindset should be one of the first steps in your planning.

Secondly, plan for what I would consider the secondary foundational layer - things like vendor collaboration, price optimization, product lifecycle management (PLM) and merchandise financial planning. In this age of on-demand analytics and advanced business intelligence, these now represent essential capabilities that retailers should have in place or be planning for in the not-too-distant future.

After plans are made comes the really fun part: executing the plan and watching ideas become reality. Even the less "sexy" underlying foundational elements create opportunities that were previously unattainable. It's a bit like updating the electrical wiring in a beautiful historic home - not a particularly exciting task, but it enables new lighting fixtures and all the new "smart" appliances to be implemented without burning the house down. And similarly, executing the plan with the proper internal and partner resources, tools and roadmap in place is crucial.

There are abundant opportunities to take advantage of newer technologies that "wow" consumers, engage employees and drive retail business strategies, but these require a rock-solid foundation, mindful planning and carefully managed execution to ensure your company is positioned for success.

As always, I wish you good fortune in this New Year. If you'd like to discuss any of your 2015 plans, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Robert Kaufman
CEO, The Parker Avery Group

Thought Leadership

The Experience Manager:
Laying the Foundation for Exceptional Customer Experiences

Augmenting retail customer experiences through flawless training strategies...

Out-of-the-Box PLM
Solution Implementation Realities and Considerations

Implications of configured, preconfigured and customized solutions and key elements for success...


New Case Studies

Business Plan Development
Assessment of strategic factors and creation of a business plan to illustrate the validity of a retail business model...

Merchandising Training Program
Designing and delivering a training program to enhance merchandising capabilities and support strategic initiatives...

Store Number Expansion
Facilitating system development & enhancements for migration to a new store numbering schematic to support future retail site growth...

Retail Radar

The Parker Avery Group frequently contributes to articles, publications and events beyond our own thought leadership to provide current perspectives and advice to the retail community. We invite you to read the following articles to which we recently contributed or authored:

apparel logoTurning Your Stores Into Warehouses:
Key Considerations for Success
(Apparel Magazine, February 2015)

retail leader logoThe Times, They Are A-Changing:
How you manage change can make or break the success of the endeavor. (Retail Leader, January 2015)

marketplace logo The thrill of the hunt for discount prices
(Marketplace Business, November 2014)

Please also join Parker Avery on March 4 at 2pm ET as we team up with AAFA and ecVision in a webinar to further our discussion and answer your questions about "Out-of-the-Box Implementations."

ecvision logo
aWebinar - Out of the Box Implementation: Proceed with Caution (Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 2pm ET)



Great Reads

The Road to Reinvention, by Josh Linkner. Non-fiction, business. Provides a clear call to action - it's better to innovate and disrupt your organization before your competition does.

The Innovators, by Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute. Non-fiction, business. How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.

Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet (Author), Stephen R. Covey (Foreword). Non-fiction, business. A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders.


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