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Breaking down retail terminology, this blog will explore the benefits of a WSSI: a standard merchandising reporting tool that plays a critical role in the day-to-day running of a retail business.
WSSI stands for weekly sales, stock and intake data. As an application, it maximises sales by ensuring that stock levels are effectively controlled and optimised.
A WSSI allows retailers to manage their inventory based on sales forecasting, actual sales made, and stock information. This helps the retailer determine how much stock is required and when, by generating what is known as Open to Buy. By measuring trading conditions and their impact on stock and sales, the WSSI can support accurate forecasting, and keep markdowns to a minimum.
A standard WSSI will consist of sales, stock, purchase order data and more, and can be used in any order or combination that the user requires. Data is then divided into weeks, with each week displayed as a row or column of data.
For omnichannel retailers, it’s essential to use a WSSI that allows planning and trading at any level of your product hierarchy. It’s also beneficial if each level can operate independently of one another, with the ability to “roll up” lower levels of the hierarchy to see bigger picture.
Whilst dealing with very complex information, one of the best attributes of any WSSI is powerful, rich functionality, with a simple, easy user interface. Ensure that “dimensions” can be dragged and dropped in any number or sequence, into and out of the display.
Any system used should have a fully integrated export to Microsoft Excel – a “must have” for merchandisers. This formats the data accordingly, and shows all the row labels and column headings automatically.
Sales should further be automatically downloaded, and all plans updated without any need for IT intervention or user action.
Can you also plan by different criteria? Planning by Seasonality, by Channel, or Key Lines, are all benefits of an effective WSSI.
With any new system, it should be flexible and intuitive enough to accommodate varying data displays, whilst also being simple enough to adopt, administer, and implement.
Offering a customisable view, once a user has defined a way of viewing the data, the same view can be adopted by other users. Users should have the ability to create as many WSSI templates as required, which can be for specific attributes, or different countries, for example.
Our partner’s industry leading Merchandise Planner tool includes Retail Value (Incl & Excl VAT), Cost, Units, Margin Value and Margin % for every data element, (e.g. sales, stock etc.), without the need to specify the necessary calculation or have separate data elements for each.
Together with the ability to include Channel and Store plans as well as a traditional Product WSSI, this gives a more accurate, complete picture of performance from which better business decisions can be made for maximum profitability.
Frustrated by time-consuming, complex WSSI systems? Are you looking to implement a practical, cost-effective WSSI tool? To find out more about the Merchandise Planner functionality mentioned in this blog and the benefits of a WSSI, just drop us an email here to set up an exploratory meeting.
You can also fill out our quick and easy contact form and someone from our team will be in touch.