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The TABS Group Launches the Next Generation of Category Management in Total Store Analytics

2 Jan, 2007

The TABS Group Launches the Next Generation of Category Management in Total Store Analytics

The TABS Group announced the launch of anew software that brings category management to a completely new level. This innovative new business process is called Total Store Analytics.

Category Management, developed and implemented in the late 1980's, brought great attention to the industry with a process that enabled retailers to review, develop and execute a plan around a specific category rather than on a single item. Category Management solved many problems and increased productivity for both retailers and manufacturers. However, it was generally limited to the category being reviewed. Category Reviews did not take on the wider entire store issues that many retailers face. Viewing only a category does not allow Category Managers or Executives to see how changes in an entire aisle would affect the bottom line of the overall store performance.

The TABS Group's Total Store Analytics is a business process that solves for a myriad of issues and brings the Category Manager and Seller tremendous new insight. This new business process includes TABS AisleMasterT, which enables users to gain immediate access to all items at any retailer in a user-friendly, Excel-based program. Complex mathematical algorithms are employed to optimize solutions that are most desirable for the store. In addition, a second mathematical model optimizes the critical category adjacencies storewide so that dollars per trip are maximized. The most unique feature is that the software has flexible decision criteria that enable each retailer to structure models according to individual company objectives. For example, one retailer may want to focus on high traffic categories, other want a focus against upscale consumers. Still a third may desire to maximize gross margin or any combination of several other factors. While these are complex decisions, Total Store Analytics makes such decisions intuitive and easy.

"If a Category Management analyst had left the industry in 1988 and just recently returned, that person could pick up right where he left off. Little has changed in the discipline in almost 20 years. Total Store Analytics establishes a necessary first step to the Category Management Process by prioritizing categories in a systematic, objective manner," states Kurt Jetta, president and founder of the TABS Group. "Total Store Analytics will yield a total store decision to allow merchants to lay out their aisles in a way that will generate the highest productivity. It will also give merchants the choice to spend money operationally if they wish to make huge changes, such as department and/or category moves," he adds. "Until now such an opportunity has not been available."

The decision to create this new tool came six years after the launch of TABS Group's AisleMaster solution. Many manufacturers and retailers have enjoyed great success utilizing TABS AisleMaster. This tool was developed to discover how items in multiple categories were affecting each other and how could a shopper get the most out of an entire aisle. The expert analytics employed widened the scope of the overall picture to allow buyers to make better decisions, but the TABS group team knew there was still something bigger and better yet to be discovered.

"TABS AisleMaster created an entirely new perspective versus the previous single category view. AisleMaster allowed retailers and manufacturers to dramatically increase sales and profits while also making sound decisions operationally inside a complete aisle of product. With TSA, we can now employ that learning against the Total Store," notes Jeff Elderton, Partner at the TABS Group. "By widening the scope of the overall picture, buyers and manufacturers will have a more comprehensive tool to work together to make every department more profitable."

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