What’s Next?

Clients, Analytics, and Shoptalk

While NRF’s Big Show 2023 is now an almost-distant memory, Parker Avery’s theme of “What’s Next?” continues full throttle through the first quarter of 2023 with our clients and firm initiatives. Here’s a snapshot from our latest newsletter.

Client Initiatives

What’s next in many of our client conversations includes more focus on demand planning and getting the right products in the right quantities to the right place at the right time. While this seems like table stakes, many retailers still operate with wildly different processes and juggle multiple demand forecasts and plan versions across the organization—even under the same banner. These disparities create incredible complexities and limit visibility, often resulting in uninformed and poor decisions. And with today’s macroeconomic conditions, including inflation and rising interest rates, excess inventories and unplanned markdowns wreak havoc on revenue and margins.

We are helping clients achieve better efficiencies by selecting new systems, redesigning their business processes, and reconfiguring roles across planning, allocation, and replenishment, as well as employing a single view of demand across various functions. Employing a refined and focused product assortment via both tools and processes helps eliminate unproductive products and avoid unplanned markdowns.

Many of our clients understand that their “next” must focus on improving their operating model by harmonizing disparate business processes, eliminating redundant tasks, and streamlining—many times outside of technology. We are leading these efforts and ensuring their new ways of working incorporate industry-leading practices.

Our latest work with clients also includes foundational processes and systems such as core merchandising and hierarchy (yep: the boring stuff that makes the shiny tech work). The pandemic and its aftermath highlighted ugly truths about antiquated legacy systems and band-aided spreadsheets still used by a surprising number of global retailers. We are helping our clients untangle those messes across business process, organizational, and technology perspectives.

For many clients, before “What’s Next” in terms of newer, sexier tech, their existing core business processes and systems must be assessed and often replaced or redesigned.

So, for many clients, before “What