How JDA works
The JDA tools enable us to convert a wealth of data and insight into ranges on-shelf, which surprise and delight our customers. It allows us to invest our efforts into areas where we know we can win, putting the right ranges in the right stores.
1. The JDA tools we use
2. Roles and responsibilities
3. How we approach range changes
We execute range changes through three types of range event:
Each type of event has a clear milestone process and way of working with JDA tools that enable us to effectively land new ranges in store.
Making sure all stakeholders at the Co-op and within our supply base, are aware of, and working to these timelines is key to us getting the most out of the new systems and executing effective range events.
4. The 3* range event process
3* (or ‘three star’) events are the ones that see the most significant changes. These give the opportunity to alter the strategic direction of the category through ranging, store clustering and merchandising.
All 3* events will have the opportunity to use the JDA systems, across a 34- week process. The process is split into three phases:
4.1 3* events: the strategic phase (between week -34 and week -25)
This is when we define the strategy, objectives and success measures for the event. Each category has a three-year strategy, which is updated once a year.
It’ll act as the basis for the range event strategy. Category strategies are typically refreshed and agreed in Q3 each year, but the Category Development Team will share exact timings for this with you during Q1.
This’ll include detail on how you collaborate with us to create insight-led plans that drive category growth. If you’d like to access your current category strategy, get in touch with your buyer, who’ll be able to share this with you.
Around week -34 we collaborate across our teams and with our suppliers to collate insight and data which gives us a customer and future-focused view of how we fulfil shopper needs, specific to the 3* event. We encourage you to collaborate with us here, bringing insight to help us answer key questions such as:
This is a crucial part of the event process, as the signed off strategy will guide all subsequent decisions. The strategy is signed off at Week -25; without business sign-off we cannot proceed with the range phase of the event.
4.2 3* events: the range phase (week - 22)
New lines and delists
At the start of this phase, your Buyer locks down which products will make up the complete range, also known as the ‘master assortment’.
They’ll ask you to complete New Line Forms for the proposed range, but this doesn’t mean we’ve agreed to stock the lines. We ask you to do this because we need full product information at -week 22 to consider ranging the product. At week -22 we’ll also need any information you have about delists you’ve planned, otherwise the product will stay on our plans and could result in a shelf gap.
Your buyer will discuss their proposal for full product delist with you. Reasonable notice will be established before final decisions are made. All new lines and full product delists will be signed off by week -22 at the Master assortment Sign Off Meeting.
Proposing new product development (NPD) ranges
When proposing new product development (NPD), you should share with us who your target shopper is, and how you expect the range to perform by store cluster. This lets us target the right stores, giving the new product the best chance of succeeding when its ranged.
If you’re not sure about which store clusters are used within your category, and what makes each cluster different, speak to your Buyer or Category Development Planner.
With new lines and delists now agreed and the full Master Assortment signed off at this stage, we move into a four-week window to determine what each store’s range will look like
Our Range Analysts will convert the agreed strategy into tactics.
Tactics are what we feed into the Assortment Optimizer to tell it what needs to be reflected in the range output.
Here are some examples of how we might use tactics:
We put tactics into the AO tool, which, combined with product sales performance and customer loyalty measures, recommends ranges across our estate.
The Commercial, Category Development and Range Analyst Teams review this to make sure it delivers against the defined strategy and represents a customer-focused proposition.
An output review might consist of:
a snapshot of current versus proposed product distribution by store cluster
more detailed planogram level range proposals, with accompanying data to explain AO decision-making
Where outputs are not aligned to strategy, alterations are made through further tactics.
Impact to supplier distributions will also be considered as outputs are processed. Buyers will be able to make adjustments to product depth of distribution (DoD) if needed.
Throughout the four-week AO period, multiple iterations of the ranging output will be reviewed and refined, until we reach week -18 in the process.
Week -18: range sign off
At week -18, your Buyer will sign off product distributions; they’ll keep full control and ownership of the range. We can’t proceed beyond this point until the Buyer has signed off the range event.
4.3 3* events: the merchandising phase (week -22 to week 0)
We then pass the signed off range to the Merchandising Team. They’ll use it to build most the common planograms for business sign off in week -16.
At this stage, your Buyer can give you a highly accurate indicative depth of distribution (DoD). But there’s still the potential for minor changes to DoD numbers until week -7, when the Merchandising team will have finished building all planograms.
At week -7, final distributions can be shared and the range event cannot be affected any further, until the range goes live at week 0.
5. Depth of distribution (DoD) vs. volume changes
When reviewing product distribution changes, it should be taken into account which stores the product is being added to, or removed from.
Often, making DoD changes by cluster means that distribution changes do not have the same impact to volumes. JDA tools make us more effective at ranging the right products in the right stores, so it’s possible that a product could lose distribution, but maintain volumes due to being ranged in more suitable stores.
We can give you the number of stores for which a product has been added or removed. For example, a product may maintain a DoD of 1,000 stores, but 500 of these could be completely different. Taking this view gives us a clearer idea of how volumes may be impacted, and allows us to estimate range churn for stores.
6. 2* and 1* range event process
2* range events
2* (or ‘two star’) range events follow a similar process, but they’re more tactical with limited range churn.
Changes for a 2* event are actioned through one-in, one-out product switches, which can be executed at total estate, cluster or planogram level.
The process for 2* events begins with the Master Assortment meetings. Master Assortment Sign Off occurs at week –18, and as per 3* events, this is where new product development (NPD) and delists are confirmed. For 2* events, Buyers are also required to articulate the specific product depth of distribution (DoD) switches they would like to make at this point.
This is followed by the four week Assortment Optimizer window, which will mirror the 3* process. At week –14, provisional DoD is signed off and can be shared with suppliers. Final DoD can then be shared at week –7 once the Merchandising Team have built all the planograms.
1* range events
1* (or ‘one star’) events are limited to minimal changes, with a maximum of five new lines allowed. For this reason, we don’t use the Assortment Optimizer (AO) tool, and the small number of changes are directly actioned on plans following the Master Assortment Sign Off meeting at week -8.