Accelytics CEO, Ash Jain has a short conversation with Retail Expert, Jared Dolich, to discuss the true ROI and value of planning tools for grocers and retailers. Learn what value should be considered that goes beyond the number and statistics.
Ash Jain: From an ROI perspective, what can a company getting into these initiatives of technology enablement and process improvement expect?
Jared Dolich: Return on investment (ROI) has always, for me, been a very challenging journey to help describe to an executive. What is the real ROI of a planning enablement tool or planning enablement process? It's difficult because the planning process is indirect. It's hard to know how a planning process directly affects my sales, my margin, or my inventory turnover.
It really comes down to value. What is the perceived value that a planning tool brings? And this is just my point of view. I mean, I could throw out numbers. Every planning solution that's out there, including Anaplan, will have percentages. For example, you'll get a 10% ROI, you'll get a 30% ROI, you'll improve your turns 3 1/2 times. What does that really mean, though?
It really comes down to value. What is the perceived value that a planning tool brings?
I find more comfort in describing what the value of having a plan enablement process in place that allows you to get closer to your customer, that allows you to make the user experience for your customer more seamless, that allows you to integrate all of your marketing and promotional activities in one place, and then feed those into your plan, which then allows you to lower your overall costs in terms of not needing to worry about that stuff anymore. You no longer need to worry about the IT service, programming or somebody else managing those services. All they have to do is the planning and getting closer to the customer.
Having all of those conversations with a grocer, in this particular case, is so much easier. And ultimately, yes, I know, we have to be realistic. We have to put it all down to numbers, but I think that's where I start the conversation is. It's really just think about what's the value that this is going to bring.
The value could be in the shape of creating capacity in your people's lives, so that they can do more value add insightful activity, as opposed to just putting data together and putting reports together and cleaning data.
Ash Jain: I couldn't agree more. The value could be in the shape of creating capacity in your people's lives, so that they can do more value add insightful activity, as opposed to just putting data together and putting reports together and cleaning data. That's not the job they signed up for. This tool allows them to do actually what they went to school for or whatever their prior experience was.
About the Retail Expert, Jared Dolich:
Jared has 30 years of extensive retail and IT experience. He strives to help retail professionals be better at what they do. He combines predictive analytics, business intelligence, planning, business process development, strategy, and IT management, helping retailers all over the world. His love and passion for the retail community inspired him to join Accelytics, a premier Anaplan consultancy with a focus on the retail industry. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.