Transforming Merchandise Planning With Ankura

Ankura Consulting Group LLC


Ankura Consulting Group, LLC is an independent global expert services and advisory firm that delivers end-to-end solutions to help clients at critical inflection points related to conflict, crisis, performance, risk, strategy, and transformation. Ankura consists of more than 1,800 professionals and has served 3,000+ clients across 55 countries. Collaborative lateral thinking, hard-earned experience, and multidisciplinary capabilities drive results and Ankura is unrivalled in its ability to assist clients to Protect, Create, and Recover Value. For more information, please visit,
In the dynamic world of merchandise planning, many companies have long relied on the versatility and user-friendliness of Microsoft Excel.
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Executive Summary

In the dynamic world of merchandise planning, many companies have long relied on the versatility and user-friendliness of Microsoft Excel. However, as organizations expand, the manual processes and limited data handling capabilities of Excel reveal their shortcomings, making the search for an advanced solution imperative.

The challenge arises when seeking an alternative; modern planning systems offered by large software providers come with high costs, extensive training requirements, and lengthy deployment times, often extending over several months.

Ankura's solution emerges as a transformative catalyst that not only embraces Excel's functionalities but also enhances it with robust database capabilities, offering a seamless, cost-effective transition to advanced merchandise planning.

Bridging the Gap

Ankura's solution represents a paradigm shift in merchandise planning by offering:

  • SKU Level Demand Planning: Automated weekly updates ensure that each SKU is consistently projected, tracked, and monitored.
  • Every Inventory Location Is Forecasted: Everywhere you maintain a physical inventory we create a forecast of how long that inventory will last, when it falls below target levels, and where we anticipate the need for additional receipts, all updated daily.
  • Precise When and Where Carried Management: No guessing what items are valid in what locations. Manage SKU/locations by groups, clusters, or by store.
  • Forward Promotional Planning: Combine the understanding of historical events into predictive power and what-if capabilities.
  • Markdown Optimization: Whether in-season or at the end of the season, calculate and drive markdown cadences that optimize margin dollars with inventory liquidation.
  • Dynamic Store Allocation/Replenishment: Understand daily the exact store-level needs of all defined products, drive inventory optimization, balance and prioritize key item shortages, and drive seasonal sell-through.

All these capabilities are accessible within an easy-to-use, familiar interface that provides users with:

  • Seamless Integration: We combine the familiarity of Excel with the power of a database infrastructure, ensuring a smooth transition for businesses deeply ingrained in Excel.
  • Rapid Deployment and Cost Efficiency: We can deploy our solution in a timeline of as little as 12 weeks. Ankura offers 90% of the benefits of high-end systems at a fraction of the cost.
  • Customized Solutions: This is not a canned answer but tailored to specific client business needs, ensuring that the system not only handles the basics but also addresses unique challenges.
  • Automated Updates: We eliminate the manual updating of key input requirements, ensuring actualized data is current and accurate.
  • One Source of the Truth: We integrate data from trusted sources into a cohesive system for more comprehensive analysis.

Do not settle for outdated processes that hinder growth. Ankura's solution unlocks the full potential of merchandise planning, empowering you with the agility and precision needed to thrive in today's dynamic market. Experience a seamless transition, rapid deployment, and cost-effective access to advanced functionalities that will revolutionize your inventory management and propel your business to new heights.

The Ankura Advantage: A Partnership Beyond Software

Ankura is not a software company but a solution provider, a partner who has years of line management experience.

  • Performance Improvement: Delivers significant uplift in performance metrics through optimized operations and strategic planning. We have done this job!
  • Strategic Insights: Turns data into actionable insights, leveraging years of industry experience for informed decision-making.
  • Continuous Support: Offers ongoing guidance and support, adapting to business evolution and emerging challenges.

Ankura has assisted clients to confidently navigate the complexities of today's retail landscape, achieving tangible results and strategic growth.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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