The purpose of this article is to provide you with a guide to get started with DotActiv Enterprise as quickly as possible once you’ve downloaded the software.
1. Complete 8 Step Integration Process
DotActiv Enterprise comes standard with the option for an integrated database. This allows for a seamless flow of data to and from your software which saves time and improves accuracy.
We follow an 8 step database integration process which you can read about here.
2. Classify Data Into A Display Structure
It is important to classify your data into a display structure. To classify products, you need to create a category hierarchy and a consumer decision tree. This is the logical grouping of products based on how your consumers search for products in a store and the way in which they shop the category.
Your product classification will be the base of your planogram planning decisions later on.
3. Conduct clustering exercise
At DotActiv, we strongly recommend conducting a category based clustering exercise to cater to your store specific target market more effectively. In DotActiv Enterprise you can conduct your clustering exercise by using the functions explained below.
- Use the Cluster and Assortment Initializer
The Cluster and Assortment Initializer uses a grouping process to create category-based clusters that group stores together that have sold the same product range. This is based on sales data and therefore ensures that clusters are based on factual data rather than subjective knowledge. This helps you quickly get clusters setup, after this, you can make use of Cluster Maintenance.
- Manually cluster as per your current known category based clusters
With DotActiv Enterprise, you have the option of manually creating and maintaining your clusters within the software using the Cluster Maintenance tool found in the Clustering tab. You can learn about setting up your clusters in Cluster Maintenance here.
4. Complete The Assortment Plan
Assortment planning is a vital step in optimising your shelf space because it ensures that you are offering the correct mix of items in each product category to satisfy the wants and needs of your shoppers.
- Use the Cluster and Assortment Initializer
The Cluster and Assortment Initializer groups stores together that stock the same product range for a specific category. This ensures that category-based clusters are based on factual sales data and product ranges rather than subjective knowledge.
- Create your Assortment using Range Optimizer
You can plan your assortment in the DotActiv Enterprise software by making use of the Range Optimizer function. This function allows you to create a range for each cluster by applying rules to templates to create a range plan for a product category. This means that each range plan will consist of different templates depending on the subcategory and the rules that apply for each.
- Inherit your current assortments manually
This step involves manually creating your product assortments. You can learn more about the importance of assortment planning for your stores here. You can then run your range using range maintenance.
5. Produce Clustered Data-Driven Planograms
- Convert existing planograms to a DotActiv .flp file if needed
You can import existing planogram files to the DotActiv Enterprise software. The exact steps to achieve this are explained here.
- Create and update planograms from Range Maintenance/ Optimizer
Once you have opened your range in range optimizer or in range maintenance, and made your changes you can simply click on the ‘Update Plano’ button in the file section. This will open the ‘Range Optimizer – Update Planograms’ window where you can select the planogram or directories of planograms you wish to update. You can read more about this here.
- Use Planogram Automation for space apportionment and flow
When using DotActiv Enterprise, you have the option to use the Planogram Automation function. This function packs your products on your gondola for you by considering pre-set up criteria. This saves time and streamlines the planogram creation process. How to do this is explained here.
Once the Planogram Automation has run, you can make manual changes to your planogram from here to ensure that it is accurate.
- Use various space planning tools to optimize your planogram
1. The Highlights Function
2. The Planogram Analyzer
The planogram analyzer enables you to measure how complete your planogram is while you space plan. It includes a list of criteria to help you improve the planogram before finalization and sign off. You can read about how to use the planogram analyzer here.
3. Planogram Reports
DotActiv Free comes standard with planogram reporting which includes 10 different reports used to report on the data on your planogram. The function of each report is discussed in more detail in this blog post here.
Merchandising is another important factor to consider when building your planograms. This is where your merchandising principles, techniques, strategies, and consumer decision tree is considered as this will determine your product flow. Place your products on your planogram accordingly.
Once your planogram is complete you can save it and print it to PDF to be shared with your team.
6. Create And Optimise The Floor Plan
- Import a CAD drawing as a floorplan base or draw a floor plan from scratch
DotActiv Enterprise comes standard with the floor planning tool found under the space planning tab. This allows you to create or import an existing 2D floor plan for your store.
- Add CAD objects and gondola blocks
To create a new floor plan, you would need the exact dimensions of your physical store and fixed objects. The size and shape of your store will influence your store layout and how your gondola blocks are placed. This article discusses how to determine which store layout is right for your store.
Once you have decided on your layout you can now place your CAD objects and gondola blocks. This article discusses how CAD objects are added to your floor plan.
- Add planograms and begin to optimize using floor highlights
Once your CAD objects have been placed, you can decide where to place your product categories and link your planograms accordingly by dragging and dropping the FLP file onto the desired place on the floor plan or by bulk importing your gondolas as explained here.
Apply the highlights function to generate a heat map that will show you exactly where your top and bottom performing categories lie. This will allow you to spread out your categories across the floor to avoid shopper congestion and to expose your shoppers to a wider range of products which will lead to impulse purchases and a bigger basket.
If you would like to save your floor plan as a PDF, refer to this article.