The purpose of this article is to provide you with a guide to get started with DotActiv Professional as quickly as possible once you’ve downloaded the software.
1. Complete 8 Step Integration Process
DotActiv Professional 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 highly recommend this step.
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.
- 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 Professional, you have the option of manually creating and maintaining your clusters within your 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.
- 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 Professional software. The exact steps to achieve this are explained here.
- Update planograms from Range Maintenance
Once you have opened your range 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 Maintenance – 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 various space planning tools to optimize your planogram
- 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.
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.
DotActiv Professional comes standard with planogram reporting which includes 18 different reports used to report on the data on your planogram. Each of these reports has its own focus points on which you can analyze and review certain data related to the planogram.
- Basic Shelf Plan Reporting
The function of each report is discussed in more detail in this blog post here.
- Advanced Analytical Reporting
This includes reports that require a database, such as Demand Report, Availability Report, Shelf Congestion Report, Product Performance Report, Cross Merchandising Report, Cluster Report and Custom Report.