Identifying Growth Opportunities In Your Business

In a previous blog, I wrote about the importance of business acumen, which is the ability to assess an external market and make effective decisions. Or more simply put, it’s understanding how YOU and the work you do fit into the bigger picture.
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Refresh your CatMan Approach with Strategy

Working with many manufacturers and retailers is a great privilege for me, and one that gives me the unique perspective to help identify broader issues and opportunities for our industry.   A recent opportunity that was identified by Tom McDonald (Category Management Association) and I was to improve the connection of what we do in category management to the Shopper.    How do we better connect with Shoppers?  It starts by focusing on the big picture - including defining your department's purpose, and identifying your expected outputs AND inputs.  By delving deeper into your inputs - including data, tools, strategy, processes and people (based on where your biggest gaps are) - you can uncover ways to improve your overall approach. These improved inputs can change your game!  Are you ready?  Although it may be difficult to get out of your comfort zone and start to think about ways to make changes to improve the future for your department, there are three steps that can get you started.
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Improving Your Business Acumen in Category Management

on Feb 20, 2018 6:38:50 AM By | Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG | 0 Comments | - Retailers - Manufacturers
Business acumen is the ability to assess an external market and make effective decisions. You need the skills and tools to think more like an owner of the business and to understand, set and execute business strategy while being able to measure the effectiveness of their business strategy through financial performance – skills that I think many of us can improve upon. Think about what you’re responsible for in your job. How often do you think about or consider the impact of your decisions on other areas in your company?  For example product supply? Or finance? Or your implementation team?
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Managing Change in Retail Category Management

on Nov 27, 2017 7:42:28 AM By | Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG | 0 Comments | - Retailers - Executives
Retail has changed significantly over the past 20 years – new data, technology, tools, analytics, Shoppers, omni-channel … How much have you changed your internal approach to reflect these changes? I recently co-facilitated a “Retail Leaders’ Forum” for retail executives responsible for category management, with Tom McDonald of the Category Management Association. We talked about the importance for this audience to evaluate their current catman approach in 3 areas.
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5 Ways to Maximize ROI on Category Assessments

We spend a lot of time analyzing our business, but we need to ask whether we are looking at the entire picture or just scratching the surface.  Are you looking for the big opportunities? Developing next year’s category plan? Identifying weaknesses when business is soft? Determining the next big innovation? Evaluating the post results from an initiative? Or analyzing a specific tactic? Identifying the question will help you achieve your goals.
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What’s YOUR training plan this year?

If you’ve made cuts to next year’s training budget or plan to, there’s still time to avoid: Productivity losses, Missed opportunities, and Strategic misfires … All for a fraction of the cost of Data, Technology, and Shopper Insights. Here’s how …
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Navigating Your CatMan Priorities is Easier Than You Might Think

Our industry is changing. Has your organization responded? Are you stuck in a holding pattern or waiting for a signal? This blog will help you to get started in leading the journey for your organization.
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Why CatMan Needs More Critical Thinkers

We’re all searching for better ways to tap into Shopper insights data to address the “why” in category management — why aren’t we finding it?
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6 Avenues to Master Advanced Category Management in 2017

How are you going to stay relevant in this rapidly changing industry? Category management practitioners, executives and solution providers all need plans to move to more advanced catman approaches to reflect changing data, technology and Shopper in 2017... As an experienced category management professional in Retail, Manufacturing or as a Solution Provider, you’ll need concrete ways to reflect the changes that have happened over the past 30 years. Here’s what you need to understand CatMan 2.0 from your point of view …
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Top 10 Ways to Use Category Management in Retail (Small- to Mid-Size)

For the past 4 weeks I’ve been blogging and getting feedback from Small- to Mid-Sized Retailers on overall retail strategy and category management practices and approaches. I originally broached this subject based on a theory I had developed through one-on-one client training, professional speaking engagements, and larger discussions via social media. But being a data-driven person, I wanted to test my theory about this specific group of Retailers so I developed a series of anonymous, online surveys to collect more insight. Of note, the surveys were primarily filled out by Small- to Mid-Sized Retailers (<1000 stores) and we removed the large Retailers from the survey results for more specific results. Here they are:
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