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The Problem Statement

Store Clustering has been treated for far too long as a necessary evil and nuisance in the fashion retail industry. The classical approaches of using grading stores and store size to cluster stores are outdated and do not reflect the retail complexity of today. Because store clustering mostly performed manually, analysis of rich retail data is impossible. Even excel cannot perform this task.

Before we go any further, let us first review the objective of store clustering, i.e. what represents a store cluster:

A cluster is a set of similar stores in terms of category and product distribution, meaning that the same selling behavior exists throughout the cluster HENCE should have the same assortment composition and width, only varied by depth depending on the sales volume and/or size.

ebp Global in conjunction with its technology partners Datacrag and Retailisation have pioneered the application of machine learning for store clustering, as an integral part of the merchandizing process both as a historical evaluation of assortment performance in the store cluster as well as a future determination of the best assortment going forward.

As such, it supports vital functions in the merchandize planning process namely sales planning, range planning and buy planning. The buy plan in particular requires an assortment at store level to determine the correct buying budget per store, initial allocation and open to buy management during in-season.

Continue reading “Machine Learning applied to Store and Account Clustering” »


We are pleased to announce the launch of a new approach to the merchandise planning process with Integrated Assortment Planning (IAP). IAP functions include store clustering using advanced machine learning capability, sales planning, range planning and buy planning, including open-to-buy management. Like DMS, our inventory management application, IAP is delivered via the cloud.

Continue reading “Launch of Integrated Assortment Planning” »


The Problem Statement

For many companies in consumer goods, retail and other industries, also referred to as shippers, the diversification of distribution channels from a single channel to an omni-channel structure includes many challenges. One challenge we want to focus on in this article is the impact on managing inventory and demand fulfillment in global logistics. How can we manage and understand the global movements, irrespective of how the shipper or logistics provider, also referred to as carrier, manages the global product flow? The key business questions are:

  • How do you achieve visibility and control in a global multi-node supply chain?
  • Where is my order and where is my inventory?

Continue reading “The Omni Channel Challenge in Global Logistics” »


The Problem Statement

Ever since the early 80’s we have worked with a traditional 4 tier planning and execution architecture incorporating all the major elements of a supply chain, namely demand, distribution, production and suppliers. The 4 tiers include strategic planning, tactical planning, operational scheduling and execution or also referred to as the transactional backbone.

Continue reading “Planning Architecture in a Omni-Channel World” »


The Problem Statement

It is time to change course. Indirect procurement has been treated as a stepchild for too many years. Whilst many companies invested in new procurement platforms, the indirect procurement area has always been kept separate from the mainstream core business and their processes. When company refer to procure to pay or now source to pay, then they meant the direct side. However, significant synergies can be achieved by cross using the approach, platforms for methods across the two areas of procurement.

Continue reading “New Frontier in Procurement” »