GrMAP Launches Comprehensive Merchandise & Assortment Planning Tool to Improve Retail Forecasting

New Enterprise Software Suite Integrates with ERP or Works as Standalone Solution to Optimize Merchandise and Assortment Planning and Allocations to Maximize Profits.

New York, NY (March 22, 2011) -- GrMAP ( today announced the release of a new enterprise software solution for merchandise and assortment planning (MAP) for mid- and large-scale retailers. Supported by Groupsoft US (, an international development team delivering complete retail solutions, including ERP implementations , supply-chain optimization, and business warehouse consulting; GrMAP can be used as a stand-alone merchandise planning solution or to supplement other enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms such as SAP Retail and SAP AFS. GrMAP helps retailers maximize sales and optimize GMROI (gross margin return on investment) by delivering actionable data that enables assortment planning with pinpoint precision to improve in-stocks and reduce markdowns. GrMAP also provides granular insight to support effective inventory localization initiatives as well as seamless cross-channel planning for a fraction of the cost of other MAP alternatives.

To optimize GMROI, retailers need to surgically manage their inventory in order to minimize losses due to over-stocking and stock-outs. Surprisingly, even with sophisticated ERP and data warehouse software, many retailers can't access the data they need, so they export data into spreadsheets for inventory planning, which leads to inaccuracies, querying the wrong data elements, or using inconsistent and/or incorrect decision parameters, and other errors.

GrMAP’s merchandise assortment planning approach automates inventory planning for better GMROI with:

Integrated sales, margin, inventory planning and forecasting;
Improved SKU accuracy to minimize overstocks and stock-outs at the store level;
Localization so segmentation aligns with assortments based on demographics, geography, and competition;
Cross-channel planning across store, online, and direct distribution channels;
Reduced markdowns and increased margins; and
Faster, more efficient forecasting.

We created GrMAP as a means to conceptualize the merchandise and assortment planning process from a retailers’ perspective,” said Amitabh Nema, founder and creator of GrMAP. “While retailers have comprehensive inventory and stocking data captured in their ERP systems, they can't mine that data effectively for strategic planning. Rather than using spreadsheets, GrMAP allows retailers to make smarter inventory management decisions in a user-friendly and fully integrated system resulting in more accurate forecasts down to store, size, and color. Our success in Asia and other markets shows that we can increase GMROI for a fraction of the cost of an SAP, Oracle, or other competitive solution.”

Top Down and Bottom Up Planning (Assortment Planning)

The GrMAP Enterprise Version includes modules for Top Down planning, Bottom Up planning, and Allocation across multiple countries, report formats (including e-commerce), and currencies. Planning is based on Process Objects that map to logical groups of stores defined by the retailer, either by retail format, store grade, store assortment, store profile, or brand portfolio. Using Objects, retailers can plan capabilities at multiple levels of granularity, performing “what if” scenarios across multiple key components.

For Top Down planning, GrMAP provides a template to create higher-level strategic and lower-level detailed top-down plans. Strategy Planning is executed at the store and retail format level to set the annual budgets. Then, the Merchandise Plan is developed based on a product hierarchy, considering sales, inventory, and margin objectives. The Store or Location Plan is then developed for the Merchandise Hierarchy, with sales forecasts for each category in each location for any and/or all merchandise categories.

GrMAP’s Assortment and SKU planning module also synchronizes Bottom Up planning with SKU-level allocations in terms of number of units and assortment required to match the forecast. GrMAP has the ability to manage large volumes of data to plan down to the store level across multiple channels, helping buyers reconcile financial plans with bottom-up merchandising plans. It allows for comparison and tracking of in-season actual sales with forecasted numbers, re-forecasting as needed, suggests markdowns based on product lifecycle, substitution and discontinuations at the generic or SKU level, and much more.

Open to Buy

Also included is a comprehensive Open to Buy (OTB) suite that tracks forecasted sales versus receipts and inventory projections in order to arrive at an optimal Open to Buy on a weekly or monthly basis. There also is an Allocation and Replenishment suite that tracks perpetual inventory and ensures that optimum stocking levels are set for each location based on store fixture fills, forecasted sales, latest sales trends, promotional activity, seasonality, and other factors. The Allocation engine has multiple algorithms to stock stores based on sales performance, store priorities, store clusters, and other criteria, and it can be seamlessly integrated with the organization’s supply chain system. Lastly, GrMAP includes a suite of Analysis Planning Analytics to generate a wide range of analyses and reports at every phase of the planning and in-season cycles.

GrMAP has already been implemented in North America by a premium eyewear retailer, an international luggage brand, and a global manufacturer of sunglasses.

For more information, please visit

About GrMAP
GrMAP delivers an enterprise-wide merchandize assortment planning and analysis tool that helps retailers maximize sales and optimize GMROI by enabling localized stock and inventory planning with pinpoint precision. GrMAP is designed to supplement installed ERP systems or can be used as a standalone merchandise planning tool. It’s supported by Groupsoft US, international developers of complete retail solutions, including ERP implementations and consulting services, supply chain optimization, and business warehouse consulting. The company was founded in 2003 and has 100 team members serving mid- to large-sized enterprise customers in India, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Europe, Canada, and the USA. For more information, visit

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