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The Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration ES bundle provides retail operations with a service-enabled interface between SAP Merchandise Assortment Planning (SAP MAP) and third-party shelf optimization programs (SOP).

The bundle helps reduce the time required to plan and arrange space for changes and additions in product lines within a single store or a store group and contributes to rapid and efficient changeovers of stock, improving sales and minimizing customer dissatisfaction. Additionally, product assortments are not overskewed when checked against capacity constraints, which results in better inventory control.
The enterprise services in this ES bundle are used as part of the iterative process of interacting with SAP MAP and the third-party SOP system. First, the SOP operator performs an optimization of shelf space and visualizes the items in SOP and then delivers a space-optimized assortment to MAP. The assortment planner then checks these changes and releases or changes the plan, and sends it back to SOP.

The Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration ES bundle leverages enterprise SOA by interfacing SAP MAP with external SOP software packages.

Audience

Planners and managers in retail operations who are responsible for determining how and where a store presents products to shoppers will find this ES bundle valuable.

Roles that will use services in this ES bundle include:

  • Space planners. Space planners are responsible for the optimization of the shelf space and the proper visualization of the given articles. Dependent on the organizational structure, a space planner's responsibility can vary from pure placement to responsibility for article assignment and deletion.
  • Category managers. Category managers are responsible for the final results and approve all the work done by specialists.
  • Assortment planners. Assortment planners work in SAP MAP on assortment proposals which are then communicated to SOP for optimization. Sometimes the roles of assortment planners and space planners are combined.

Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration (click to enlarge)

For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.



Connectivity Kit

Connectivity Kit Available!

A Connectivity Kit is available to help application consultants and administrators with the details of implementing this ES bundle. See the Roadmap for this bundle on the Connectivity Kits wiki for more information.

How To Use This ES Bundle

Today's retailers are responsible for the management and presentation of thousands of products. An integration between the highly visual SOP systems and retail software such as SAP MAP is crucial to help ensure that the right products are in the right stores at the right time and at the right price, a process that entails anticipating what customers are looking for and building a product mix that attracts customers. Assortment-to-shelf optimization software enables the best possible use of space to maximize sales and profits while addressing a retailer's strategic assortment goals, by identifying the ideal product placement to attract customers. SOP packages also assist managers who may be called upon to generate a plan showing a product's visual appearance on a shelf before releasing the plan to the operational processes.

Space planning is a very agile process that employs various components such as analytics, planning, merchandise management, and shelf optimization. In the fashion industry, plans are made for the long term; in the fall and winter months, fashion retailers are talking to their suppliers about what kind of clothing will be in style for spring. Even though the products are still in the planning phase and not yet physically somewhere in the distribution chain, retailers want to plan how everything will look on the shelves and the racks. Food retailing, on the other hand, very often does this planning over shorter operative processes, as do electronics and other retail operations which may be driven more by holiday sales.

Before we describe the process, let's review the key business objects:

Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element: A Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element is a combination of a fixture, such as a shelf, the items that go on the shelf, and a time period during which they should be displayed. This business object corresponds to an assortment version in SAP MAP and to a Planogram in SOP software.

Merchandise and Assortment Planning Assortment: A Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment is a group of stores with similar characteristics.

Table 1. SAP MAP, SOP, and Enterprise SOA terms

SAP MAP Term

SOP Term

Enterprise SOA Term

Assortment version

Planogram

Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element

An assortment planner for the retailer releases the Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element, which corresponds to Assortment Version within SAP MAP, for optimization in the SOP system using the release workbench of SAP MAP (this requires that the SOP is installed and running on a server and not the front end). Alternately, a space planner could open a relevant Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element, which corresponds to a planogram within SOP, and requests the data from SAP MAP by calling an enterprise service. After the Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element is optimized, the space planner sends back the Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element to SAP MAP. If the communication starts from a third-party SOP, then that program's provider has to create a specific UI for the communication. The same has to happen when sending data from SOP back to SAP MAP.

Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration Scenario

The Connectivity Kits wiki features a more detailed description of the integration scenario behind this ES bundle as well as an Implementation Guide .

Use Cases

The following series of use cases for the Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration ES bundle show how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations. While these examples illustrate a few of the ways that this ES bundle could be used, the intention is to show the flexibility and reusability of these business objects and enterprise service operations so that you will have a clearer understanding of how to best deploy them in your own environment. This wiki is also a space for you to share knowledge and collaborate with others who are implementing the Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration ES bundle.

Use Case 1: Optimizing Shelf Space

In SAP MAP, the assortment planner defines the desired product mix for a specific assortment version, which corresponds to the Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element business object.

For each group of stores, that is, each Assortment, a new assortment version (or Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element) is created, with articles assigned from a given category.

The assortment planner can also include recommendations about issues such as the number of units (facing) or the preferred shelf location, based on negotiations with the supplier or instructions from the category manager. A fixture is then assigned to this Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element (or assortment version) using a fixture ID, fixture type, and capacity.

Next, the space planner either opens an existing planogram or creates a new planogram within the SOP system (this planogram corresponds to the assortment version in SAP MAP and the business object Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element in this ES bundle). The planogram then reads the information from SAP MAP by invoking the Read Merchandise and Assortment Store Layout Element enterprise service operation followed by the Read Merchandise and Assortment Store Layout Element Store Fixture enterprise service operation.

The new products (with or without recommended placement information) are received and the data is updated in the database of the SOP. Within the planogram, the space manager can use graphical elements to assign articles an optimum space and determine their best position, to create an appealing overall shelf plan. The space manager can also determine from the planogram if there is sufficient space for all assigned articles, or propose additional articles to add to fill the shelf space. The space planner then invokes Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element to send the optimized planogram to SAP MAP, where placement information per article is updated. If any article assignments or deletions happened inside SOP, SAP MAP is updated accordingly. Optionally, information about the Assortment itself can be updated (space value of an existing assortment) by invoking Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment (by SOP).

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: The assortment planner defines the desired product mix, assortment, and placement in SAP MAP

(no enterprise service operation is invoked during this step)

Step 2: The space planner opens a planogram in the SOP system

Read Merchandise and Assortment Store Layout Element

Step 3: If desired, the space planner can update SAP MAP with information about the Assortment

Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment

Use Case 2: Creating an Assortment Version in SAP MAP from SOP

This time the process starts in SOP when the space planner opens an existing planogram, invoking the enterprise service Read Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment Store Layout Element to read the latest information from SAP MAP. The space planner then creates a new planogram and optimizes the layout. Once finished, the space planner sends the new planogram to SAP MAP by invoking Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element, which creates the new assortment version with all related information. The assortment planner may now approve the new assortment version in SAP MAP.

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: The space planner opens a planogram in the SOP system

Read Merchandise and Assortment Store Layout Element

Step 2: The space planner creates a new planogram and optimizes the layout, sending it back to SAP MAP

Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment

Use Case 3: Assortment Planner Releases Assortment Version for Optimization

This use case is an alternative for use case 1. This time, the assortment planner uses the SAP MAP Release Workbench to release the assortment version for optimization in SOP (Push), which invokes the Request Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment Store Layout Element enterprise service. The space planner then opens the new planogram in SOP and optimizes it. Once optimization is complete, the space planner sends the planogram back to SAP MAP by invoking Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Store Layout Element. The optimized assortment version with all related information is updated inside SAP MAP.

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: The assortment planner release the assortment version to SOP using the SAP MAP Release Workbench

Request Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment Store Layout Element

Step 2: The space planner creates a new planogram and optimizes the layout, sending it back to SAP MAP when finished

Maintain Merchandise And Assortment Planning Assortment

Best Practices

One best practice that has been highlighted is the use of the connectivity kit.
If you want to implement the integration scenario, please refer to Connectivity Kit for Integration Scenario "Planning to Shelf Optimization Integration"

Future Directions

No future directions are planned for this bundle at this time. Related retail bundles are planned for development.

System Requirements

Related ES Bundles

SOA Homepage on SDN (httphttps://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/soa)