Retail terms can sometimes be confusing to people who are unfamiliar with them. As a key merchandising reporting tool, I wanted to explain in simple terms what a WSSI is.
WSSI stands for weekly sales, stock and intake and it usually takes the form of an application which is used by companies to plan and monitor sales and stock on a weekly basis. A WSSI allows retailers to efficiently manage stock based on a sales forecast and actual sales and stock information. It helps the business to determine how much stock is required and when, by generating what is known as ‘open to buy’. The intention of the WSSI is to maximise sales with the minimum of outlay by ensuring that stock levels are controlled effectively. It also helps to measure the impact of current trading conditions going forward and assists the business to keep markdown to a minimum.
When purchasing a WSSI tool, it may be beneficial to look for one that will allow your business to plan and trade at any level of the product hierarchy. It may also be beneficial if each level is able to operate independently of one another with the ability to ‘roll up’ lower levels of the hierarchy to get the big picture when required. This is a standard feature of the Retail Assist WSSI.
There are around 90 fields of data and comparison values within the Retail Assist WSSI to draw upon. These consist of sales, stock and purchase order data amongst others and they can be used in any combination / order that the user requires. This data is then divided into weeks and each week can be displayed as a row or column of data. Once a user has defined a way of viewing the data, the same view can be adopted by other users if they want to see the data in the same way.
Another useful function of good WSSI tools is terminal stock processing. This calculates an intake requirement based on a target closing stock figure for a season. The ability to create a sales forecast by uplifting sales from one half / month to another and adding x% is also invaluable. A further ‘must-have’ WSSI feature is a roll up preview. This allows you to preview the results of a roll up from one WSSI level to another with the ability to reject the result if you are unhappy with it, or accept the result if you are. The Retail Assist WSSI handles all of these functions. The data can also be exported to Excel for reporting and analysis purposes and businesses have the ability to create as many WSSIs as they like, which can be for specific attributes or different countries / fascia.
Do you utilise a WSSI tool, and if so, do you find it easy to use? Please post your thoughts below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.