Upcoming Events

A few events to mention this week….
First, this Thursday, 5/12 – a LIVE WebX!
We’ll be talking about one of my favorite topics, PRICING! Hosted by Joe Skorupa from RIS News (@risnewsinsights), the panel includes the amazing Sahir Anand from EKN (@sahiranand, @EKNResearch) and Cheryl Sullivan from Revionics (@Revionics) who know a thing or two about pricing analytics!
Should be a great discussion!

Register here: http://risnews.edgl.com/web-event/5-Critical-Components-of-Advanced-Pricing-Strategy105100?referaltype=revionics


Then next week, Road Trip!  LIVE in Chicago! Very excited to participate in a Innovation Enterprise event! Incredible line up of speakers and some just-added compelling panels!

Who’s in?
-That Planning Guy


Venn Diagram

This is a weird week for me as so many people are in town for various reasons. 
Makes me think of Venn diagrams.


In a classic Venn look at my relationships,  one cirle can be work relations Q1, one is friends&family Q2,  and the 3rd is people I know from work but don’t work with Q3….

Some are easy: buddy I grew up with was in town.   Was great catching up,  meeting his wife.   Q2.
One of my best friends used to be a guy I worked with but he left the company about 5 years ago.   Clearly  Q2.  But sometimes a Q3 as we talk shop about various things on occasion. Q23. 

Some more complicated: guy used to be in Q1,  worked for a company I dealt with.  Now he’s with a different co.  in a different role.   Great time catching up.   Seems like a Q2 now.

Scenario today, current software vendor golf tourney,  lots of cool people,  Q1. Business dealings galore. Great relationships,  but really Q1 based.

I am planning dinner Wednesday (I am Thatplanningguy,  of course planning a dinner!) with buddy from a Research company,  Q3.  

But,  what happens when people move around companies or someone is in a Q for a long time? Do they move to Q2 of my life over time?

Several great folks in town,  some of my absolute favorite(favourite even) people.   If circumstances change at work one way way or another,  I hope they move to Q2.  I would be saddened to lose touch.

The last time I changed jobs I was sure who I would still be close with,  and was wrong on almost every one.  

If  circumstances change the dynamics of your relationships,  who will still be in YOUR circles?

Making them overlap into Q123 might be the best way ‘blend’ your life well in this globally connected life.

Time will tell,  I guess.
But for today,  I am THAT Planning Guy.

Weakest link failure

We spend millions of dollars on systems.  Planning,  Merch,  Analytics tools, registers.

We spend massive efforts developing plans that bring the right product at the right time,  and most recently at the right price. 

Buying spends huge efforts and tremendous talent on selecting the best products,  and getting the best costs.

The distribution center works hard with both technology and people to get the product in,  owned,  processed,  and distributed. 

Accounting pays for it in order to get discounts as well as keep us out of credit hold issues.
The operations team get the goods through the stock rooms onto the floor,  and Visual teams make the displays effective and alluring.

And all of this effort is worthless when the point of contact with the customer-  the sales person- fails to greet,  sell,  close. 
Only as strong as the weakest link. 

Why is the most important link in the retail cycle ‘chain’  so often the least trained,  lowest paid,  entry level person? Critical part,  often overlooked.

Like putting cheap poor tires on the performance car.   All that horsepower,  and it can’t get to the road.


-That Planning Guy

Vacation, and the the Demi-God Maui

Back from vacation. It’s always hard to come back and get into the swing of things, but alas, what makes a vacation special is the time in between them I guess.

Taking a divergence from my usual Greek God commentary to add in a few Legends of Polynesia…

The legend of Maui is one of my favorites: Maui climbed Haleakala and lassoed the sun to make it move  slower and make the Hawaiian day last longer.  As one who enjoys spending a lot of time under the Hawaiian sun, the length of the day is delightful. Sunrise, sunset, and everything in between.
(Maui did several other things, such as creating the islands by hooking the ocean floor and he and his brothers pulling up the islands…)

Sometimes when we think there is not enough time in the day to accomplish all our tasks, we could use a Demi God like Maui to lasso the time clock and slow it down to give us more analytics time in the day. Perhaps we need a god/goddess of Big Data?  ‘Datalist’ should be the God of Big Data and Analysis? Open to other suggestions~~~
In the meantime, tomorrow is Monday morning, the birth of new data to review, and Datalist will be busy.

With much Aloha,
-That Planning Guy

Next speaking engagement

Looking to meet me or see me live? Well then,   buckle up and catch this great event:
Marketing Analytics Innovation Summit.  Should be a great event.


Put the needle on the record

Records became cassettes,  cassettes became CDs,  CDs became mp3…. Evolution.

What has changed in retail?  We can talk e-commerce,  omni-channel,  endless aisle,  b-b,  b-c all day,  and believe me we have.   But over 90% of transactions are still in a physical store. 
The Greeks had Agora marketplaces dating back over 500 BC,  2500 years ago.  Merchants sold their wares.  People came and congregated.   Food was eaten.
Isn’t that a open air mall?  The Grove in LA,  Horton Plaza San Diego? 
So what has really changed and evolved that much in retail?  SPEED. 
Today’s shoppers want it now,  better, faster,  cheaper,  but NOW.   The merchants also have to be faster.   The quick or the Dead is really a fair assessment of today’s retail landscape.  
We in analytics need to provide amazing details,  Great info,  great insights,  but we need to provide it NOW.  Yesterday would have been even better.  We need goods in the stores now.   Vendors need to ship now.  Now.  So how do we keep up?
We need faster systems, more powerful engines,  stronger algorithms,  and  a leaner supply chain.  But we have all that now.  What’s the next progression?  What comes after the Mp3? (or any digital format,  semantics)

What will the future mall look like? The Millennials  of are course accustomed to buying online,  ship to store,  or next day shipping.   What will the next group expect? And how do we not only get ahead of that, but actually LEAD the charge?
He who answers this question wins retail in the 2020’s

-That Planning Guy
(yes,  was listening to MARRS,  Pump up the Volume, at the gym.   I had the album,  the tape,  the cd,  and now on Google play. )

Sir Isaac

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Feeling Newtonian this morning.
(third law of motion,  for you physics nerds.)

If you want to change the outcome,  change the inputs. 
If you change the inventory levels  sales will change.  Be sure the outcome is what you want.   If it isn’t,  there are other inputs you may not be factoring.  Traffic,  price,  selling,  conversion rates,  friendliness of staff?  All variables.
If you add time to your workout,  your results will change.  Phase 3, added in   another 15 min a day.  Wearing me out.. But results better be better.

-That Planning Guy

Time to do what YOU want to do

Recently a friend asked me how I find the time to write my posts, go to the gym, work a lot, and everything else in my life.
As I am THAT Planning guy— lets do the math!

168 hours in the week:
49 hours are spent asleep (I sleep about 7 hours a night)
45 hours a week average at work, with 5 hours commute (about 1/2 hour each way)
I spend 1 hour a day at the gym, 5 hours a week.
I like to play golf both weekend days, 10 hours
Eating? about 10 hours a week
For us, family time is watching TV or movies, near 3 hours a day, 20 hours.
Even adding in 30 min a day for shower and brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc, 7 hours.

That leaves 17 hours- or nearly 2 1/2  hours a day to do what YOU find important.  For me it is writing, reading, thinking.  Or close my eyes and do nothing.  Maybe a short run. Maybe the shooting range.
Where does YOUR 2 hours go- is it productive? Is it leading you towards a goal?  Every minute, every hour, every day should have a purpose.

Last, shout out to a dear friend who left a company after nearly 20 years. I have known you for most of them, and so excited that you are with a company I have known for more like 20 weeks, but a great group all the same.  Congrats on starting a new chapter of your life!

-That Planning Guy



Smart vs Wise

A smart man learns from his mistakes.
A wise man learns from other people’s mistakes.
Which one are YOU?

If you are just starting out in your career,  the best thing you can do is find a great mentor.  Someone who has walked  a mile in your moccasins.  Been there,  done that,  planned the t-shirt buy. 
If you are later in your career BE that mentor.   Give back. 

Someone,  likely many,  helped get you where you are,  return that favor.
Karma is replenishable.   Build yours. 

-That Planning Guy

Great week

Awesome week for That Planning Guy — and its still only Wednesday.
Tuesday attending the Platt Retail Institute Analytics event was great.  SO many smart people in one event.  Learned a lot of fun things about signage and a different perception of what a ‘sign’ can do.  Then a visit to the Murtec conference, and some time in Restaurant Tech- great to hear innovations in other industries.
Dinner @ Olives Tuesday with a great crew, and dinner at Lago tonight with same crew, but expanded.  Met some smart restaurant people doing some really interesting IT/tech things.  Still curious who if anyone is doing any pricing analytics? Love to hear about that.

Rest of week could be even more telling as this journey continues. A few phone calls and a few email conversations still to have.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’
-Bob Dylan.

-That Planning Guy