Benchmarks in Vision are used to distribute stock in Push Orders or to generate forecasts according to sales from historical items. Benchmarks are retailer specific. However, they may be used for many Titles. This article will cover the fundamentals of Benchmarks and other operations related to them.
Creating the Benchmark
Before creating a Benchmark, the following information will need to be known before adding the details into Vision.
- Start dates of the promotion/new release
- Items you are creating benchmarks for
- Number of units to be allocated for Day 1 distribution (Retailer Goal)
- Benchmark items promotional/new release start dates
- Benchmark item number
- Benchmark items factor +/-
Below are the steps for the creation of the same:
- On the sidebar go to Distributions - Benchmarks and then Benchmarks Group.
- Here you will find all the Benchmark Groups that have been made. To create a new Benchmark Group click on the create new button, next to these toggles.
- Fill out the Description and select Create.
- Enter a “Program Id”. This will link the benchmark to a program (used to help with the creation of push orders for certain retailers). You can put whatever you like in this box, but the convention is to put the year, retailer initial and film title in the name
Using the dropdown arrow select the appropriate “Program Type”. When creating a push order you also need to apply a type, either Promotional or New Release not both. This means that when you are adding titles to the push order, you can only use benchmarks of the same type, Promotion or New Release. You should consider this before you get started or you may have to recreate benchmarks. – There is no possibility to change the type without recreating!
Insert a “Description”. You may want to use this naming convention. [YYMM] [Description] [Number of units]. This ensures that the related benchmarks are all grouped together. You will know what the retailer goal is and what promotional date range they were created for and therefore understand if they are still suitable.
Benchmark Type: Use the drop-down list to select what kind of benchmark you want.
Push Item Type: Select the way in which you want to add the item you are wanting to create the benchmark for.
- Insert the “NR/Promo Start date” and the number of days the promo will go on for.
Enter the “Days of Supply (Initial Push)”. This is the amount of product that will be sent to a store in the initial shipment. This must be Less than or equal to the number of days between the NR/promo start and end dates.
Enter “Recent Store Weeks”. Stores which have been open this number of weeks (or greater) but not open during the benchmark title’s sales range will be forecasted using the recent store parameters you choose.
Enter “Recent Store Genre:” The system will pick a ‘like store’ to use for each recent store based on similar sales of this genre.
“Recent Store Use Like Store” When this box is checked the ‘like store’ specified in the store master file for each ‘recent store’ will be used.
Enter a “New Store Percentile:” The system will search for a store within this percentile of sales for all stores across the retailer chain and use it to assign a ‘like store’ for each ‘New Store’. A ‘New Store’ is any store that has not yet opened, or opened within the amount of weeks specified in the “Recent Store Weeks” field.
“New Store Use Like Store”. When this box is checked the ‘like store’ specified in the store master file for each new store will be used.
Select a “Breakpoint Type” from the dropdown menu. Default usually is “Weighted Sales” Click “Next”
On the following screen, you can review your header settings. Click “Add Stores”.
- The following screen offers you different methods to choose your stores by. To select the all stores within a retailer highlight “Entire Chain” and click “Select”
- All stores for that retailer will now appear in the appropriate window.
- Click “Add Item” to add the titles sales history to the benchmark. The following screen will appear. Enter the appropriate details to be able to search find your title. When you can see your title click the “Select” button next to its UPC/EAN.
- Enter the “Factor % +/-:”, “Weight:” and “From Date:” Click “Add Item”
- The following screen will appear. To continue adding new lines repeat step 10. When you have added all the titles that make up the benchmark, click “Calculate”.
- Select "Interactive" on the next dialog.
- When the calculations have completed, the following screen will appear.
Copying a Benchmark
You can use the header and store and/or items from an existing Benchmark to create another. This will save time especially when creating many benchmarks for one promotion. As a minimum you should be able to copy the header information and store information for all benchmarks within the same promotion.
- On the sidebar go to Distributions - Benchmarks and then Benchmarks Headers.
- Click the dropdown menu and select “Copy”.
- Fill out the relevant information for the benchmark. Insert a new Program ID and Description and select if you also want to copy across the stores selected and/or the items. Click “Copy”.
- Once you copied the benchmark header, you will be taken back to the benchmark header screen. Use the Options dropdown menu against the newly benchmark and select “Edit”.
- The following screen now allows you to continue from Step 6. In the example shown below you still need to add new items.
Creating a Promotional Benchmark
Promotional Benchmarks are used to distribute the stock in Push Orders according to sales history on existing items or to create forecasts to help demand planning. Below are the steps to create one:
- On the sidebar go to Distributions - Benchmarks and then Benchmark Control Group
- Click on Create New.
- Enter a description of your promotion and click Create.
- Select the retailer and enter a Description for the header and click create.
From here you can follow the instructions from the previous section above to fill in all the required detail. Then return to this point.
Take yourself back to the header by clicking the Header button.
- From the Options drop down, choose Mass copy header.
- In this screen, you will need to enter a new program ID. This is to ensure you have all the programs you need in order to capture the stores. Continue to add new program IDs until you have created all the IDs you will need within your benchmark group.
When finished, click “copy”.
- On the sidebar go to Distributions - Benchmarks and then Benchmark Groups.
Find your new Benchmark Group, check the “number of benchmarks” column to see that you have the number of benchmarks that you expect.
From here you can upload your benchmark items. Select “upload Items” from the options menu.
- Create a spreadsheet that matches the “Upload File Format” containing all the benchmark items for all the benchmark headers within your benchmark group. Save the file to your computer and click upload.
- Now that we have titles, the next step is to add stores. From the Benchmark Group Header screen select “Upload Stores” from the option menu.
- Create a file that matches the “Upload File Format” containing all the stores. Save the file to your computer, browse to find it, and click upload.
- After Items and stores are added to your benchmark headers, you will be back at the Benchmark Group Header screen. Select “submit calculations” from the options menu. Calculate then press ok to confirm.
- Once the calculations are complete, click on the submit cluster updates from the drop down which will take you to a new pop up where you will again click “update clusters” and “ok”.
- Once the Clusters are done updating Select “toggle Status” from the Benchmark Group Header screen in the options menu.
- A new screen will appear, select “Activate” and then click OK on the pop-up message.