September 21, 2014

Diagnostics: A "Developing Story"

One of the most important aspects of a good "system" is the ability to tell a story.

Now, I get it, many people are going to disagree with your story. That's fine. But your "system" should support the development of a story. In other words, as you drill down into the problem, you should be able to increasingly observe clarity, and be able to connect the dots.

In the example we've been working on this month, we observed productivity declines across both online and in-store channel. This strongly suggests that there is a merchandise productivity issue. The next above looks at the three key merchandise departments that this company offers.

What does the Mens column tell you?

What does the Womens column tell you?

What does the Kids column tell you?

It becomes painfully obvious that the Womens division is killing the company. Kids productivity is largely flat, or increasing slightly. The Mens division is growing nicely. The Womens division is in a free fall.

There are three key points we've identified, so far.
  1. Channel productivity is not a problem.
  2. Merchandise productivity is a problem.
  3. Womens Merchandise is dragging down the entire brand.
We have a "Developing Story", don't we? All good systems make it easy to identify the "Developing Story".