Category Management Insights

Professor John M. McCann
Fuqua School of Business
Duke University

Perhaps the faster changing area of marketing involves the interface with retailers. A Senior Vice President of Sales and Merchandising of a leading supermarket chain recognized that retailing is becoming much more focused on categories and asset management, and that this change requires a new type of manager, one who works with computer and mathematical models to build more profitable volume and maximize inventory returns on investment (Laura Klepacki, "Retailers Will Become Stronger Marketers," Supermarket News, July 8, 1991, p. 12). This type of change is not only impacting merchandising, it is affecting the relationship between the retailer and the manufacturer. This section focuses on the changing nature of the relationship, and discusses the use of computer systems category management.

The section ends with a chapter that describes a computer system that assists in the reverse knowledge engineering process involved in producing an insight generator. In particular, it explains the use of the system in producing the Category Exploration System.

Specific Topics

Retailer-Manufacturer Partnership
The Category Exploration System
Chapter 14