o9 Digital Brain for Hardlines

World retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ, and lighting equipment for more than 50 years. With nearly 300 stores across the U.S. and one of the top direct sales websites in the industry.

This retailer’s merchandise planning system couldn’t keep the pace with brand and channel needs. They experienced disconnected planning processes with suboptimal decision- making, whilst needing to manage sales for a mix of new and existing products.

Sustainability Impact

Reduction of inventory

Business Scope Challenges

Inventory Purchasing Budgets

There was no holistic view of ‘Open to Buy’ across the enterprise. Existing processes focused solely on the Retail brick and mortar channel and were built in Excel spreadsheets that were cumbersome and prone to human error.


With o9, the company could get an omnichannel view of ‘Open to Buy’ across the Enterprise, encompassing physical stores and e-commerce channels.

Target & Forecast Alignment

The company missed alignment between pre-season planning and in-season forecasts as the processes were disjointed, non-standardized and managed in silos.


With o9, they were able to bridge the gap between pre-season targets and in-season performance while having the ability to plan both Top-down and Bottom-up on a single platform.

Vendor Collaboration

The company wanted to plan the growth and penetration of private label business as well as strengthen partnership with top vendors.


o9 partnered with the company to optimize the planning processes and allow for vendor and private brand planning in o9 platform. This led the company to collaborate with most meaningful vendors to grow the category business as well as greater collaboration with sourcing teams to grow the private brand business.

Value Delivery

Key Functionalities Implemented

The company is using o9’s Enterprise Knowledge Graph for Merchandise Financial Planning. Key capabilities include planning across multiple dimensions of business such as Brands, Categories, Inventory Segments, Vendors and Private Brand, as well as omnichannel planning. Moreover, it leverages scenario planning, versioning, real-time consensus planning, ‘Open to Buy’ management, Top-Down and Bottom-Up planning, reconciliation and approval.

Systems Replaced


Customer Benefits

Success Factors — 3 reasons why o9 was selected

  1. Maximized speed to value.
  2. o9 platform’s breadth and capabilities.
  3. The flexibility of the platform and the ability to eliminate a wide variety of manual tasks, enabling employees to focus more on value-adding activities.

KPI Impacted

  1. Improved Gross Margin.
  2. Improved Inventory Turns.
  3. Improved Inventory Turns.

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