The Future of Merchandise Planning

Intelligent Assortment Optimizer: A Concept Developed by Softvisioners

At Softvision, we are committed to delivering sustainable innovation to our partners. That’s why we challenged our Softvisioners to dream up new technology and experiences that could have a positive impact on their client’s business. We dubbed this contest the Pod Challenge.

The first-annual Pod Challenge began in February 2018, and our Softvisioners were so enthusiastic that we had over 110 submissions pour in from across our global Studios. The best ideas moved on to pitch their concepts, and our executive team and lead sales representatives selected the winners.

The Pod Challenge winners represent the best in business change, overall big picture, and product insight. Our “Product Insight Award” went to Shyam Shahal, Chandrasekar R., and Zeeshan MM from our Mysore Studio for their Intelligent Assortment Optimizer (IAO) concept. The team used their in-depth knowledge of their client’s business to develop detailed concepts for these innovative technologies.

The team’s Intelligent Assortment Optimizer concept was the result of brainstorming solutions for merchandise planners for retail clients. Merchandise planners need to be able to create proper assortment plans, match targets with assortments, distribute assortments properly among stores, and generate revenue. The Intelligent Assortment Optimizer would help them attain all of these goals and then some.

IAO would be a go-to tool for the merchandise planner to get the recommended number of items (SKUs) for a given period in an assortment plan. The IAO concept is a machine learning enabled engine which would provide recommendations of items and styles with consideration of current fashion trends. IAO would apply an algorithm on an allocation table (the ranking of stores based on performance) and sales pattern data, combined with the target units for a specific period to generate the recommended assortment.


With IAO, planners would be able to easily create proper assortment plans, effectively matching targets with assortments, and create a proper distribution of assortments among stores. IAO would improve the accuracy of predictions, thereby improving operational efficiency, and help lead to increased revenue generation.

Congratulations to our Pod Challenge “Product Insight Award” winners Shyam Shahal, Chandrasekar R., and Zeeshan MM!


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