How CALIDA uses TIA A3 to successfully decentralize sales planning

3 minutes reading time

Sales planning at CALIDA, a long-established Swiss lingerie manufacturer, has become even more complex in recent years due to the increase in online retail. Nevertheless, the company has been able to rely on REMIRA’s TIA A3 sales planning software and successfully drive its omnichannel strategy forward. The decentralization of sales planning was a decisive step in this process.

CALIDA's global distribution network is active in more than 25 countries and consists of its own retail stores, outlets, specialist retailers, leading department stores, specialist underwear stores and online stores. With this omnichannel strategy, the company, which focuses primarily on underwear for men and women, generated total sales of 162 million euro in 2021 and achieved a growth rate of 35%. The fact that the sales landscape has changed so significantly in recent years and increasingly transformed towards "direct to customer"-models has meant that CALIDA has also had to rethink its sales planning, explains Sascha Brunner, Demand Planning/Forecasting expert at CALIDA:

"The rise of e-commerce has made the already challenging sales planning even more complex. Nevertheless, we have always managed to adapt the TIA A3 sales planning software to the changing requirements in close cooperation with REMIRA. Traditional forecasting methods based on the classic wholesale model with pre-orders have become less important and have increasingly been replaced by product range concepts and merchandise management approaches."

Precise planning thanks to TIA A3

The S&OP solution TIA A3 offers AI-supported sales planning, precise forecasts and optimized scheduling. The software is particularly tailored for products that have a short life cycle or are subject to seasonality – as is the case in the fashion industry, for example. At CALIDA, REMIRA’s software solution is the linchpin of the entire sales planning process. The underwear manufacturer produces around 7 million items per year and is determined to deliver the highest quality, labor and environmental standards along the entire supply chain. All cuts and designs are developed at the headquarters in Sursee, Switzerland, while 100% of the production takes place at the company's own production platform in Hungary. 79% of the fabrics come from Switzerland, Austria or Germany.

Long delivery times in procurement and CALIDA's promise of on-time deliveries, both to retail partners and to their end customers, require very early planning – especially for seasonal items. Sascha Brunner explains:

"Top-down planning is validated and scrutinized with the help of trends and projections in TIA A3. The system also ensures that the planned figures are transferred to production, while distributing the planned quantities to the available sizes. Furthermore, TIA A3 also enables us to dynamically calculate and flexibly control our safety stocks at item and color level."

Separate sales plans for each sales variant

CALIDA_SS24_I_RemixLoungeHoliday_LoungeHealingThe volatile state of the fashion market and the omnichannel approach are constantly posing new challenges for planning. In recent times, processes have also been affected by extraordinary disruptions such as the coronavirus pandemic, bottlenecks in supply chains, armed conflicts, inflation and sharply rising interest rates on the capital markets.

"The processes for planning basics, new products or newly launched items take place automatically on a weekly basis: The system is supplied with the latest incoming orders from the ERP system," says Sascha Brunner, explaining the process. In addition, there are one or two projections per half-year for the seasonal collections as well as a monthly trend calculation with corresponding management for exceptions. The logically separate planning environments, such as for wholesale and retail, result in separate sales plans that are precisely tailored to the different sales variants. This not only improves transparency in planning, but also the quality of the sales figures.

Better planning through decentralization

Last year, CALIDA reorganized its export sales structure by transferring more responsibility to the individual divisions and regions. This enables local employees to contribute their specific market knowledge to the planning process. Sascha Brunner appreciates this development: " In order to clearly assign responsibilities within sales planning, it is important for us to map the current sales structure in the software as closely as possible, so that each planner from Sales receives forecasts and order backlogs for exactly their area of responsibility with their customers and there is no overlap."

CALIDA has been working with REMIRA for around 20 years and has experienced all generations of the software during this time. With each further development, both on the CALIDA and REMIRA side, structures and requirements have been adapted to the respective situation. Sascha Brunner, who has been with CALIDA for over 20 years, also praises the cooperation with REMIRA:

"Our inquiries are answered promptly and system adaptations are implemented flexibly and efficiently. We also appreciate the in-depth industry knowledge of the REMIRA consultants, which is always very helpful when implementing new requirements."