Category management is 'art and science'

11 November 2019

Category management is a combination of art and science, with both being necessary for good decision-making.  

David Moran, co-founder at AI-powered pricing and promotions platform Eversight, said technology provides the tools for information and analysis – the science around pricing and tracking category performance – while the art is human decision-making and the creativity involved.

Speaking at the IGD Category Management event in London last week, Moran said: “The mistake is art without the foundation of science, that's dangerous. But if the major science is there, the answers really become art again.

“I'm much more interested in the human day-to-day judgement calls that are made that no computer would ever be able to pick up.”

He said that the job hasn’t changed. Even with the adoption of advanced technology people still use the human skills as it’s about using “software as a coach not a crutch”. “It's the same skills that we had before: being able to problem solve and work in a collaborative way.

“Technologies like this can help to speed up routine tasks, and helps [people] focus on the more creative, interesting things. So maybe it's a little less data entry and a little more creative analytics,” he added.

Managing the supply chain is also an area that technology adds value to, Moran said. 

“If there's one area of profound change it's supply chain optimisation, where AI is the perfect application. But it’s also consumer-centric and it's really a matter of what problems matter to you and what's the best tool to solve it. There's no magic here.”

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