Plan Ahead But Respond Now With OTB
Retailers are accustomed to having a mind in the future because of the planning that has to happen before the right inventory is on the shelf at the right time. But retail planning also needs to include the immediacy of Open-to-Buy (OTB) for purchasing the surprise stock demands that happen without a plan in sight.
OTB Provides Flexibility
Retail planning should include a category for the ‘what-if’ in sales. What if a popular item becomes a craze? What if a trend sweeps a local school and kids clamor for a particular accessory? These things cannot be predicted with accuracy so it makes sense to have an Open-to-Buy fund available so the shoppers find what they want.
At the same time, budgeting and planning should be based on actualized historical data and analyzed correctly so that the regular inventory needs are maintained adequately.
This combination of planning ahead and preparing for immediate action is the strength of ChainDrive Open-to-Buy because the tools are there to do the job. For example:
- fully integrated to the centralized database for accurate historical data
- user-definable views handle units, dollars and/or at cost, down to sub-class
- graphing capabilities
- top-down or bottom-up allocation
- comparative analysis of sales and inventory data
- integration with point-of-sale for real-time information
- ability to plan for, monitor, and maintain multiple seasons simultaneously
- customizable for specific applications
Successful retail management has always had an eye on the future. It prepares for profit by analyzing the past and planning for the predictable. But adding the flexibility of OTB allows the unforseen to be equally profitable.