Retail Inventory Planning

Importance of Recognition of Job Well Done

Effective Use of a Good Inventory Plan

Is the first step to prosperity, growth and the path to recognize and exploit opportunities.

The Inventory Plan is the template that a retailer uses to guide the many decisions that lead to that desired prosperity.

DMSRetail Invent team members are proud of their process and the solutions they bring to clients.

That is why we are willing to share these ingredients of how our Inventory Planning has generated success for our client base.

Our passion and our commitment is to drive our client’s businesses profitably and create growth in their business.

Many retailers / category managers / buyers are able to recognize and buy great merchandise.

Retailers, generally speaking, are also great sellers due to their knowledge of the merchandise and their ability to create great relationships with customers.

Inventory planning provides the additional know-how and forecast to bring everything together.

Inventory plans are the link for budgeting, buying the right amount of merchandise, landing merchandise at the right time, managing cash flow, balancing inventory levels, and managing the flow of merchandise to make more efficient use of cash flow and customer satisfaction.

An important part of Retail Success is about making the right buying decisions in the present to satisfy the demand in the future.

We have found that predicting the future accurately can most effectively be done at the category level.

While fashions change and lines come and go, the category structure provides consistency from one season to the next.

With that consistency comes the ability to identify current trends and forecast their demand into the future.

That is important for making the right decisions to grow the business.

Professional Inventory Planners are schooled in the balance between the high tech metrics and the high touch feel.

The high touch aspect raises awareness and provides the means to make important improvements to the final plan.

Often a retailer’s in-house planners are influenced far too much by the input from owners, managers and local staff.

A term for this is “group think” where the peer pressure and expectations of senior staff unduly influences the conclusions.

An impartial third party professional planning can impart the objectivity needed to give the valuable high touch insights their true value in the process.

In the final analysis, the keys to effective planning consist of finding the right category structure; nailing the right sales forecast in each category; identifying the proper stock to sales level in each category each month; generating the right reports; identifying the correct analysis of the information to arrive at and implement the best action plan.

All must be based on current and future market trends at the store level and not Last Year.

Why DMSRetail Invent?

A huge benefit and reason to use DMSRetail Invent Planning Process is that it provides a professional Inventory Plan to add both discipline and expertise to the ongoing process of evaluating the new reality that is created in your retail business every month.

As the situation evolves and new information is gathered, the forecast changes.

If two heads are better than one, think of what 4 heads can provide.

Every plan that we produce is critiqued from several perspectives.

First is the data analysis that the computer model and statistical trending methodology produces.

We first take a client’s data and put it through our proprietary computer model. That is the first perspective that is devoid of bias or prejudice.

That plan is then reviewed by a professional Inventory Planner with years of experience reviewing thousands of categories and merchandise plans for hundreds of clients.

That perspective comes with a bias based on what he or she is learning from evaluating many stores across the spectrum.

The input from an industry professional is important to improve the value of the forecast and recommendations in the plan.

The plan is often reviewed by another senior merchandise planning professional to add perspective and quality control.

The plan is then sent to the DMSRetail Invent Client Consultant who is familiar with the client’s retail business and has been trained in reviewing the plans and interpreting them to glean the meaningful information and recommendations.

This adds the third perspective from the store perspective.

This is important to make sure that the right decisions are being made based on the data and plan being presented.

Finally, client’s senior management / category management / buyers are presented with the plan.

Their feedback and input is important too. A meaningful discussion to reach the right consensus at this level has two benefits:

1. It improves the forecast and action plan
2. It facilitates communication and ownership of the action plan assuring that the right actions will be implemented

We certainly don’t have a 100% accuracy level on our predictions but working with a proven computer model, professional planners, trained and certified consultants as well as dedicated clients to reach the right consensus, we are confident we have the best direction and guidance available in the industry.

The methodology we have developed over the past 20+ years does provide the platform for meaningful communication both ways.

Watch This Short Video on Retail Inventory Management 

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