After talking with many shops, a trend we see increasing is suppliers extending products at very compelling Pre-Season rates and payment terms, with a goal of getting more products in local store inventory prior to the next selling season. When used strategically and based on sound forecasting, these offers can provide you with an opportunity to bump up margins. The hardest question for most shops to answer is what the optimal order size is when offered these deals, maximizing sales and margin capture while minimizing overstocking and shrinkage.
The great news is that you have a leg up on most shops, with the ability to leverage Open to Buy reporting in RTK to help you analyze and determine the ideal order sizes for greatest gain. Once you lock in these Pre-Season orders, you’ll want to be sure to account for the expanded inventory in OTB to help align the OTB reporting until you’ve sold through it. RTK has you covered via the Forecast Overwrite capability within the OTB settings.
The Forecast Overwrite feature enables you to account for Pre-Season orders by recording the total order dollars, the inventory category, and expected sell through days. Once saved, your OTB report will dynamically account for and adjust the inventory target over the sell through period defined. This will help keep your OTB targeting accurate while also helping you take advantage of strategic Pre-Season inventory purchasing. You can set your Forecast Overwrites in the application under Inventory > OTB > Settings > Forecast Overwrites.