If you write those two words on your orders, you are much more likely to receive your whole order at the scheduled time rather than dribs and drabs as it suits the manufacturer. Their automated system is keyed to send out what they have and if you will accept partial shipments, that’s what you’ll be getting.
So, when you put out the new items, you are going to be behind the “8-ball” because you will be missing sizes – usually the important middle sizes. When you make a reasonable request, like “Ship Complete”, your vendors will more often than not comply. No matter what their posture, they want your business and they want your payments.
Additionally, after the delivery date has passed and the merchandise has not arrived, you should send the manufacturer an email or letter indicating that you are no longer willing to receive this merchandise since it is beyond the agreed delivery date and if they do ship, you will refuse it when it arrives. Your priority is properly merchandising your store in a timely manner.
Keep track of your outstanding orders and your receipts so you are in total control of your merchandise. You cannot control what the manufactures will do, but you can control the merchandise flow into your store.
Keep your buying in accordance with your open to buy plan which determines your needs in each merchandise department for each month in the future, based on anticipated sales and desired turn rates. Once you know what you need, it is up to you to explore the available merchandise from each of your suppliers to find those items that fill your needs the best.
Follow your open to buy plan, order the best available items to meet your plan and control the flow of merchandise into your store by marking your orders: “Ship Complete”.