What? No one can see the future, but an open to buy plan can help you forecast your future merchandise needs. It will also enable you to adjust your forecast as you get closer to those dates based on trends that will be shown.
Since your vendors require orders that are placed far out into the future, you need a system that will tell you what your needs are. Without an open to buy system, you are left to guess about your needs. Beware that your ego will lead you to believe you can do this in your head, but it’s not true. There are too many variables – many departments, 12 months, different turn rates for each department and each month.
An open to buy system will take all of the above into account including your anticipated sales and deliver a 12 month buying plan that will keep your inventory lean, balanced, and turning. You’ll also find that you markdowns are reduced and your cash flow improved. You can’t lose unless you go with your ego and not an open to buy plan.
So, if you want to see the future (at least in merchandise terms) you need open to buy planning.