Upon entering myotbplan.com for the first time, you will be required to read the program instructions by clicking on “Introduction”. This brings up a complete set of rules for working within the system. They are thorough, yet clear and concise. Your agreement that you have read them allows you to begin setting up your data.
Add Your Store(s)
The first step is to enter your Store Name which then appears on the right of the black (main) menu bar. Then choose how your Sales Projections will be entered (using percentages or history) and how your On Order will be entered (by individual order or by department totals if your POS provides that information). Next, you will decide to have the Markdown Projection screen displayed or leave it hidden. It will be shown to you as you scroll down, but we recommend leaving it hidden. Finally, set the Program Month and you’re ready to begin the Setup of your data. NOTE: The quizzical face Help icon is on every screen. When clicked, information specific to that screen appears. Click again, the screen reappears. Reading the Help information makes using the system much easier.
Next, you will enter your Departments. The program comes to you with 30 available departments. More can be purchased if needed, but 30 has proven to be ample for most retailers. The department codes (10 characters) and descriptions (20 characters) will be whatever you choose as the goal is to have the system mirror your store. As you enter your departments, your list will grow on the right of the screen. After the list reaches 14, a scroll bar appears on the right of the list eliminating the need to scroll the entire page. This is true on all of the screens using a Department List.
Enter Sales Projections
Sales Projections are planned for the next 12 months in each Department. If by Percentages, your total annual Store Sales will be entered first and then each Department assigned a percentage – all departments adding to 100%. Then within each Department, the 12 months are each assigned a percentage – again adding to 100%. The system will compute the Sales Projection Dollars from your percentage inputs. If using past History, you will enter the most recent 12 months of sales in each Department. The entries are quite easy, one figure, Tab, the next figure, Tab, and so on. NOTE: Clicking on the green code or description in the Department list (on the left side of each screen) will change the information box (on the right) to that Department’s data.
Enter Beginning Inventory
Next, enter your inventory from the 1st of the current month. If unavailable, enter your current inventory and you will be able to update the inventory at the beginning of the coming month. The system needs an inventory to calculate your Current Turn Rate and to use as a basis for the initial OTB Calculations.
Set up Annual Turn Rates
The right inventory level is that which allows maximum sales and the highest possible turn rates. Sales should not be jeopardized in pursuit of overly high turn rates, but too much inventory will mean low turn rates, excess invoices, markdowns and poor cash flow. myotbplan will keep inventories correct to support sales and help you improve turnover.
In order to get you underway as quickly and accurately as possible, we have taken the Annual Sales for each Department and divided it by your Current Inventory to determine your Current Turn Rates. Based on our experience, we have then Suggested Turn Rates of either 3.0 or 4.0 depending on your Current Turn Rates. These rates can be changed if you desire in the final Turn to be Used column which is what the program draws from for your calculations.
As you go forward, Revisions to the Turn Rates as well as the Sales Projections can be made during the Monthly closeout.
View Inventory Comparison
This screen shows your current actual inventory vs. your Projected Inventory and how much you are under or over stocked. You can now clearly see where your dollars are not working and take action to turn the excess inventory (red numbers) into cash and put that money into your bank account rather than back into inventory where it is not needed. Remember, everything is based on YOUR projected sales and YOUR desired turn rates, so the figures you see are real.
We recommend you skip this screen (as you can clearly see). It is intended for retailers who MUST project markdowns, but doing so will reduce the amount of dollars available for sale and increase the open to buy accordingly. This creates more inventory and more markdowns. The goal of the program is to eliminate markdowns. Now, that may not happen totally, but if you follow the program, you will be amazed at how few markdowns you will have.
OTB Summary & Beginning Inventory Review
Running the OTB Calculations is the final step in the Setup and leaves you in the OTB Summary screen. The OTB Summary is on the left side of the screen and we have included a Beginning Inventory Review so you can be aware of your Sales Projections, Turn Rate, and Ideal Beginning Inventory figures for the coming 12 months in that Department. You can also see your actual Beginning Inventory vs. the Projected to help understand the OTB information. The OTB Amount shows what the program has calculated you have to spend on merchandise for each of the next 12 months. As you enter your On Order (outstanding orders) they will be deducted from the OTB Amount to leave the OTB Balance – the amount available to be spent or the amount overbought. Ideally, the OTB Balance column will be zero indicating you have spent the correct amount and not overbought. An Edit On Order button will appear below the OTB Summary box for retailers entering their On Order By Totals from outside the program. This screen displays and changes Departments with a drop down box.
On Order & Receiving Record
For retailers entering their orders into the program By Order, they will have a Daily option on the black menu bar. This screen captures their individual orders that have been input (on a separate entry screen) and distributed to the various Departments by delivery month. As orders are entered, the OTB Balance for each month is updated. Each time an order is entered, the information also appears on the Receiving Record portion on the right of the order. When merchandise is received, the received amounts can be entered on the Receiving Record portion by clicking on the “Edit Pencil” on the right of the line item. The Total Received heading will change to Amount Received and the pencil changes to OK. Enter the amount of the receipt and click on OK and the Total Received and Order Balance are updated. The amount of the receipts are also entered into inventory as the program will maintain a perpetual retail dollar inventory in each department if desired. This screen displays and changes Departments with a drop down box.
The additional information beyond Sales and Receipts needed for retailers without a POS system to keep the perpetual inventory correct includes Transfers In, Transfers Out, Markdowns, Returns to Vendor, and Unsold. These can be entered on this screen and each entry is added or subtracted from the Current Calculated Inventory (Monthly/Inventory Update).
Move Orders Forward
For those entering their On Order By Order, the first step in the Monthly closeout process will be to decide on moving orders with open balances into the coming month or allowing them to be dropped from the system (cancellations should be sent to vendors in this case).
By checking the Move box, the individual order will be moved into the next month and deducted from the OTB Amount like the rest of the On Order. An “M” will be added to the end of the Order Number to signify that the order was moved from the previous month. Seeing this information is a good opportunity to clean up outstanding orders. Our suggestion is that orders be marked “Ship Complete” when they are written as vendors will ship what they have and leave your inventory unbalanced.
Retailers entering their On Order By Totals will not see this screen.
For everyone, the Monthly closeout begins with entering Sales (one figure per department) for the month just ended.
Analysis & Revision / History
Next up is the all important Analysis & Revision screen which shows how you did during the month just completed in terms of Sales, Beginning Inventory and Turnover – actual vs. projected. This screen will show you, in each department, whether you are moving ahead or slipping backwards. You will need to ask yourself WHY this is happening. What’s going on inside your store and outside your store that is affecting your sales. To help understand what is happening, a History box on the right will display the Sales, Beginning Inventory, and Turnover information for each completed month that you have used the system. If you feel you are seeing on-going trends (up or down), you can make revisions right on this screen that will alter your sales projections for the next 12 months. If things change during the upcoming month, you will have an opportunity at the end of each month to re-evaluate your revisions. Making these revisions will keep your projections in sync with what’s actually happening in your store and consequently your buying plan right on target. This screen displays and changes Departments with a drop down box.
NOTE: The Analysis portion of this screen is also retained in the History option on the black menu bar for every month that the subscriber uses the program and is added to History each time the OTB Calculations are run.
The next step is to enter a new beginning inventory. For those entering On Order By Totals, the first column will always read “Last Outside Inventory” and will not change until a new inventory is entered by overwriting the previous one. For those entering On Order By Order, the column heading will be “Current Calculated Inventory” and if not overwritten by an outside inventory will be used to begin the next OTB Calculation. The Current Calculated Inventory is a product of the previous month’s Beginning Inventory minus Sales, plus Receipts, plus or minus the Inventory Changes.
The new inventory is compared with the Projected Inventory for the new month and again you will be able to clearly see where your inventory is out of balance and take corrective action.
When the OTB Calculations are run after the closing of each month, the user is requested to agree to the Program Month being advanced and then once again landed on the OTB Summary screen to review their OTB information for the next 12 months.