One of the main driving forces behind implementation of ERP systems has been the need to have better inventory control processes and systems. ERP applications while on one hand do introduce inventory management processes, they many a times come short of providing the necessary details required to further enhance and refine inventory management & control. ERP vendors are faced with the challenge to maintain a delicate balance of providing inventory control processes and not overwhelming the mid-market customer by introducing processes way beyond the executing capabilities.
iPlan – Inventory Planning for Business One allows organizations to improve inventory management processes by planning and forecasting. The enhanced MRP (Material Requirement Planning), Forecasting and OTB (Open to Buy) engines enable companies in Retail, Warehousing & Distribution to have a better control on their inventories resulting in better margins.
MRP – Material Requirement Planning
The enhanced MRP engine efficiently plans for each item – warehouse combination based on its own planning parameters and manages an unlimited number of items and locations.
The MRP engine generates order recommendations per warehouse based on the demand and supply within each warehouse location and the planning parameters defined for item and warehouse combination. The flexibility in defining planning parameters enables warehouses to maintain optimum stocking levels.
The MRP engine calculates the required stock to cover the gross demand for each item within the planning horizon and generates the following order recommendations:
- Purchase Orders
- Production Orders
- Transfer Orders
The purchase order recommendations can be converted to firm or draft purchase orders with in the SAP Business One purchasing module thus eliminating the need to reenter data. The system allows the user to create a single Purchase Order per vendor covering multiple warehouses or Purchase Order per vendor per warehouse.
OTB – Open to Buy
Retailers are always faced with the dilemma too much or not enough stocks. Ever changing buying patterns and wafer thin margins make efficient inventory control imperative to ensure adequate level of stock is on hand for the amount to sales being planned and generated.
Open-To-Buy, also known as OTB is a financial budget for retail merchandise.
In other words, it is a merchandise budget for purchases for a period that are yet to be ordered. Open-to-Buy essentially determines the difference between the need and actual availability of the inventory. An OTB planning is essential to ensure optimum levels of inventory to support sales plans and to maximize returns on capital invested in merchandize inventory.
Having too much inventory during certain periods can slow cash flow and reduce profits with too many markdowns. On the other hand, if you under buy and miss sales opportunities then you are not making your potential profit.
It helps with the planning process and provides guidance on how much to buy, and provides benchmarks for evaluating progress and adjusting future plans.
Benefits of Open-To-Buy
- Ability to estimate in advance the amount of cash that will be required to be invested in inventory from month to month for the coming season.
- Helps to ensure an adequate amount of inventory on hand to support the level of planned sales.
- Places restraints on merchandise commitments so the store does not receive too much new merchandise too early in the season or merchandise which is not enough.
- Establishes goals so actual performance can be compared to the plan, thereby pointing out those areas where corrective action needs to be taken.
- Provides indicative delivery dates and budgeted orders to the vendors in advance
- Frequency to cancel or reschedule the order gets minimized.
- Fresh flow of new merchandise encourages customers to shop more often.
- The inventory investment may lead to improve the cash flow and decrease the debts.
iPlan – Open-To-Buy is designed specifically to address the needs of retail merchandisers to assist them in managing and replenishing their most significant asset – their inventory investment.
The Open-To-Buy module of iPlan from CitiXsys allows you to create the budget templates. Using these budget templates you can create a sales budget. The sales budget can be created in the following four manners:
OTB Analysis Detail
- From previous sales by applying a factor
- From a Forecast generated by the iPlan Forecasting
- By manually keying in sales budget
- Importing from Excel templates
The sales budget screen allows the user to view actual sales and budgeted figures and also analyze actual minus budgeted values. Sales budgets once finalized can be used for an OTB Analysis.
Everybody forecasts, Businesses have to forecast future events in order to plan production, schedule their work force, or prepare even the simplest business plan. Unfortunately, many companies use judgmental forecasting where they should not.
The main advantage of statistical forecasting is that it separates the process of forecasting from that of goal setting, and makes it systematic and objective.
Objective, quantitative forecasting can help almost any business substantially. There is, in other words, value added for business. A wide variety of statistical forecasting techniques are available, ranging from very simple to very sophisticated.
iPlan Forecasting offers the methodologies that are most appropriate for automated business forecasting. Following forecasting models are supported by iPlan:
- Simple moving average
- Discrete data models
- Croston’s intermittent demand model
- Exponential smoothing Models
- Curve fitting
All of these models are univariate techniques. They forecast the future entirely from statistical patterns in the past. iPlan Forecasting additionally supports an Expert selection method which selects an appropriate univariate forecasting technique automatically.
Download iPlan Lite
Lite versions are free to use in a production environment, however, if you do require support, you may purchase a support package based on a per incident basis. This is optional as you may keep using the Lite versions forever by continuing to update your free licenses from CitiXsys website by clicking ‘Request a License’ button.
Available in English only.
Feature Lite Version Full Version Material Requirement Planning (MRP) Open to Buy Forecasting
Compatible with SAP Business One 8.8, 8.81, 8.82.