One of the most important aspects of inventory control is to have the items in stock at the moment they are needed. This includes going into the market to buy the goods early enough to ensure delivery at the proper time. Thus, buying requires advance planning to determine inventory needs for each time period and then making the commitments without procrastination.

For retailers, planning ahead is very crucial. Since they offer new items for sale months before the actual calendar date for the beginning of the new season, it is imperative that buying plans be formulated early enough to allow for intelligent buying without any last minute panic purchases. The main reason for this early offering for sale of new items is that the retailer regards the calendar date for the beginning of the new season as the merchandise date for the end of the old season.

For example, many retailers view March 21 as the end of the spring season, June 21 as the end of summer and December 21 as the end of winter. Part of your purchasing plan must include accounting for the depletion of the inventory. Before a decision can be made as to the level of inventory to order, you must determine how long the inventory you have in stock will last. For instance, a retail firm must formulate a plan to ensure the sale of the greatest number of units. Likewise, a manufacturing business must formulate a plan to
ensure enough inventory is on hand for production of a finished product.

In summary, the purchasing plan details:

  • When commitments should be placed; ! When the first delivery should be received;
  • When the inventory should be peaked;
  • When reorders should no longer be placed; and
  • When the item should no longer be in stock.

Well planned purchases affect the price, delivery and availability of products for sale

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