Demand Planning: Forecasting optimal inventory levels

2022 07 July
12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern

Demand Planning: Forecasting optimal inventory levels

Forecasting optimal inventory levels is no easy task in today’s environment, but it’s necessary for a successful business. Our home furnishings experts will show you how to forecast inventory levels so you can make the right buying decisions. You’ll learn techniques, buying strategies, and the tools you need to keep your inventory levels where they need to be.


  • Try to find the product that is shipping and highlight it as a featured product.
  • Communication with the customer is key. Find out who needs it now and who can wait and work to satisfy those needs. The goal is to get the right piece to the right customer at the right time.
  • Sell against incoming POs to help satisfy the consumer.
  • Mattress lead times have nearly returned to normal and are the most profitable.
  • Motion furniture is almost at a predictable flow, but upholstery is still struggling.
  • Taking advantage of creating a pop-up store location you can get for a short-term lease is a way to create a localized distribution center of sorts
  • High-impact liquidators could potentially work for you.
  • Create a Facebook Group with an incentive to come into the group and share social posts to the group about product availability.
  • Leverage your clearance center to move excessive inventory outside of dead or damaged goods.
  • Concentrate on making sure that your KPIs are directly related to cash. The average sales to inventory KPI are 20%.
  • Use a rolling average to maximize inventory levels and balance it with the sales to inventory to increase GMROI.
  • Retail margin should be 50%.
  • Monitor days of inventory or dollars of inventory to understand the timeline of your flow. This will help project out your open to buy based on the POs you have in the system.



Damian Pherigo Corporate Operations Manager, CS Wo & Sons
Hawaii’s largest retailer. Family-owned and operated since 1909. The C. S. Wo & Sons, Ltd. umbrella offers a variety of furniture to Hawaii consumers. Currently, these retailers are C. S. Wo & Sons, HomeWorld Furniture, SlumberWorld, Ashley HomeStore, America’s Mattress, and Red Knot.

Carson Rowh Owner, Hometrends LLC
Hometrends LLC owns and operates Ashley Furniture HomeStores in Kearney, Grand Island, and North Platte Nebraska as well as a Retail and E-commerce Distribution Center in Kearney that serves Central Nebraska, Northwest Kansas, and Northeast Colorado. Hometrends and related companies have served central Nebraska since 1952.

Jonathan Schulman President, (IHFRA) International Home Furnishings Representatives Association
Jonathan Schulman started in his father’s Los Angeles case goods factory, working the floor during college at Shelves and Cabinets in San Diego, and then owning his own stores that he later parlayed into a few Ashley Homestore locations. For several years, Jonathan was on the road as a furniture rep for the AICO family for his first eight years, then as a multi-line rep. Jonathan is the current President of IHFRA.