MEA Markets Magazine Announces Winners of the 2019 UAE Business Awards. Slimstock among the winners!
Slimstock Middle East & Africa has been awarded Best Inventory Optimisation Solutions Provider 2019 by MEA Markets Magazine.
These awards highlight the key players and innovators across a myriad of sectors from one of the most affluent and influential business regions in the world. The highly anticipated UAE Business Awards are now being published for the 3rd consecutive year.
With a challenging year ending but the promise of a rise in economic activity predicted for 2019, now is the perfect time for MEA News to celebrate the best firms, teams and individuals, who’ve worked tirelessly through these turbulent times, providing the best products and services in one of the most affluent and influential business regions in the world.
Commenting on the success of these deserving winners, Sophie Milner , Awards Coordinator said: “Through these awards, MEA Markets honours the enterprises and individuals behind innovations and inspirations that drive increasing growth and development; developments which have assisted in establishing the Middle East as a global knowledge-base and leading destination for new initiatives. It is with great pride that I offer my congratulations to all of my winners and wish them the best possible luck for the future.” Speaking after the announcement of the winners, Slimstock CEO (MEA), Sadi Abdel-Kariem Al Sadi H., said "Hard work is paying off. The last 12 months have been great for us. With customers like Sephora and Chalhoub Group raving about our inventory optimisation solutions, as well as new customers like Spinneys being announced, it is clear we are deserving of such recognition. We are delighted to see that we are making waves in the Middle East and specifically in the UAE".
To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit http://www.mea-markets.com/ where you can view the winners supplement and full winners list.
With more than 600 stores in Turkey, food retailer, Carrefour SA regularly struggled with out of stock situations. One of the biggest problems was that the retailer’s inventory management activities relied heavily on the knowledge and experience of the inventory planners, who are moreover in very short supply in Turkey. Thanks to Slim4, Carrefour SA has succeeded in standardising, centralising and automating the replenishment of its DCs and its stores. The initial results – fewer planners and higher on-shelf availability – demonstrate the potential for even more improvements.
Despite the country’s challenges, the grocery retailer Carrefour SA continues to show strong growth in Turkey. With over 600 stores ranging from hypermarkets with more than 50,000 SKUs to supermarkets, convenience stores and specialist shops. The retailer not only sells food and drink products, but also non-food items such as textiles and electronics. The stores are replenished via an extensive network of seven regional distribution centres (DCs), three DCs for fresh produce, one DC for ﬁsh and seafood, and one DC for frozen food. Due to an ongoing acquisition strategy, the number of stores is constantly rising and the retailer currently has over half a million square metres of ﬂoor space. But the rapid growth added to the pressure on Carrefour SA’s supply chain, resulting in frequent out-of-stock situations which were damaging the retailer’s customer service level.
At the same time, Carrefour SA was being forced to write oﬀ a lot of inventory because products remained unsold. However, by far the biggest problem was the lack of the right knowledge and skills to turn things around. “There is a high level of staﬀ turnover within the logistics and inventory planning teams, plus it’s very diﬃcult to ﬁnd new people. Not many Turkish universities oﬀer good degree courses related to supply chain management. We have to make do with newly graduated technical engineers and then help them to develop the relevant competencies ourselves,” says Emri Aslan, Supply Group Manager at Carrefour SA.
Carrefour SA realised that the existing store replenishment process had to be redesigned. The retailer was too reliant on Excel sheets and the knowledge inside the heads of its inventory planners. “Partly also due to the shortage of supply chain talent, we wanted to standardise the replenishment process and relive some of the preasure placed on our employees. We implemented SAP for things like warehousing and inventory management, but the ERP suite’s replenishment module didn’t oﬀer enough functionality for us. The problems with on-shelf availability in our stores meant that we had a pressing need for an advanced forecasting and replenishment tool,” continues Aslan. Carrefour SA came into contact with Slimstock through the local consultancy ﬁrm Selco.
After carefully comparing it with the SAP Forecasting & Replenishment and NCR Retalix systems, Aslan and his team decided on Slimstock’s Slim4 tool. “It might seem more logical to have chosen SAP Forecasting & Replenishment seeing as our ERP system is from SAP, but no one uses that module in Turkey. Our ERP system has been substantially customized, so there was little – if any – beneﬁt to be gained by staying with just one software supplier, so we preferred Slim4. The tool has user-friendly screens, is easy to learn and to work with, and the same version is available worldwide. Besides that, Slim4 allows us to create a process that will reduce our dependency on people.”
No more chaos
Slim4 has enabled Carrefour SA to streamline inventory management across their end-to-end supply chain. The stock levels are now managed centrally, both in the DCs and in the stores. “In the past our inventory planners used to mainly rely on their own experience when placing purchase orders with our 1,500-plus Turkish suppliers. Now, Slim4 automatically generates the purchase orders based on historical data and the forecast for the weeks ahead,” explains Aslan. “Until recently, the store replenishment orders were generated semiautomatically. In other words, the stores themselves had the option to adjust the quantities as they saw ﬁt. But that created chaos and resulted in stock surpluses or even shortages. There’s no more chaos now.”
Slim4 oﬀers particular beneﬁts when phasing products in and out. Whenever a new product is introduced, the tool generates a reliable forecast based on the sales history of similar items. If demand declines and an item needs to be phased out, Slim4 issues an alert to prevent surplus stock. Slim4 even supports Carrefour SA’s acquisition strategy. Before a new store is added to the new network, Slim4 copies the data from similar stores. As a result, the right quantities of the right items can be stocked on the shelves right from the start.
This new approach has already produced some promising initial results: Aslan’s team is now more data-driven rather than relying on assumptions or the knowledge inside the planners’ heads. This has led to a seven percent increase in on-shelf availability and signiﬁcantly improved the forecasting accuracy, which has had a positive impact on store revenue. Aslan: “Moreover, the planning process is now a lot more eﬃcient; despite to the growth. We’ve been able to cut back on eight FTEs. Futhermore, the store employees have more time to spare.”
The partnership with Slimstock has been outstanding so far. The implementation remained within budget and took only three weeks longer than originally planned. “Slimstock was extremely quick to resolve the minor problems we encountered,” says Aslan. And Carrefour SA is not ﬁnished yet; next on the list is the implementation of the Slim4 promotions module, plus the grocery retailer intends to roll out the tool to support fresh-food inventory planning too. “We’ve complete already been given the green light for that phase. Once that’s optimise, we will be able to further optimise the order volumes with our 1,500 suppliers. We expect to then see a further decrease in our stock levels and also a reduction in waste. And if we can then integrate our forecasting process with our big data and CRM activities as well, then we’ll be completely ready for the future.”
Ruben Zomerdijk sat down to discuss his new role at Slimstock, life in Dubai and thoughts on the Middle East and Africa region...
When did you join the Slimstock Middle East & Africa team?
I joined Slimstock on August 1st 2018, but moved from The Netherlands to Dubai at the beginning of October. During the first 2 months, I was being trained by the inventory experts at our Dutch headquarters to ensure I get a flying start in the Middle East & Africa region.
What is your role?
I am a consultant at Slimstock. I am involved in multiple projects for improving inventory management and implementing our software Slim4 at new and existing customers.
What’s the first thing you wanted to do in Dubai?
To be honest, Dubai has so much to offer that I could not make up my mind on what to do first. In the first couple of weeks I visited different parts of Dubai to get an understanding of the city and the people living here. I enjoyed visiting the many attractions such as the malls, beaches and great nightlife venues. I am looking forward to exploring so much more in this city and the region too.
What does your working day look like?
Each morning starts with a nice breakfast and then I'm off to either the office or a customer visit. From there a day can vary between discussing inventory topics with a customer, creating a business case for a prospect or activities related to an implementation of Slim4. My role involves a lot of diversity depending on the day. Because we work with such a wide variety of customers, I could be spending my day at a warehouse or an office building. Dealing with so many different industries insures that my job never gets repetitive or boring.
What’s the impact of Slim4?
The impact of Slim4 differs from organisation to organisation. The software can increase sales by reducing stock outs, increase working capital by reducing excess stock, improve inventory turn, or a combination of the three. It eventually leads to increase in revenue due to all the savings. A customer needs to have a clear vision of the goals they want to achieve with their business. From that moment, Slim4 can help translate a company’s strategy into outstanding inventory management.
What’s your goal in this role?
My ambition is to learn from the way they do business in this region and in return customers and potential partners can learn from my knowledge about supply chain management. My goal is to seize every opportunity to improve myself and the people around me. The best thing I can do is work each day with full courage and the outcomes occur. If you asked me where I would see myself in 5 years, I would say that I simply don't know. I did not know 5 years ago that I would be living and working in Dubai on this particular day so it is hard to predict the future. Working with Slimstock is great because it gives me the opportunity to develop in an environment that is so diverse. The company is more like a family than a business. We all help each other with the common goal of helping our customers. We have over 20 offices around the world so maybe in 5 years I could be in Austrailia or even Singapore.
How much potential do you see in the Middle East & Africa market?
I am convinced that Slimstock made a smart move by opening an office in Dubai for the Middle East & Africa region. For example, the United Arab Emirates grew tremendously in the last few decades, but the growth is starting to stabilize. Is that a bad thing? No, because now businesses are starting to think about how they can perform better with the resources that are already available in the market. I can see that Slimstock is an expert in this area for different industries. The African market on the other hand is a bit more difficult to predict because they will have unprecedented growth, but Slimstock has proven that they are able to support markets in growing stages. The possibilities are endless in the Middle East and Africa.
The French perfume and cosmetics retailer, Sephora, will implement Slim4 in the United Arab Emirates. “We must increase in-store availability to 99% while achieving a supply chain reduction of 25%,” stated head of supply chain, Sandeep Walia in an interview with the Logistics Middle East magazine.
The French-owned business is active in 33 countries and has 2,300 stores worldwide. The company is experiencing unprecedented growth in Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. "The number of SKU / store combinations has increased enormously in recent years” stated Walia in the article which was published this month. "To put it in perspective: our flagship store in Dubai alone sells more items than some entire national markets in Europe."
Supply chain costs set to reduce by 25%
In order to meet the high expectations of customers and avoid missing out on turnover, high store availability is crucial for a high-end retail chain such as Sephora. To maintain the highest possible service, Sephora decided to implement Slimstock’s software, Slim4. "Slim4 ensures the right availability per SKU and also enables us to reduce the supply chain costs by as much as 25%." The latter is achieved, among other things, by preventing over-supply and reducing rush orders.
Quickly roll out new stores
Slim4 will also help improve the efficiency of the planning process, allowing Sephora increase the rate at which the business can roll out new stores. “What used to take a team of 8 supply chain professionals hours to plan now takes just a few clicks in Slim4. They are now able to spend that time on things that offer more added value," explains Walia. For a new store, the demand profile of a comparable store can easily be copied. Slim4 then automatically determines the initial allocation and adjusts it on a daily basis depending on the development of demand.
Download the full article
Click the picture below to download the full interview! There will soon be a video interview with Sadeem Walia.
As we embark upon the new year, no doubt many of us are carrying a few extra pounds. The same holds true for businesses: there is always scope to trim down the excess inventory.
Holding high levels of obsolete stock is bad for business. However, removing these items from your operation is often easier said than done. Given that you have made a financial investment in these products, accepting that these items no longer offer any value can be a hard pill to swallow. So what can you do to “painlessly” remove obsolete stock from your operations while still keeping the potential financial impact to a minimum?
Eliminating waste takes great courage!
Based on the experience of the inventory analysts at Slimstock, of all the items in your warehouse, typically, 10% will never be sold. Given that these items are unlikely to bring in any revenue, why are you holding onto them?
Although writing off stock will come at the cost of your margins which won’t amuse the finance director or the board, it is totally necessary. After all, when you consider that you have already lost your original investment in these items, continuing to stock these products will only cost you more money!
Refine your assortment
To help you refine your assortment in 2018, we have outlined 4 simple steps to help you eliminate the obsolete stock which is holding your business back. Through following these tips, you will be able to minimise inventory costs and free up working capital: both of which will no doubt be music to the financial director’s ears!
Complete the form below to download the first part of our three-part series now!
Slimstock ask Nick Brouwer, team leader Supply Chain and user of Slim4 at the Nedac Sorbo Group, five questions: What's his role? What does he do on a normal day and what impact has Slim4 had on the business? What's his biggest challenge at the moment? And what are his ambitions for the future?
What is your role?
I supervise six inventory planners across various business units. On a corporate level, I manage the inventory and service levels. However, I also intervene in the case of emergencies or when things are escalated from a lower level. For example, a supplier recently increased the minimum order quantity to double that of our annual requirement. In such cases, together with my colleagues from purchasing, I get involved and we set up a discussion with the supplier.
My main goal within the Nedac Sorbo Group is to take planning to the next level. I want to ensure that the planners are making the absolute most out of Slim4. I also want to ensure that they only make fact based decisions instead of acting on gut feeling. I want to teach them to plan as efficiently as possible in order to focus more time on improving processes.
What does your working day look like?
Although I'm not a planner, I spend approximately three hours a day using Slim4. In the morning, I start my working day with a good look at the Slim4 dashboard. This provides me with detailed insights into how inventory levels develop on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. If I see any strange or unexpected peaks, I investigate the causes and try to solve them together with the planners.
I don't have a fixed daily routine. I have all kinds of appointments during the day and I'm involved in several improvement projects. I have meetings with suppliers on a regular basis. During these meetings we discuss ongoing issues and use Slim4 to help improve their delivery performance.
What's the impact of Slim4?
Our whole planning process relies on Slim4: we even generate our purchase orders within the system. These orders are transferred to our SAP ERP system from which we actually do the purchasing. What would happen if we didn't have Slim4? Well, we would have to look for another system as soon as possible. We might even have to resort to Excel as an alternative. Our company cannot function without a planning system.
Without Slim4 the planning processes would take an enormous amount of time. One of the biggest benefits is that Slim4 prioritises work for our planners and provides insight into exceptions and indicates how urgently an action needs to be taken.
What's your main challenge?
At the moment our main project is focused on integrating processes with our sister company, George East Housewares in the UK. We will try to bring both businesses together in order to manage stock in the same Slim4 environment. This improvement project is all about harmonising assortments between both companies. For instance, if a product is moving faster in the Netherlands than in the UK, it could be better to purchase stock from the Netherlands and vice versa.
In addition, we will conduct an in depth analysis of the entire product range in order to gain a clearer picture of our long tail. We will also dive into the processes and, where necessary, make organisational changes in order to help keep this long tail under control.
What's your ambition?
The role of supply chain team leader is still fairly new for me so for the next few years I want to develop myself further in this field. There's so much more to gain from Slim4 and I want our team to focus more time on core planning activities instead of dealing with side issues.
What I would like to be doing in five years' time? For me that's difficult to say. This year I will take the Slimstock HBO Minor course. For now, I think that's enough. I'm kind of a control freak: I like to address problems and I really enjoy it when we get things to improve. For this reason, this is exactly the job which suits me best.
Deciding the right balance and assortment of stock-keeping units across multiple warehouses can be a bewildering task. Regularly monitoring and planning the correct level of inventory across tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of items without the right tool is enough to make even the best of supply managers capitulate. Adding the difficult task of deciding which forecasting technique will produce the most appropriate forecast results for a given demand profile, along with all of the configurations available for each model, results in endless possibilities and permutations and a very challenging problem indeed. But what can supply chain managers do to overcome this hurdle?
Demand Classification is a systematic, logically founded method of ascertaining and clustering the characteristics of sales history into groups, before applying the most appropriate forecasting techniques automatically. Classification enables a significant improvement in forecast accuracy with significantly less effort and is light-years ahead of the traditional ‘pick best’ approach.
New, in-life, seasonal, and end of life products must be all treated differently, and most demand patterns change. New products may move from a growth phase into the mainstream, lose their upward trend and become more stable. Others may exhibit stable demand patterns and begin to trend downward toward the end of a product’s lifecycle. Along with sales velocity, frequency, and magnitude, demand can be different in every case. Planners quickly begin to recognise the daunting task of just knowing where to start, followed by where to focus their priorities. Not only are forecast accuracy goals negatively impacted by their follow on action and decision, but downstream activities can be adversely affected too. Very quickly inventory and replenishment planning begins to suffer and an extremely costly situation ensues.
With so many planning decisions pending a forecast, many practitioners have been tempted to rely on their computer system to select, for them, the best prediction model from a wide range of techniques. Compared to more scientific approaches, this might only be a little more advanced than the random movements of a laboratory rat seeking to exit a maze. The forecast models in a pick best approach can produce wildly divergent results. Different samples of history will influence predictions, and performance is often negatively impacted by significant fluctuations in the data. The technique usually creates endless hours of model tweaking and data manipulations to gain only slightly less dubious confidence in the forecast. Fitting a forecast based on how tightly it fits the past, does not guarantee a better alignment to the future, and it’s very often the root-cause of kneejerk planning.
A more rational approach to the problem is to include statistical recognition of different types of demand before precisely applying the right technique. Failure to recognise the differences in demand characteristics can result in the application of inappropriate planning techniques and create undesired fallout like excess inventory, wild swings in replenishment plans, late promotional deliveries, and more frequent stock-outs. Slimstock’s Slim4 Inventory Optimisation software automatically recognises what stage of lifecycle a product is in, and systematically analyses demand history or replenishment challenges before scientifically applying the optimal planning strategy.
Slim4 seamlessly integrates with any ERP system and applies academically supported statistics to test trends across each product/location combination, identifying the appropriate classification for items that contain seasonality, irregular or lumpy demand, new activity, declining sales, and many other observations. This technique dramatically reduces the amount of effort from traditional forecasting and planning techniques alone, allowing planners to engage in additional activities that drive even greater business improvements. The result is more accurate and consistent forecasts, and inventory replenishment plans based on scientific intelligence, with far less effort. Demand Classification is a significant leap forward from the traditional ‘pick best’ approach. The obvious benefit is a dramatic improvement in the overall confidence of an inventory planning strategy.
At Slimstock, we believe a significant opportunity exists in releasing a tremendous amount of kinetic energy (cash-flow) from the inventories of most companies. The way we help our clients capitalise on this idea is designing software that becomes the ‘central intelligence’ of your inventory planning organisation and helps pre-empt threats on your supply chain objectives. At Slimstock, we don’t just replicate ideas; we are advancing supply thinking and helping our clients achieve extraordinary results from near ‘mission impossible’ scenarios.
With 7 mills, 14 sales offices and 5,100 employees, Sappi Europe is the leading producer of coated fine paper and also a successful example of a Slim4 customer. We ask Peter Conings, Inventory Manager at Sappi, to describe a typical working day, his main responsibilities, and his experience with Slim4 and his aspirations for the future.
What is your role within the company?
Sappi’s HQ is located in South Africa, we are also represented in Europe and North America. I work within the supply chain as part of the supply & demand team, this team consists of 7 people, each responsible for a specific part of the process. On a monthly basis, we organise an S&OP process meeting in which we check supply vs demand for each machine for the next 4-6 months ahead and discuss results with all the departments involved. This enables us to anticipate if any of our factories are underutilised.
I am responsible for managing the entire range of A1 products which are produced in 1 of our 7 European factories. This category is comprised of ‘finished goods’ (pallets/rolls) and ‘semi-finished goods’ (cutter reels) and are stored in our plants and external warehouses.
At any one time, over 250000 tons of paper is divided across multiple locations in Europe and North America. My main focus is the availability of the 2000 SKU’s, which has become crucial in today’s paper market.
What does a typical day look like?
My working day starts by refreshing the stock reports and checking the order files within Slim4. Because of the many daily meetings and calls with my colleagues from the supply chain, logistics and sales teams as well as the product managers, I don’t really have a regular routine.
In total, I spend about 2 hours a day using Slim4. I also responsible for monitoring the forecast exceptions on a monthly basis as well as managing the master data of the 2,000 SKU’s within my portfolio.
In addition to this, we have a SKU review meeting with the sales and the product managers every quarter where we analyse and discuss the market situation. In preparation for this meeting, I extract several Slim4 reports and merge them with the reports from SAP.
As a Slim4 Customer, what the impact has the inventory optimisation software had on your day-to-day job?
Before becoming a Slim4 customer, we ordered according to a fixed re-order point and a maximum stock level that was revised every 6 months. The calculations were based on an Excel file combined with a report from SAP as well as considerable gut feeling.
Since then, our market approach has changed significantly; we have by-passed wholesalers and now deliver directly to the printers. To accomplish this, we had to allocate stock in several strategic locations to guarantee delivery within 24 to 48 hours to our customers. This can range from an order for a single pallet to a full truck load.
Because of this different approach, we needed a dynamic system that was able to adapt and adjust to last minute changes. By using Slim4, at a glance, we can check the current availability, sales, lead times and trends at SKU level. Through recognising trends and seasonality, the stock level is automatically adjusted to the market demand.
Ultimately, Slim4 provides us with greater insight and we can now anticipate and respond to problems much faster.
By merging the Slim4 reports with the business intelligence reports from SAP, we can forecast with far greater accuracy. As a result, we can reserve the capacity of the machines 2 to 6 months in advance. This in turn has enabled us to achieve an enormous increase in availability.
What is your biggest challenge?
My main responsibility is to guarantee availability. Therefore, it is my goal to ensure that a product is in stock at the right time, at the right place with the highest possible stock rotation. However, the biggest challenge within our supply & demand team is to achieve this within the proposed budgeted targets.
In addition, a Sappi year, opposed to a calendar year, does not run from January to December but from October to September and our target calculation is based on seasons. For example, by the end of December and during the summer months, the stock level increases because of the reduced logistic capabilities. Through reviewing historical data reports and the Slim4 seasonality report, we can easily forecast for this.
Now that you are a experienced Slim4 customer, what are your ambitions for the future?
It is my goal to further improve stock rotation and to ensure continuous stock availability. I would like to invest more time in utilising Slim4 as a reporting tool and optimise the possibilities it offers.
I would like to grow and develop in this role and I hope to enable even smoother collaboration between the different departments. I am convinced that by taking full advantage of Slim4, we can develop a perfect streamlined management process.
Become a Slim4 Customer
Contact us directly and discover how our inventory management software, Slim4, could help you reduce supply chain costs improve customer satisfaction.
One of the world’s largest retail chains of Toy shops made headlines last month as the North American arm of its global operation filed for bankruptcy. While the news came as a surprise to many, the business in question did not fail because consumers had stopped buying toys. Given that global sales of Toys and games were actually up 3%in the first half of 2017, is the traditional bricks ‘n’ mortar retail model still relevant in today’s Omni-channel retailing environment?
The reality facing many retailers is that we as consumers simply do not shop like we used to: In the UK alone, the online spending is growing at a rate of up to 15% year on year. However, British retailers must not shut up shop on their physical stores just yet. After all, if the physical retail environment was indeed dead, why else would the likes of Amazon look to enhance their business with physical channels?
Although the traditional brick ‘n’ mortar retail model seems be in trouble, physical retail stores will always remain a valuable channel for consumers. However, in order to establish an effective omni-channel operation, retailers must take steps to reinvigorate the in-store shopping experience as well as better integrate physical stores with webshops.
Omni-channel retailing is all about intimacy...
While there is no doubt that consumer habits are migrating towards internet shopping, shopping patterns have not changed completely. After all, online sales of toys still only account for 37% of the total demand. Given that the majority of purchases were made in-store, it seems consumers have not abandoned physical stores just yet. However as consumer continue to shift towards the Omni-channel retail model, the role of physical stores will evolve beyond recognition.
As highlighted by the Entrepreneur, most customers are now hybrid shoppers: when it comes to making a purchasing decision, we rely on both online and offline channels. While online channels provide total transparency over pricing allowing consumers to compare a number of different competitors, retail stores provide intimacy whereby the customer can truly interact with the product before they make a decision.
Take for instance the “FurReal Roarin’ Tyler”: the interactive teddy that is anticipated to be one of this year’s best-selling Christmas presents. Although the online retail environment will provide a clear indication of price, even if the description of the product clearly states that the toy is “soft & cuddly,” you are unlikely to be convinced of this until you actually go to a store and experience it for yourself.
As a result, retailers must ensure that their operations reflect this purchasing behaviour. After all, cluttered stores, filled to the brim with the wrong stock will never win over customers!
... But convenience will always be king!
Although the need to provide an intimate shopping experience cannot be understated, customer loyalty ultimately depends upon a retailer’s ability to provide convenience.
After all, imagine if you were in a toy shop and the product you want is out of stock. Or worse still, imagine you were trying to make the same purchase online via the retailer’s online webstore: what would you do?
Although you may accept an alternative product, the reality for retailers is that failure to provide customers with the products they want, as and when they want them, is the fastest way to lose their business.
Regardless of the channel in question, we as customers expect the purchasing process to be as easy as possible. Given that out of stocks are the absolute enemy of customer satisfaction, retailers must revise their ordering and replenishment strategies to guarantee consistently high levels of availability.
Long Live omni-channel retailing
Despite the recent struggles of other businesses, retailers must not be deterred: physical locations will always provide a valuable connection to the end consumer. However, in order to exploit the full potential from both physical and online channels, retailers must establish an effective omni-channel retailing operation that fully integrates all channels around the needs of the customer. Through enhancing supply chain processes to offer a more refined in-store assortment while simultaneously improving availability across all locations, retailers can offer customers the perfect balance between intimacy and convenience.
In order to provide customers in the United Arab Emirates with the best possible service, Slimstock has opened a regional office in Dubai. "This new location is the ideal hub for us to serve countries across the Middle Eastern and African region with our inventory optimisation solution," says CEO Eric van Dijk.
“We see a huge amount of opportunity to help businesses in this region with our inventory optimisation solution, Slim4" stated Van Dijk, during the opening of the new office. One of Slimstock’s new clients in the United Arab Emirates is Sephora who, amongst other things, uses Slim4 to optimize the replenishment of their stores.
Global service, local support
The new location perfectly complements Slimstock’s ‘global service, local support’-strategy. The inventory management specialist is active in 40 countries with branches in 20 countries across Europe, Asia, North and South America. Van Dijk: "After the opening of our regional office in Singapore last year, Dubai was the ideal base to serve our customers throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Experts in inventory optimisation
Slimstock currently supports over 700 customers worldwide in optimizing their inventory and increasing their efficiency. Van Dijk: “We can offer assistance to help reduce our customers’ inventory while at the same time increasing the service level. As a result, turnover increases, while costs decrease. The return on a Slim4 investment starts within one year of introduction, and we offer a guarantee on these results.” Slimstock’s complete software package, Slim4, contains forecasting, demand planning and inventory management, helping their customers to get the right inventory to the right place at the right time.
In addition to software solutions, Slimstock also offers project-based support and professional services, including coaching, analysis, and interim professional support. Van Dijk: “We believe that the knowledge aspect is very important. That’s why we have the Slimstock Academy where we train our customers to make the most of our software and also transfer our knowledge in inventory & supply chain management. We are convinced that when our customers have more knowledge, we can outperform together.”