Auto-camping

Across Canada, Auto-camping distributes automotive original equipment and high quality replacement parts and lubricants for European Vehicles. Since incorporation in 1960, the business has become a committed leader in the Canadian automotive industry.

  • CLIENT Auto-camping
  • YEAR 2015
  • ACHIEVEMENTSSupported the business exploit growth without having to increase inventory levels

Auto-Camping right sizes their inventory and delivers higher fill rates

Auto-Camping is Canada’s leading distributor of OEM and high-quality replacement parts and lubricants for European vehicles. They distribute nearly 15,000 items from across 20 locations, strategically located across the country. They stock everything from ignition technology to braking components and everything in between. Since implementing Slim4, the company has increased sales by almost 10% without increasing inventory levels or compromising on service.

Prior to Slim4 the previous legacy system was designed to handle parts distribution, forecasting and supply planning. AutoCamping found that since most of their items are sourced from European vendors with long lead times the supply planning was very reactionary. Paul Wilkes, The VP of Operations says; “Our previous buying decisions were very rudimentary.” He continues; “Supply planning was basically about getting product in the door and then worrying about adjusting the Reorder Points once we realised demand.” The typical result was far too much inventory of the wrong items.

Results

  • Maintained stable inventory levels amidst 10% growth
  • Huge improvement in fulfilment levels
  • Increased product availability

Slim4 Enables Process Evolution

Paul Wilkes has been the VP of Operations at Auto-Camping for 3 years and supports 20 distribution locations across Canada. The staff of nearly 30 consists of Planners, Product Managers, and Branch Managers, all making forecasting and inventory decisions using Slim4. Paul describes the roles as follows; “Our Planners are located centrally and manage the replenishment of product from vendors into our DC. Our Product Managers handle product life cycle and provide their perspective on local market demand while Branch Managers respond to exceptions at the Branch level.”

“Since we implemented Slim 4, we’ve made some structural changes to our physical supply chain, and Slim4 has been very adaptable to our new processes.” says Paul. “We’ve also experienced a bit of staff turnover, but Slim4 is easy to learn and we can get people up to speed very quickly”

Right Sized Inventory

Paul continues; “So far the software has been great for us, but we hope to expand our use of the tool as we get more experience. The order fill functionality is especially helpful because we have to meet minimum order requirements from some of our suppliers.” With the help of Slim4, Auto-Camping is able to consistently deliver 96% order fill and is now targeting 98% according to Paul. “Previously, we probably ran our inventory too lean. Slim4 has helped us right size our inventory and now we are much better at meeting customer expectations on time.” says Paul. “I think the biggest impact for us has been that Slim4 has helped us maintain our inventory levels and expected fill rate during our growth. That would have been unlikely with our previous tools.”

Greater Inventory Visibility

Since the implementation of Slim4, AutoCamping has experienced a significant improvement in their ability to plan supply and predict demand, resulting in higher product availability. According to Paul; “Slims4 gives us clear visibility to our entire inventory and we proactively now know exactly how purchasing decisions will impact our business.” He adds; “Getting orders filled from European vendors has been greatly simplified for us, and Slim4’s ’what if’ capability allows us to make some informed business decisions before committing resources.” Paul finishes by saying; “So far the software has been great for us, Slimstock has made us feel confident in their ability to support our business and they fit with our culture too. We are very happy with the result.”

“I think the biggest impact for us has been that Slim4 has helped us maintain our inventory levels and expected fill rate during our growth."

“Slim4 has helped us maintain our inventory levels and expected fill rate to support our growth.”
Paul Wilkes - VP of Operations | Auto-camping

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