FPS Distribution

For over 80 years, FPS have strived to provide customers with the most comprehensive product range available in the marketplace. FPS offer a range of services encompassing everything from distributing aftermarket parts via same-day delivery, to providing national retailers with a complete supply chain network solution.

  • CLIENT FPS Distribution
  • YEAR 2011
  • ACHIEVEMENTSCut out of stocks by 60%

Results

  • 60% reduction in out of stocks
  • Availability levels consistently in the high 90%s
  • Enhanced collaboration resulting in improved supplier reliability

FPS drive availability amid rapid growth

For over 80 years, FPS have strived to provide customers with the most comprehensive product range available in the market place. FPS offer a range of services encompassing everything from distributing aftermarket parts via same day delivery, to providing national retailers with a complete supply chain network solution. Whilst automotive aftermarket parts remain a core part of the business, their product portfolio now also spans the travel and leisure sector as well as the retail sector. With further growth on the horizon, FPS required a solution which not only had the capabilities to improve the company’s already impressive availability levels but also ensure that working capital is kept under control.

From their national distribution centre located in Sheffield, the FPS fleet supplies a network of 19 branches across the UK as well as a vast range of motor factors and retailers. Given that FPS currently stock over 110,000 product lines, and anticipate adding a further 20,000 lines in the near future, managing the inventory was becoming an increasingly difficult undertaking. “As the company expanded and entered new markets, it was clear that our existing processes lacked the flexibility we required in order to keep up with the company’s aggressive growth strategy,” explains Steve Malcolm, Inventory and Purchasing Manager at FPS.

Maximising Customer Loyalty

“Ensuring we maintain high levels of availability across our entire range is critical to our success. After all, the loyalty of our customers is completely dependent on our ability to deliver parts as and when our customers require them,” states Steve. However, given that FPS strive to offer products which are simply not available anywhere else in the market, maintaining high levels of availability can be extremely costly, especially for slower moving items.

Thanks to Slimstock, Steve and his planning team are now better positioned to make informed inventory decisions: “With Slim4, all the information we need is on hand.” With greater visibility, FPS have reduced out of stocks by 60% while availability across the entire portfolio is consistently in the very high 90%’s; all whilst optimising the stock turn. Steve explains: “We now have a much clearer picture of our inventory situation and as a result we are able to purchase stock far more strategically.”

Enhanced Collaboration

As the business entered new markets and the range continued to expand, Steve and his team faced increasing pressure to manage the growing workload. However, through configuring the dashboard setup to each user’s individual requirements, the planning team are now able to work together far more efficiently. Steve goes on to explains: “With Slim4, I can see what each planner is working on, initiate meaningful and measurable targets and objectives and support them accordingly.”

In addition to improving internal working processes, Slim4 has also helped FPS to work more collaboratively with suppliers. Thanks to Slim4’s purchase forecasting functionality, FPS can now communicate their requirements more efficiently with suppliers. Steve goes on to add: “This in turn has helped improve supplier reliability.”

“With availability now in the very high 90%’s, the numbers speak for themselves,” states Steve. While the addition of new business divisions have added complexity to the company’s inventory management processes, Steve and his team have managed to drive availability while still keeping inventory costs under control. “We are now working with the team at Slimstock to not only achieve our next availability target but also to prepare the business for further growth,” concludes Steve.

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“With help from Slimstock, we have been able to cut out of stocks by 60%”
Steve Malcolm - Inventory and purchasing manager | FPS Distribution

FPS Distribution

For over 80 years, FPS have strived to provide customers with the most comprehensive product range available in the marketplace. FPS offer a range of services encompassing everything from distributing aftermarket parts via same-day delivery, to providing national retailers with a complete supply chain network solution.

  • CLIENT FPS Distribution
  • YEAR 2011
  • ACHIEVEMENTSCut out of stocks by 60%

Results

  • Improve service levels and avoid missing sales: thus maximising customer satisfaction
  • Reduce inventory costs thanks to up to date parameters resulting in less obsolete stock
  • Avoid excess stock: on average, customers reduce inventory by 20-30%
  • 50% reduction of out of stocks
  • 2-7% more turnover, resulting from improved availability

Yuasa optimise their approach to inventory management

As the world’s leading manufacturer of lead-acid batteries, Yuasa’s broad assortment encompasses everything from high performance automotive and motorcycle batteries to reliable industrial and leisure power products. From their manufacturing facilities located in the UK and the Far East, Yuasa supply an international network of distributors with the widest variety of products available in the market. As the complexity of their operation continued to grow, Yuasa turned to Slimstock to help better align their assortment with the ever changing demands of the market.

“Thanks to Slim4, we achieved 99.9% availability across our A-line Items.” Kevin Morris, Inventory and Logistics Manager, Yuasa Battery Sales (UK) Ltd

Given that many of the items within Yuasa’s assortment are subject to complex seasonal patterns, product life cycles and extensive lead times of up to 4 months, keeping the inventory under control can often prove an extremely challenging undertaking for Kevin Morris and his team. “The end consumer will simply not wait if the item they require is out of stock; therefore, ensuring our distribution partners are able to offer consistently high levels of availability is of paramount importance,” explains Kevin Morris, Inventory and Logistics Manager at Yuasa Battery Sales (UK) Ltd. As the time and effort required to manage the inventory grew, Yuasa required a solution which could not only streamline their inventory management processes but could also optimise the assortment in order to ensure the right products are available for purchase.

Proactive management

“Prior to implementing Slim4, we relied on spreadsheets to manage the inventory. While this provided an overview of the inventory situation, reviewing the data in this way could often prove a cumbersome undertaking. As a consequence, we simply did not have time to analyse the data effectively.” With Slim4, Yuasa are now able to monitor the performance of their inventory far more closely. “We now review forecast accuracy on a daily basis, which in turn allows us to proactively manage exceptions before they can have an impact,” explains Kevin.

Greater Insight

With a greater overview of the inventory situation, Yuasa are now also better positioned to manage excess stock. Kevin explains: “Because we simply did not have the tools in place to monitor the performance of each item within our assortment, excess and obsolete stock could quickly build up at great cost to the business.” Thanks to Slim4, Kevin and his team now have complete visibility over their inventory and as a result Yuasa now have much tighter control over their operation. “With Slim4, we are able to keep up with emerging trends and seasonal peaks and as a result we can ensure our assortment is well aligned with the demands of the market,” adds Kevin.
With the assistance of Slim4, a considerable amount of the work load has been automated allowing Kevin and his team to focus more of their time managing other areas of the business. Kevin explains; “The advantage of this was particularly evident in the run up to winter, our busiest period, where we achieved availability in excess of 99.9% across our A-line items while simultaneously reducing the need to make urgent orders.” While Slim4 has already delivered considerable time savings and cost reductions, Kevin goes on to conclude: “With help from Slimstock, I am sure we will be able to optimise our stock holding and improve our assortment accuracy even further.”

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“With help from Slimstock, we have been able to cut out of stocks by 60%”
Steve Malcolm - Inventory and purchasing manager | FPS Distribution

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