Major retailers, 5 star hotels and restaurants, first class airline passengers and even those dining at Number 10 Downing Street have one thing in common: products from Robert Welch. Founded over 50 years ago, and now run by the next generation of the Welch family, the Chipping Camden based company has excelled since starting off with a drawing board in a single room. However, as with any growing business, success brings challenges. “An increasing product range and expanding customer base, combined with varying demand profiles was giving us growing pains. In short we were working hard to maintain our service levels but at the expense of too much stock”.
- ACHIEVEMENTS- increased service levels
- less out of stock
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.
“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.
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.”