How to optimise inventory for wholesale in building materials

When it comes to building products, customers expect suppliers to be able to provide anything and everything at a moment’s notice. Thus, to succeed, reliability is key. However, with huge assortments to manage, supply chain teams must satisfy the needs of a diverse customer base, comprised of everything from nationwide building contractors to trade professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Consequently, keeping inventory levels under control is becoming an increasingly difficult undertaking for businesses in the building industry.
Slim4 helps wholesalers & distributors of building products to optimise their supply chain operations to provide customers with more reliable service!

Why optimise your inventory with Slim4?

  • Maintain service levels of up to 99.9%
  • Reduce inventory levels by 10- 30%
  • Reduce backorders by up to 60%

Differentiated service levels, the key to success for wholesales in building materials

Given that customers now expect building materials suppliers to provide a reliable next day or even same-day delivery service, these businesses must maintain consistently high levels of availability. However, given that many items within the assortment are likely to be highly seasonal while others may be extremely slow-moving, applying a 100% service level to every item will quickly result in costly excess stock and crippling cash flow issues.
Through optimised service levels, Slim4 helps wholesalers in building and construction materials focus their investment on maximising the availability of the items that matter most to the customers while optimising supply chain costs across the entire assortment. By defining service levels based upon robust ABC classifications and the business rules in place, Slim4 automatically optimises safety stock to ensure consistently high levels of availability, while simultaneously keeping inventory levels to a minimum.

Anticipate demand with more robust Forecasting

Businesses in the building sector depend upon accurate demand forecasts to guarantee the high levels of availability required to satisfy the expectations of customers. However, given that building materials suppliers are often exposed to lengthy lead times of up to several weeks or even longer in some cases, supply chain teams must be able to anticipate demand many months in advance. Furthermore, faced with volatile demand patterns, seasonal fluctuations, and complex product lifecycles, constructing a reliable forecast is easier said than done.

Our inventory optimisation tool, Slim4, has been designed and built to forecast future demand with the highest possible level of accuracy. With more than 25 statistical algorithms to choose from, Slim4 automatically identifies and applies the forecasting method or combination of algorithms that best fits the given demand profile. As a result, businesses in the building industry can benefit from more robust forecasts which are a true reflection of likely future demand.

Optimise inventory across the entire network with Multi-echelon optimisation

To remain responsive to customer demand, many businesses in the building industry have developed huge networks encompassing many locations. However, with such large and complex footprints to manage, inventory levels can rapidly escalate across the network, unnecessarily tying up invaluable working capital which could be invested elsewhere.

With Slim4, supply chain teams attain the level of visibility and control to optimise inventory across the entire network. With a clear insight into current inventory levels as well as demand, our inventory management solution enables businesses to optimise inventory levels and allocation of safety stock at all levels of the operations. Ultimately, with the multi-echelon inventory optimisation capabilities of Slim4, businesses in the building sector can maximise availability while minimising the overall investment in inventory.

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