Service levels with inventory & supply chain optimisation

Do you agree that to achieve the desired service level supply chain, you need to optimise your inventory and supply chain? Are you using an inventory management system or stock control system? Do you also feel that organisations are growing in complexity, making inventory planning more difficult than ever before? For companies to stay competitive and ensure future success, properly managed inventory is vital.

The inventory optimisation module in Slim4 calculates for every article, exactly when and how much you need to order to achieve the desired service level. Based on historical sales, the forecasted demand, external input and current inventory situations within the supply chain, Slim4 provides optimal order advice. By doing so you have ensured your items are always available in the right quantity, at the right place, at the right time. Reducing incident management and creating stability synchronization in the ordering process. Wouldn’t you be happy with supply chain optimisation software that knows how to optimise your inventory?

Let’s take a closer look at:
- Dynamic calculation of safety stock
- Omni-channel inventory planning
- Vendor managed inventory
- Economic Order Quantities (EOQ)
- Orderbook management
- Management by Exception
- Sourcing
- Selling quantities & job lots
- Supplier closure management
- Price break optimisation

With the dynamic calculation of safety stock to optimised inventory

The constant fluctuations in demand for an article create complexity and asks for a dynamic calculation of safety stock. To be able to meet the desired service level towards your customers, these fluctuations need to be taken into account. With Slim4 the safety stock/ buffer stock levels are automatically calculated. Taking into account deliver times, optimal order quantities and ordering times.

To provide the desired service level for unexpected demand, the correct buffer or safety stock must be calculated for every product. Slim4’s powerful capabilities enable businesses to continually optimise their inventories every day through:

  • Differentiating services level & buffer stock, taking in account delivery times, optimal order quantities and ordering times
  • Distinguishing between presentation stock, ring-fenced inventory and all other types of inventory
  • Automatically optimising purchase orders for 1.000's of SKUs across all locations
  • Optimised replenishment based upon dynamic MIN / MAX rules
  • Responding to developments in local demand at both an article & location level
  • Optimised Phase-in and Phase-out of items based upon product lifecycle management

Omni-channel inventory planning

Do you operate in an omnichannel environment? Does your company offer immense assortments? Want some help with managing the different channels and deciding which items to stock and which not? Slim4 helps drive margins through optimising inventory management decisions across all channels. To ensure profitable omnichannel operation, it is vital that business maintain the right levels of availability across all sales channels. Our inventory management software helps you:

• Differentiate service levels across each sales channel
• Ensure fully integrated planning for warehouses, stores, webshops, and marketplaces
• Automatically optimise margins when phasing in and out products

Vendor Managed Inventory: suppliers monitor inventory

Some companies do not manage their inventory themselves but instead rely on their suppliers. In this relationship, the supplier monitors inventory levels remotely to develop and execute a replenishment schedule. This concept of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is supported by Slim4.

  • Automated replenishment across the customers’ locations
  • Seamless Online communication between the supplier’s system and Slim4

Economic order quantities (EOQ), impact on order and stock costs

Order sizes have a huge impact on both order and stock costs. Following the formula of Camp, Slim4 calculates the optimal order size based on the average demand, ordering costs, price and inventory costs as well as several other factors:

  • Order by box, pallet or to fill a truckload
  • Optimised order quantities are driven by forecasts with seasonal influencers taken into account

Orderbook management to calculate optimal purchase orders

How do you calculate optimal purchase orders? It is a way to make more money!
Once an order has been placed with a supplier, it is vital that the right amount is delivered on time. The order book management module within Slim4, had been specifically developed to enable companies to see at a glance, what purchase orders may be placed and thus where immediate action is required. Slim4 supports businesses to achieve the following:

• Gain a clear overview of purchase orders with alerts
• Distinguish between different types of purchase orders
• Scheduling future purchase orders and proactively manage with interim changes

Management by exception provides better inventory management

Do you believe that efficient and effective inventory management requires focus in time, attention and resources on areas where it matters most? Slim4 is built upon the ‘management by exception’ principle. With our inventory management software routine operations are automated, allowing planners to use their knowledge and skills on more important issues, like:

• Receive exception notifications for order advice, current orders, and excess inventory
• Slim4 includes several types of exceptions with actionable advice, which can be pre-determined to the specific business requirements

Sourcing from several suppliers

Do you have different suppliers for the same article? Would you like to have an overview in a glance? Slim4 has the ability to automatically select the most suitable supplier for you and advise you on this. This saves you time and money and will increase your product availability.

• Deal with each supplier’s different price breaks, delivery times and order quantity restrictions
• Automatically select the best supplier based on company-specific decision-making rules

Selling quantities & job lots

Do you sometimes sell items in certain quantities or conjunction with other items? Or items from the part of a group of articles, sold as a single compiled article? With Slim4 all of the inter-product relationships and restrictions are a seamless part of the inventory planning process.

• Exploding list of items and calculating the correct inventory level per sub-item
• Define relationships between articles and capture common sales quantities

Supplier closure management

Certain suppliers may close for several weeks during holiday periods. However, as suppliers down tools for events like Chinese New Year, summer holidays and even Christmas, businesses across the rest of the chain face lengthy delays and major availability issues. Slim4 safeguards businesses from the disruption that can result from supplier’s closures through:

  • Helping planning teams to anticipate supplier closures by placing timely additional orders
  • Intelligent splitting of large orders to prevent overloading the logistics operation

Price break optimisation

Some items are available on a seasonal basis during certain periods of the year. Additionally, suppliers sometimes offer special promotions or temporary price reductions. Slim4 enables companies to take advantage of this by:

  • Temporarily recalculating economic order quantities based on seasonal availability or price promotions
  • Enabling analysis of special offers from specific suppliers

What can we do for your organisation? Contact us for a free demo, a coffee, or do you want to read some business cases first?

We wrote a blog about the connection between inventory management and the Tour de France. Want to read it?

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