Based in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, Dijkgraaf-Reinders supplies a complete range of food and non-food items to restaurants, cafes, schools and healthcare organisations. Through implementing Slim4, the catering distributor gained greater control of its inventory in order to improve service to the customers. "The challenge for us was to improve reliability," says Henk Achterberg.
- ACHIEVEMENTSImproved service to customers
Missed orders reduced by 30% at Dijkgraaf-Reinders
"We wanted to minimise stock-outs. However, demand from our customers can often be erratic. The menu is always changing and we must deliver completely different items on a day to day basis. Part of our product range consists of perishable items which sometimes have a shelf life of just a few days. Given the fixed delivery days from both our suppliers and ourselves to our customers, this required a huge amount of coordination."
In order to reduce the number of out of stocks, reduce inventory costs and prevent shrinkage, the company took the decision to implement Slim4. "This system contains the exact functionality we require." Achterberg goes on to explain: "Slim4 takes into account seasonal patterns enabling our team to set specific service levels for each product group. The system also offers the perfect support for ordering. For example, many suppliers have in place minimal order quantities. With one push of a button, we can calculate the optimal order quantity based on intelligent forecasts which take into account the sell by date of the product in question."
The role of the inventory managers has changed completely at Dijkgraaf-Reinders. In the past, it would take until 2pm each day to run all of the required sales analysis and to make purchase orders. With Slim4, these tasks can all be completed in just 1 hour. “The system automatically generates purchase advice and we only need to review the exceptions. Instead of just ordering, we can now really focus on true inventory management. There will no longer be any surprises. The system notifies us when a product is at risk of going obsolete and as a result, our sales team can then take action to prevent us from having to discard the product at a later date.”
Within six months of implementing the solution, the results were already visible. "Inventory fell by ten percent. But more importantly, we have reduced the number of missed orders by thirty percent. As a result, our delivery reliability has increased." Achterberg expects further improvements to be achieved: "Following the successful implementation of Slim4, we discovered that sixty percent of our out of stocks are caused by supplier issues. As part of a follow-up project, we are now working towards providing suppliers with more insight into our future inventory requirements so they can anticipate our orders more effectively. With Slim4, this information is readily available."
"The system notifies us when a product is at risk of going obsolete and as a result, our sales team can then take action to prevent us from having to discard the product at a later date.”