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“Slim4 is a vital tool for centralizing control of our factories.”

Andres Vervaart

Sales & operations planning manager | Izico Food Group

Izico Andres Vervaart

Izico Food Group manages a complete supply chain with Slim4.

After completing a number of major acquisitions, Izico, took the strategic decision to centralise planning of both its factories and its suppliers. As highlighted by Andres Vervaart, sales & operations planning manager at Izico, Slim4 played an important role in transforming this ambition into a reality.

Izico Food Group manages a complete supply chain with Slim4.

Izico Food Group has endured several years of turbulent growth with the successful completion of several acquisitions. In the Netherlands, snack producers De Vries Van Oers and Excellent Food were taken over.

Furthermore, several English and Danish businesses were also acquired and incorporated into the group.

“We now have eight factories in total,” states sales and operations planning manager Andres Vervaart. “In addition, we also have around twenty suppliers where we buy ready-made snacks.”

With over 900 Skus, the assortment encompasses everything from frozen snacks and spring rolls to bread and vegetarian snacks. The company supplies these under both private labels and its brands of which Beckers, Mexicanos and Bicky Burgers are best known. Whereas the snack specialist provides the retail and catering wholesale sectors from stock, Izico fulfills demand from industrial customers on order.

Promotional pressure

The demand planning for the stock-controlled part of the range is executed in Slim4. First, a consensus forecast is drawn up based on a base forecast. A separate forecast for the promotions is then created. “The promotional pressure is high in our market. With Slim4, we make an explicit distinction between the base demand and promotional demand. As a result, we have tightened our stock levels considerably.

Due to the sheer number of promotions, our forecasts were structurally too high. We previously had no visibility of the full range of demand factors such as seasonal patterns, for example. We now have a much more granular level of insight over our inventory.

As a result, the level of working capital invested in stock has dropped considerably. However, quantifying the exact extent of the improvement is difficult given how much out the company has changed.”

Taking ordering to the next level

Slim4 is also used for supply planning at Izico and for calculating ordering advice to optimize raw materials and consumables.
As highlighted by Vervaart, the Order Generator in Slim4 comes in handy: “With the items that we buy, it often involves making large orders.

To minimize logistics costs, we want the best possible order quantities. Therefore, we must attain full pallets and, if likely, full trucks. With the Order Generator within Slim4, we can make the optimal order for each supplier at the touch of a button. Based on robust purchase forecasts, order costs, inventory holding costs and logistical restrictions, Slim4 can smartly calculate future orders to ensure that the right products are ordered in the right quantities.”

Izico Food Group now has production locations in various countries. By optimizing these locations with the assistance of Slim4, Vervaart expects to make further improvements. “At present, each factory determines what they produce. However, this often results in a lot of surplus stock. By utilizing Slim4 to calculate what needs to be produced every week, we can reduce the level of working capital invested in stock even further while improving the service level.

The ultimate goal is that we manage the entire supply chain from a central competence centre. Slim4 will be an essential tool in making this a reality.”