BMN Netherlands embraces the Slimstock Academy
To elevate the planning team’s knowledge and ensure the business gets the most out of Slimstock’s supply chain planning platform, Slim4, BMN Netherlands has embraced the Slimstock Academy.
As part of its mission to optimise its end-to-end supply chain, the construction wholesaler regularly sends employees to the Slimstock Academy, where they learn everything, they need to know about the platform and benefit from the latest supply chain best practices.
Inventory Analyst Arjan Wagemaker highlights:
“Working with technology is like driving a car. Just because you have a license doesn’t mean you know everything about the car.”
Arjan Wagemaker has been with BMN Netherlands for more than 32 years. During that time, he has seen the company grow. Thanks, in part, to various takeovers, BMN is now the market-leading building distributor in the Netherlands. Today, the wholesaler has over 100 branches and ten distribution centres throughout the Netherlands.
“Our range consists of everything you need to build a house, from complete bathrooms to bags of cement and wooden boards. In each branch, we stock between 9,000 and 20,000 SKUs.”
Wagemaker goes on to highlight the impact of the market change in recent years: “There are plenty of developments in the industry that affect our product range. Our products have had to become more sustainable as well as comply with evolving legislative changes. For example, due to concerns around nitrogen emissions on construction projects. Even though most products, besides chemical products, have no expiry date, phasing products in and out effectively is essential.”
Interactive knowledge sharing
For several years, BMN has utilised the award-winning Slim4 platform to support its supply chain planning process. To use the software as effectively as possible, Wagemaker followed several Slimstock Academy training sessions—first, the Slim4 Essentials training, followed by the key-user and advanced user training, among others.
“So much is possible with Slim4 that sometimes you underestimate the platform’s potential. Thanks to the training courses, you learn more about the solution each time,” highlights Arjan Wagemaker.
Wagemaker followed some training sessions from home due to the COVID pandemic. However, the Inventory Analyst is happy that the lessons are now back to being in person: “When you are together with your peers, there is a lot of interaction, and therefore, you also learn from each other. One person asks a question, and then you see everyone wondering how it could apply to their specific industry.”
The knowledge sharing also continues during the breaks. “The Academy operates in a very personal way, making it pleasant to interact with each other. Slimstock’s consultants are always open to input. And even during lunch, the cross-pollination continues. That makes the training days incredibly valuable,” states Wagemaker.
The knowledge Wagemaker takes home is not only valuable for him but also for the wider team.
“With the knowledge and insight, I gain from the academy training, I can navigate the full potential of Slim4. But, more importantly, this means I can help my colleagues in the category management and demand planning teams complete their work more efficiently to place faster, smarter orders. That’s a massive win for our organisation.”
Arjan Wagemaker | Inventory Analyst | BMN Nederland
Your time is the only cost
Attending training is free for Slim4 users. Wagemaker sees this as a great gesture. “Because of this, it only requires an investment of your time. My manager regularly forwards the current training offerings to me and asks if I can find something interesting. If so, I sign up. I’m out of the office for a day, but that’s where the costs end.”
Meanwhile, the investment in Slim4, as well as the training hours, is clearly paying off for BMN Netherlands. “Thanks to the Slim4, our supply chain has become far more agile in recent years. We have far fewer stocked products and can be more adaptive to current demands. I’ve been around long enough to remember what life was like before Slim4, and I wouldn’t want to live without it now.”