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“With Slim4, we are far more responsive to our customers’ needs.”

Ashley Cooper

Group Operations Director | Byways

Byways identify the perfect partner for optimisation

As a leader in supply chain traceability, high-street fashion retailers and global manufacturers depend on Byways Group to keep their operations moving.

Committed to solidifying its unrivalled level of service, the supplier of labelling, RFID and point of sale products, has undertaken a major supply chain innovation project focused on driving efficiency.

Byways Group offers a broad and completely customisable range of labelling products to cover all aspects of its customer’s brand identity requirements. For this reason, the labelling specialist has been a key partner to businesses across the apparel industry for more than 50 years.

To optimise working capital and support further growth, the team at Byways took the strategic decision to centralise planning across its 5 facilities across Europe and Asia. With the goal of optimising inventory levels, the business needed a solution that could help their team of planners measure and improve product availability while keeping investment in inventory under tight control.

“Given that the entire supply chain is reliant on the label supplier getting it right every time, we are constantly innovating our business to ensure that we have the right level of inventory in the right place at the right time for our customers.” explains Ashley Cooper, Group Operations Director at Byways Group.

After reviewing several potential partners, the business decided to implement Slimstock’s inventory optimisation solution, Slim4: “It was clear that Slimstock shared our values and passion for operational excellence.”

Robust data for effective decision-making

With complex bill of materials and multi-tiered product hierarchies, Slimstock’s consultants worked closely with the planning team at Byways Group to optimise their Masterdata.

“Before we could embark upon our optimisation journey, it was vital that our Masterdata was not only up to date but that it was understood across the business.” As part of the implementation process, Slimstock helped the labelling specialist to structure and clean its data. Ashley goes on to add: “We now have a solid basis we can trust.”

Greater insight into future demand

Given that every customer has a unique and diverse set of labelling requirements, managing demand is a challenging undertaking for Ashley and his team: “In the past, we simply did not have the insight required to make informed decisions around inventory.”

With the correct data in place, the team at Byways utilised the powerful forecasting capability of Slim4 to gain a clearer picture of future demand. Explaining how this has been particularly beneficial in managing seasonal fluctuations, Ashley goes on to add: “Given the seasonal nature of the fashion industry, it is important that we can easily build a forecast that “fits” the demand profile. With Slim4, this is all done automatically allowing us to become far more responsive to our customers’ needs.”

Optimised workflows

For the team at Byways Group, this project was not just about optimising inventory levels, the business also wanted to empower the planning team to utilise their time more efficiently.

Thanks to the management by exception principles of Slim4, the planning team can now work proactively to mitigate potential issues: “Instead of having to review the forecast of every item individually, Slim4 alerts us to the items that need attention most.”

As a result, the planning team now have more time to focus on specific actions that help further improve efficiency and boost product availability: “Since implementing Slim4, we have seen availability of our key product lines increase to over 98% while inventory levels remain stable.”

Pleased with the results so far Ashley now intends to roll Slim4 out across other areas of the business. “With Slimstock as our partner for inventory optimisation, I have no doubt we will continue to see these great results.”

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