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“We have been able to reduce inventory levels by 18%.”

Alex Bernard

Commercial Director | DBD Distribution


DBD Distribution set the foundation for a more efficient future

DBD Distribution has grown from a family-run operation to become one of the largest providers of appliances and kitchen solutions to the construction industry.

To solidify this marketing-leading position and accelerate future growth, DBD joined forces with Slimstock to drive efficiencies across their inventory processes.

As the U.K.’s leading appliance distributor, DBD has set the standard in reliability for over 35 years. By combining the most extensive range of products available in the marketplace with an unwavering commitment to providing customers with the best possible value, DBD has firmly established itself as a key supply chain partner within the construction industry.

Enhancing the customer experience

“We strive to de-risk our customer’s projects. To achieve this goal while still offering exceptional value we have had to completely change the way we think about inventory,” explains Alex Bernard, Director of Commercial at DBD. With customers including major home builders such as Barratt Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Galliford Try, Alex and his team are looking for ways to offer their customer a more reliable and resilient service.

To adopt a more efficient inventory model, DBD took the decision to implement Slimstock’s inventory optimisation solution, Slim4. Focused on improving service levels, the first step in the project was to define more logical stocking policies.

“With the support of Slimstock’s consultancy services, we now have a much better understanding of which products we need to stock and which items we can afford to manage as a true non-stocked product. As a result, we have increased availability while simultaneously achieving significant reductions in inventory costs.”

Efficient purchasing across all DCs

Alex and his team also needed to refine the purchasing process across all four of DBD’s distribution centres. Alex explains: “We not only needed to professionalise our processes, we also had to find ways to drive efficiencies across the entire supply chain: A key part of this initiative was focused around optimising orders with key suppliers to minimise supply chain costs.”

With around 5000 active SKUs, the purchasing team faced a huge challenge in keeping the inventory levels under tight control. “If we are not able to stay on top of factors such as evolving product lifecycles or fluctuating demand patterns, this can have a negative impact on both service levels and our margins,” states Alex.

Through standardising the purchasing process and taking full advantage of the management by exception basis of Slim4, the team at DBD no longer depend on firefighting. Every team member can focus their time where it adds the most value to the customer. As a result, the business not only achieved its year-end stock target: “With Slim4, we have been able to reduce inventory levels by 18% while achieving significant improvements in availability; a feat which would not have been possible before!”

Forward thinking

Through utilising Slim4’s simulation capabilities, DBD now has much greater insight on which to base strategic decisions. “In the face of major challenges such as Brexit, we can use Slim4 to identify and prioritise where we need to invest in safety stock to mitigate any volatility. Ultimately, this will help us to secure availability.”

Keen to attain further efficiency improvements, the team at DBD are now looking at how they use Slim4 to optimise other areas of their inventory management process. Alex goes on to conclude: “Slimstock’s passion for inventory management has remained evident throughout the project. As we look to take our business to the next level, I look forward to building upon this partnership.”

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