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“Excess stock levels have reduced by 40%.” 

Paul Flynn

Purchasing Director | J&S Automotive Distributors

J And S

J&S set to accelerate growth with help from Slimstock

With over 260,000 SKUs, J&S Automotive is one of the largest distributors of premium parts, tools and automotive services to the Irish independent aftermarket. 

Dedicated to the continuous improvement of their systems and processes, the automotive specialist joined forces with the inventory experts at Slimstock to drive efficiency improvements across the supply chain.

With  two warehouses  located in Dublin  and  Cork, J&S Automotive  has  built a solid reputation for  its  exceptional level of customer service: “As a high value distributor of premium parts, our goal is to service and supply Motor Factors. However, to provide all that is needed to give our customers a complete and profitable service, its vital we take proactive steps to optimise our supply chain.”

To support the businesses continued growth, J&S Automotive needed a solution that could help its team to optimise the investment in inventory. Given Slimstock’s authority in the automotive aftermarket sector, J&S turned the inventory experts to help boost availability whilst reducing inventory levels.

Prior to using Slimstock’s advanced inventory optimisation solution, Slim4, J&S Automotive relied on complex spreadsheets to manage their inventory. Paul Flynn, Purchasing Director at J&S Automotive Distributors explains: “With such a large assortment of products, keeping inventory levels in check was an extremely time-consuming task. Furthermore, given the long lead times and volatile nature of demand, we spent too much time firefighting.”

£1m reduction in inventory

Following a successful implementation, Slim4 helped J&S Automotive achieve significant reductions in  inventory by preventing the team from over-purchasing. “With Slim4, our team have much greater visibility over how their purchasing decisions impact the wider business and the bottom line. As a result, they can think far more strategically about what stock they need to order and when.”

Furthermore, with the insight provided by Slim4, J&S Automotive are now better positioned to make more informed decision around challenges like Brexit.

“Even with the uncertainty around Brexit, we have reduced inventory by £1m. But more importantly, this has been achieved without experiencing availability issues.” Paul goes on to add: “There have been no availability questions from the sales team for the last 5 to 6 months.”

Availability improvements

One of the main goals of the implementation project was to attain quicker order processing times as well as to improve delivery reliability.

Slim4 enabled Paul and his team to start to utilise the management by exception principles of Slim4, to automate their inventory planning process.  “This has helped the purchasing team to manage our vast assortment, whilst ensuring that time and attention is focused where it matters the most. As a result, we can ensure we provide our customer base a first-class service.” explains Paul.

“We now have clear visibility of where the stock is. This has allowed us to increase availability by 7% and improve stock turn by 15%.  Given our extensive long-tail of products, this is  an impressive achievement in the automotive sector,” states Paul.

Excess stock reduction

In addition to improving service levels, Slim4 has also proved an important tool in combatting excess stock.

As part of the implementation project, Slimstock and J&S Automotive undertook a stocking policy workshop: “By utilising Slimstock’s extensive knowledge of the automotive sector, we have been able to develop and implement more robust stocking policies.

Consequently, we now have more focus on non-stocked items. Ultimately, though adopting more effective strategies to manage these items, excess stock levels have reduced by 40%.”

Long-term partnership

Satisfied with the results so far, Paul goes on to conclude: “With the company heading in the right direction with Slim4, we  are working hard to   achieve further inventory improvements. I look forward to working with  Slimstock  in 2020 and beyond.”

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