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“With Slim4, we can bundle replenishment orders to reduce pressure on our DC. Furthermore, by attaining better availability at our branches, we have increased turnover by 3%. With lower inventory levels, this means we can enjoy a faster return on our investment in stock.”

Eddy Evens

IT & Logistics Director | Lecot Raedschelders

Lecot Raedschelders Eddy Evens

Lecot Raedschelders grow with substantially less stock

Optimise inventory levels and further improve availability: These were the main logistics goals when Lecot and Raedschelders merged in 2009. Thanks to Slimstock’s inventory optimisation system Slim4, the Belgian market leader was able to achieve both goals in record time. While turnover went up 17%, stock in the DC went down 20%. The availability also increased by 1% across the entire range and there is much more to come.

As a total supplier for the construction and industrial sectors, Lecot Raedschelders does not just want to be the biggest, but also the best. “Size matters, especially when it comes to purchasing and distribution. You need economies of scale to make a profit”, is how IT & Logistics Director Eddy Evens explains the company’s vision. “But if you also want to be the best, it is important to carefully listen to the market and, where possible, continuously optimise your processes”, he adds. And that is exactly what Lecot Raedschelders have been doing since the merger of the two separate companies in 2009. It has certainly done the new company no harm.

We want to be the best

A key part of the merger of Lecot and Raedschelders was aligning the ranges of the two companies and the stocks they held in their distribution centres in Maaseik and Kortrijk. To manage the data, a new IT platform was developed to replace the two existing ERP systems. But even before the new platform was operational, Lecot Raedschelders was able to achieve significant improvements with the aid of the inventory optimisation tool Slim4.

Increased turnover with less stock

“While turnover went up over 17%, we also achieved a stock reduction of 20% in the two DCs, between 2010 and 2012. This equates to €3m less stock in the company”, says Evens proudly. By focusing the DCs on specific ranges, Evens expects, on top of an increased turnover target of 8%, a further 10% stock reduction to be realised over the next two years; all thanks to Slim4. But the Belgian market leaders are not just targeting growth in their two distribution centres. The plans are already in place to increase the number of branches – from 33 strategically located across the country at the end of 2012 – to a truly nationwide network of 75 by the end of 2020.

There is always room for improvement

Hand in hand with that growth will come increased stock at the points of sale, “and with that the need for optimised inventory instore,” says Evens. Once again Lecot Raedschelders are planning to rely on Slimstock’s expertise. By 2015 Evens is expecting, with the help of Slim4, to reduce stock in stores by 15%. In monetary terms, that represents a reduction of over €2m.

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