Nick Stockdale

Head of Supply Chain | Nisa

"We have been able to significantly reduce the risk of stock-outs,"

With a growing network of 4000 independent stores and over 1400 partners across the UK, Nisa is committed to providing an exceptional level of service and unrivalled levels of availability.

Focused on automating inventory management processes, Nisa formed a strategic partnership with the inventory experts at Slimstock.


For over 40 years, Nisa has strived to deliver everything independent retailers need to thrive in the increasingly competitive grocery marketplace.

Nick Stockdale, Head of Supply Chain at Nisa, explains: “We are always looking for ways we can improve product availability, reduce costs and add value to our customers. However, with complex demand streams and an ever-growing assortment, we needed to take steps to streamline our operation.”

Why Slimstock?

Following the decision to implement Slimstock’s advanced inventory optimisation tool, Slim4, the inventory experts worked closely with the team at Nisa to understand how the business operates. Louise Delaney, system development & Slim4 superuser at Nisa explains: “Given that the system has been fine-tuned to support the specific complexities of our operation, we are now in a much better position to manage demand volatility.”

Nick goes on to add: “We are only at the start of our optimisation journey. However, we are confident that Slimstock offers the knowledge and expertise to help us navigate the on-going global pandemic and build a solid foundation to unlock further operational performance improvements.”


Facilitating success

As a business that is constantly innovating, Nisa continues to revisit its supply chain processes to offer customers greater value.

Since joining forces with Slimstock, Nisa has restructured its businesses as well updated many of its KPIs. “From helping us manage our changing warehouse capacity needs to trouble-shooting the operational challenges we face, the team at Slimstock have always offered a great level of support,” states Nick.

Explaining how the successful implementation of Slim4 helped the planning team to gain a clearer picture of demand, Louise adds: “We can now easily track demand streams from our retail, bulk & pre-sale operation. As a result, we can now align our purchasing decisions with the strategic focus of the business.”

Nick goes on to highlight: “Availability levels have improved over the last 18 months to the highest they have been in over 5 years. While several initiatives have helped us to attain this service milestone, Slim4 has played an important role in facilitating this success,” highlights Nick.

Mitigating risk across the supply chain

In addition to creating greater visibility, Louise also explains how Slim4 has helped Nisa to safeguard availability from supply chain volatility: “In our fast-paced retail environment, short- term disruption can have a major impact on our operation.”

With Slim4’s advanced truck-fill functionality, the planning team at Nisa now balance orders across multiple deliveries throughout the day to mitigate the impact of unexpected logistical delays. Louise goes on to add: “With Slim4, this process is fully automated saving a huge amount of time.”

“Ultimately, with clearer insight into evolving demand coupled with the introduction of smarter inbound logistics strategies, we have been able to significantly reduce the risk of stock-outs,” adds Nick.

Supply chain resilience

Although Nisa had started to see the benefits of Slim4, the disruption caused by Covid-19 forced Nick and his team to re-shift their supply chain focus. “With demand up by over 400% for some products, we have encountered supply chain challenges across all product categories. Consequently, we had to become far more flexible to changing demand,” states Nick.

Louise goes on to explain how the team responded to Covid-19: “Using the insights provided by Slim4, we could quickly gain an understanding of how different items were impacted by Covid-19. We could then apply the necessary parameter changes to all of the affected SKUs with just a few clicks.”

Summarising how Nisa remained responsive to the changing market conditions, Nick adds: “With support from Slim4, we have been able to fulfil our customer’s requirement for quick and effective replenishment.”

Next steps

As Nick and his team look forward to the future, Nisa is now preparing for the challenges that lie ahead now that the UK has left the European Union. “As the market evolves, we are doing everything we can to secure availability and maintain the high service standards our customers expect,” states Nick.

Focused on building upon already high levels of availability, the team at Nisa are also exploring other optimisation strategies. Nick concludes: “Through a unified approach to inventory, Slim4 has enabled us to achieve significant efficiency gains across our supply chain. Now that our people have more time to think about the numbers, I have no doubt we can continue to develop this key area of our business.”