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“When you consider that the availability for our top 1000 lines is now in excess of 99%, the results of Slim4 speak for themselves.”

Jonathan Smith

Group Buyer | Supreme Imports

Supreme Imports

Supreme Imports charge on with ambitious growth plans thanks to Slimstock

As the UK’s leading battery and lighting distributor, Supreme imports has built a reputation for providing customers with a professional and reliable service as well a top quality range of products.

In order to help the business keep their inventory under control amidst rapid growth, Supreme took the decision to implement Slim4.

Ranked as a Financial Times International Track 200, Supreme imports has come from humble beginnings to becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses. However, in order to keep up with the continuing growth without comprising their excellent reputation for providing a reliable service, the business needed to take steps to improve the efficiency of their operation.

Optimised assortment management

From their HQ in Manchester, Supreme Imports distribute a staggering 300 million batteries and 65 million light bulbs every year. However, as Jonathan explains: “The challenge for us was in maintaining control over our inventory while still achieving the exceptional levels of availability our customers expect. Put simply, the old way of working was no longer enough: to keep up with this growth, we needed a more dynamic solution.”

Efficient inventory management

As a leading distributor of consumer goods, Supreme Imports services the needs of a very diverse and international customer base. “Given the focus we place on providing an exceptional standard of customer service, ensuring our operations are capable of fulfilling an order of 10,000 lightbulbs for a major retail chain is equally as important as fulfilling an order of just 24 batteries for an independent outlet”.

With Slimstock’s inventory management solution Slim4, the team at Supreme Imports can now proactively manage their inventory. “Given that Slim4 allows us to monitor forecast and demand exceptions, we are now always one step ahead. As a result, we have more time to collaborate with the wider business in order to really understand how best to resolve an issue.”

Slim4 has helped Supreme Imports to achieve some huge efficiency improvements. “Slim4 is a powerful tool and our Buying team can now do far more with their time. Whereas we once struggled to keep up with the demands of our inventory, thanks to Slim4, we are more readily placed to meet the inventory requirements of our rapidly growing business” explains Jonathan.

Strategic purchasing

In addition to optimising the efficiency of the planning team, Supreme Imports can now also make more informed decisions around purchasing: “When it comes to making forward buying decisions, we can analyse the data and use this insight to gain a much better understanding of the potential impact on our inventory.”

Furthermore, with the order fill functionality within Slim4, the business has achieved some considerable reductions in logistics costs. Jonathan explains: “With Slim4, we can order to fill a complete container with the items we really need. This means we maximise the container space available without leaving the business exposed to unnecessary excess.”

Given that many of Supreme Imports’ suppliers offer rebates for buying a certain level of stock, the insight provided by Slim4 has also been hugely beneficial in helping Jonathan and his team weigh up the cost-price benefit of ordering additional stock. “Not only can we ensure that we are ordering the right items, we can also take into account the costs associated to holding additional stock in order to determine whether a rebate is really financially advantageous for the business.”

Satisfied with the results, Jonathan explains: “When you consider that the availability for our top 1000 lines is now in excess of 99%, the results of Slim4 speak for themselves.” With the growth of the business now under complete control, Jonathan and his team are working hard to achieve further efficiency improvements.

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