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“With higher levels of availability than ever before, backorders fall by nearly a third.”

Marc Coles

Buying and Merchandising Manager | The Cotswold Company

The Cotswold Company

The Cotswold Company cut their out of stocks by over 50%

For the last 16 years, The Cotswold Company have been supplying the UK with a range of country inspired wooden furnishings and accessories. Given their stylish assortment, the furniture manufacturer takes great pride in providing customers with not only top quality, sustainably sourced products, but also an exceptional level of service. In order to improve availability and better positon the company to satisfy the needs of their customers, improving inventory management was high on the agenda at The Cotswold Company.

For the Cotswold Company, ensuring that customers receive purchases as swiftly as possible is key to the company’s success. However, with an extensive range encompassing everything from bedroom sets to office furniture, inventory management was becoming a real challenge for the planning team. Given that the furniture manufacturer sells many of their products through their online store, this issues was only exacerbated further.

Marc Coles, Buying and Merchandising manager at The Cotswold Company, explains; “When it comes to our online store, if items are not available, we risk losing customers to the competition. Although on some product lines, we receive back orders, these can often come at great cost to the business”. In order to take control of the rapidly increasing product range, The Cotswold Company turned to Slimstock and their inventory optimisation solution, Slim4.

Trouble free implementation

The Cotswold Company successfully installed Slim4, Slimstock’s inventory optimisation solution, in early 2013. “The implementation of Slim4 went smoothly, training was completed using our own data and our planners were able to start using the system as soon as the software went live” adds Coles. Although the Cotswold Company explored a number of different options, after seeing Slim4’s user friendly interface setup, and concise summary screens complete with user-adjustable graphs, it became the obvious choice.

Complete portfolio management

Through identifying the top performing product lines, the planning team were able to focus more attention on the A-line items within their assortment. While this has enabled The Cotswold Company to massively improve the availability of these items, through utilising Slim4’s management by exception approach the planning team has also been able to manage slower moving items within the assortment more effectively. Given that Slim4 also provides the planning team with greater visibility over product lifecycles and item seasonality, the company is now far more responsive to demand.

Overall, since implementing Slim4, the Cotswold Company have been able to reduce item stock outs by 50%. Coles adds; “with higher levels of availability than ever before, one of the best indications of the success of Slim4 is that we have seen backorders fall by nearly a third.” Despite continuous growth, the efficiency benefits delivered by Slim4 has enabled the Cotswold Company to achieve all of these benefits without having to increase the size of their planning team. “This is just the beginning, with Slimstock’s support, we are now striving to achieve inventory excellence.” Concludes Coles.

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