Dave Jenkins

Commercial Director | Van Leeuwen Wheeler

"Slim4 helped us to reduce inventory levels by 40%"

Van Leeuwen Wheeler, division of the manufacturer and distributor of pipes Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group, is the leading distributor in the United Kingdom of carbon and stainless steel pipes.

After an important investment program, the company’s management identified the need to streamline its inventory management and optimisation processes.

The Commercial Director of the Van Leeuwen Wheeler group, Dave Jenkins, was commissioned to review internal processes in inventory management. “When the recession hit us, the priority was to identify ways to support our clients by adjusting to their needs. Many were reducing their own stocks, so they asked us for greater rotations to allow them to meet in critical terms. We knew that we would not be immune to the recession, so it was essential to seek solutions in our own company to ensure sufficient inventory despite an unfavorable environment, ”Jenkins acknowledges.

Improvement of forecasts & 40% less stock

A specific need that was identified was to improve forecasts, which were based so far on the best 50 lines of each product area with an Excel system. “We analysed the needs for the next 3 or 4 weeks with 7-day data. Besides being a long process, it didn’t give us the precision we needed. The risk was that both the service level and delivery times could be affected. From a commercial point of view, we needed to improve our available stock levels to operate with a system as efficient as possible,” explains the Commercial Director.

Of the many benefits that the company has obtained with Slim4, Jenkins cites visibility as the key element: “We needed to manage our inventory more efficiently. And being able to make forecasts accurately has given us the ability to be dynamic, which certainly Some is a great advantage. ”

With regard to the level of stock, explains Jenkins, “Slimstock promised to reduce inventory levels between 25% and 30%, but has finally managed to reach up to 40%. And this despite identifying the need for increase the stock in some lines to be able to give a good level of service to a wide range of customers.

Seasonality & obsolescence

Other key improvements include the identification of seasonality by article and the effective detection of obsolescence in stocks. By analysing what is bought and where, Slim4 also identified a cost savings thanks to the modification of transport patterns, eliminating unnecessary trips and rationalising the movements of the stock within the warehouse.