Consumer goods manufacturing

No industry has changed as significantly in the last 20 years as manufacturing of consumer products. For centuries, manufacturing was built upon local sources and customers that were willing to wait for their products. Globalisation has changed everything: while delivery times have shifted from weeks to months as businesses increasingly rely on foreign suppliers, customer demand is more volatile than ever before.

Forecasting: maintaining a well-oiled chain

Without the right insight, operations can quickly become inundated with excess stock as the business invests precious working capital into components and finished goods that are simply not required. Or, worse still, the whole operation becomes subjected to costly bottlenecks and delays as the items that are required to meet customer demand are simply not available!

Regardless of whether a business operates in a make-to-order or a make-to-stock environment, supply chain teams depend on accurate forecasts in order to determine exactly what to order in what quantity as well as what products should be produced. With volatile demand patterns coupled with huge seasonal fluctuations and lengthy lead times, manufacturers of consumer goods must have clear insight in future demand in order to align the entire manufacturing process to the needs of their customers. 

With Slim4, manufacturers can forecast demand with greater accuracy. This in-turn enables planning teams to develop robust demand plans that take into account consumption rates, minimum order quantities, supplier reliability and most importantly, lead times.

Service level optimisation: Focus on the items that matter most

In production environments, MRP systems typically calculate inventory requirements based on production and thereby assumes a 100% service level. However, for many items, this is simply not necessary. After all, given some components that form part of the bill of materials, will be more readily available and have shorter lead times, businesses must focus their time, attention and capital investment on the most important components.

Slim4 enables businesses to adopt a more strategic differentiated service level approach that perfectly balances the trade-off between material requirements and inventory costs. Based on the business rules, this in-turn enables manufacturers to maximise availability while simultaneously optimise capital invested in inventory.

S&OP: it’s a team sport

When it comes to demand and production planning, it is vital that finance, sales, marketing, and operations teams are all encompassed into the decision making process. However, in order to synchronise key supply chain decisions around product portfolio management, demand planning & sales forecasting, supply planning, inventory & purchase planning, manufacturers must have a well-defined S&OP process in place.

With Slim4, the whole businesses can benefit from the inventory optimisation’s powerful forecasting capabilities. Through providing a “one truth” source of demand data, Slim4 supports the entire S&OP process, helping manufacturers to make more informed supply chain decisions.

Achieve operational excellence with Slim4

With Slim4, manufacturers can optimise their entire approach to inventory management. Through forecasting with greater accuracy, businesses can determine their exact inventory requirements and thus optimise supply chain costs, maximises productivity and ultimately, provide customers with better service than ever before.

Erik de Witte

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