Consumer products

The market for consumer products is both hugely diverse and highly competitive. In order to succeed in this cut-throat sector, businesses must be able to satisfy customer demand as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, with exploding assortments coupled with huge seasonal fluctuations in demand to contend with, keeping inventory levels under control is a major challenge for wholesalers and distributors of consumer goods.

With Slim4, wholesalers and distributors can regain control of their assortments in order to reduce inventory levels by up to 30% while simultaneously increasing service levels to over 99.5%.

Service levels: optimise your investment in inventory

Wholesalers and distributors depend upon high levels of availability to satisfy customer demand. However, while attaining 100% service across the entire assortment may be a utopia, in reality, this is neither financially viable nor beneficial to the performance of the business. After all, whereas some products must be kept in stock at all times, for other items within the assortment the benefit of holding high levels of inventory simply do not justify tying up invaluable working capital. As a result, businesses must focus their investment of working capital into products where it is required most.

Through utilising the advanced ABC analysis functionality of Slim4, wholesalers and distributors of consumer products to set dynamic service levels for every item within the assortment. Based on the business rules in place, Slim4 ensure businesses hold the optimal level of safety stock. Ultimately, with Slim4, businesses can optimise availability across the entire assortment while simultaneously minimising the capital invested in inventory.

Automated Replenishment: Maximise availability

In order to maintain consistently high levels of availability, wholesalers and distributors must have in place effective replenishment processes. However, with such vast assortments, coupled with the lengthy lead times that come with relying on a global supplier base, ensuring replenishment processes are effective is often easier said than done. Through automating the entire replenishment process of up to 95% of the assortment, Slim4 takes away the stress, allowing supply chain team to focus their time and attention on more pressing issues.

Taking into account product seasonality, upcoming promotions, confirmed orders and desired service level as well as a range of other factors, Slim4 automatically determines both the most appropriate order moment and volume. For items with more irregular demand patterns or no history such as new items which require human intervention, Slim4 automatically notifies planners. The result: wholesalers and distributors can enjoy are more harmonious replenishment process.

Customer level transactional data: understand your customers’ exact requirements

In order to make informed inventory management decision, supply chain teams must have clear and reliable insight into demand. However, given that a typical customer base for a wholesaler or distributor of consumer products could encompass everything from multi-national retail chains to independents and even end consumers, reviewing demand at a total level is simply not sufficient. After all, when you consider that purchasing behaviour will differ hugely between different customer groups, supply chain teams must also have visibility of demand at a granular customer level in order ensure optimal inventory decision making.


Erik de Witte

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