Inventory & Supply Chain Optimization to maximize your service levels

In order to realize sales and profit goals, it’s crucial that the right items are available at the right location. However, given the growing complexity of modern organizations, inventory planning has never been more important or more difficult to execute.

As variety and volume of product assortments and sales channels increase, the planning module within Slim4 have been specifically developed to enable businesses to optimize their inventories while making the whole purchasing process as efficient as possible.

The inventory optimization module in Slim4 calculates for every article, exactly when and how much you need to order to achieve the desired service level you. Based on historical sales, the forecasted demand and current inventory situation within the supply chain, Slim4 provides optimal ordering advice that ensures the right items are always available in the right place.

Dynamic calculation of safety stock

In order to provide the desired service level for unexpected demand, the correct buffer or safety stock must be calculated for every product. Slim4’s powerful capabilities enable businesses to continually optimize their inventories every day through:

  • Differentiating services level & buffer stock, taking in account delivery times, optimal order quantities and ordering times
  • Distinguishing between presentation stock, ring-fenced inventory and all other types of inventory
  • Automatically optimizing purchase orders for 000s of SKUs across all locations
  • Optimized replenishment based upon dynamic MIN / MAX rules
  • Responding to developments in local demand at both an article & location level
  • Optimized Phase-in and phase-out of items based upon product life cycle management

Omni-channel inventory planning

To ensure a profitable omni-channel operation, it is vital that businesses maintain the right levels of availability across all sales channels. However, given that many businesses also offer immense assortments, deciding which items to stock and which items not to stock is a difficult decision to make. For businesses that exist in an Omni-channel environment, Slim4 helps drive margins through optimizing inventory management decisions across all channels:

  • Differentiate service levels across each sales channel
  • Ensure fully integrated planning for warehouses, stores, ecommerce, and marketplaces
  • Automatically optimize margins when phasing in and out products

Vendor Managed Inventory

Some companies do not manage their inventory themselves but instead rely on their suppliers. In this relationship, the supplier monitors inventory levels remotely in order to develop and execute a replenishment schedule. This concept of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is fully supported by Slim4.

  • Automated replenishment across the customers’ locations
  • Seamless Online communication between the supplier’s system and Slim4

Economic order quantities (EOQ)

Order sizes have a huge impact on both order and stock costs. Following the formula of Camp, Slim4 calculates the optimal order size based on the average demand, ordering costs, price and inventory costs as well as a number of other factors:

  • Order by box, pallet or to fill a truckload
  • Optimized order quantities are driven by forecasts with seasonal influencers taken into account

Orderbook management

By calculating optimal purchase orders, companies can make more money. Once an order has been placed with a supplier, it is vital that the right amount is actually delivered on time. The order book management module within Slim4 has been specifically developed to enable companies to see, at a glance, what purchase orders may be delayed and thus where action is required. Slim4 supports businesses to achieve the following:

  • Gain a clear overview of purchase orders with alerts
  • Distinguish between different types of purchase orders
  • Scheduling future purchase orders and proactively manage with interim changes

Management by exception

A prerequisite for efficient and effective inventory management is that companies focus their time, attention and resources on where it matters most. Slim4 is built upon the 'management by exception' principle. With Slim4, routine operations are automated allowing planners to their knowledge and skills on more important issues:

  • Receive exception notification for order advice, current orders, and excess inventory
  • Slim4 includes ten types of exceptions with actionable advice, which can be pre-determined to the specific business requirements

Secondary sourcing

Often the same article can be ordered from different suppliers. Slim4 has the ability to automatically advise and select the most suitable supplier for each order. This not only saves businesses time and money but also leads to increased availability.

  • Deal with each supplier’s different price breaks, delivery times and order quantity restrictions
  • Automatically select the best supplier based on company-specific decision-making rules

Selling quantities & job lots

In some cases, items are sold in certain quantities or in conjunction with other items. Alternatively, some inventory items form part of a group of articles sold as a single compiled article. With Slim4, all of the inter-product relationships and restrictions are seamlessness encompassed as part of the inventory planning process:

  • Exploding list of items and calculating the correct inventory level per sub-item
  • Define relationships between articles and capture common sales quantities

Supplier closure management

Certain suppliers may close for a number of weeks during holiday periods. However, as suppliers down tools for events like Chinese New Year, summer holidays and even Christmas, businesses across the rest of the chain face lengthy delays and major availability issues. Slim4 safeguards businesses from the disruption that can result from supplier’s closures through:

  • Helping planning teams to anticipate supplier closures by placing timely additional orders
  • Intelligent splitting of large orders to prevent overloading the logistics operation

Price break optimisation

Some items are available on a seasonal basis during certain periods of the year. Additionally, suppliers sometimes offer special promotions or temporary price reductions. Slim4 enables companies to take advantage of this by:

  • Temporarily recalculating economic order quantities based on seasonal availability or price promotions
  • Enabling analysis of special offers from specific suppliers