Through the continued introduction of revolutionary shower products, Aqualisa has embarked upon an ambitious growth path to establish itself as a household name throughout the UK. Committed to innovating every aspect of the business, a key part of this growth strategy is to provide customers with the best possible level of service. For this reason, Aqualisa turned to Slimstock to help optimise their approach to inventory management.
Aqualisa boost availbility with Slimstock
From the business’ headquarters in Westerham, Kent, the bathroom specialist designs, assembles and distributes an extensive range of advanced shower solutions. As a true innovator in the bathroom market, Aqualisa has launched a number of industry firsts. However, as highlighted by Mira Balac, supply chain director at Aqualisa, the business is constantly looking for ways to advance their organisation: “To successfully pursue our rapid growth agenda, we have had to take major steps towards professionalising our operation.”
Visibility across the entire operation
Focused on optimising inventories of both the finished goods, components and the spares parts, Mira and her team strived to attain greater visibility within their operation. “In the past, we depended upon our ERP system in combination with spreadsheets to control the inventory. However, as the complexity of our business grew, we simply lacked in the insight to make effective inventory decisions,” explains Mira.
As part of the inventory optimisation project, Slimstock’s expert service team worked closely with the team at Aqualisa to implement the inventory optimisation solution, Slim4. Optimised around the intricacies of the business, the inventory solution provided Mira and her team with a much better picture of their inventory position.
Explaining the impact that this enhanced level of visibility has had on the business, Mira adds: “With the Bill of Material functionality within Slim4, we now have complete transparency over our inventory at both a component and finished goods level.” In addition, by enabling demand to be split by the sales channel as well as aggregated at the total level, the planning team have attained a far more granular understanding of demand. Mira goes on to add: “This enhanced level of visibility has helped us to increase the availability of finished goods from 89% to in excess of 97%.”
Given that the planning team must satisfy the needs of an extremely diverse customer-base encompassing both retailers and trade partners, the inventory optimisation project was also focused around helping the planning team to make more strategic purchasing decisions.
Taking advantage of the ABC capability of Slim4, Mira and her team have successfully implemented more appropriate service level targets. “Although there has been targeted increases in the inventory value, this has mainly been focused on solidifying availability of our A items: a decision which our people are able to justify.” The supply chain director goes on to add: “Given the notable improvement in availability, overall inventory levels have remained stable.”
Attaining further performance improvements
Keen to attain further performance improvements, Aqualisa is working hard to strengthen their S&OP process: “With the insight provided by Slim4, we are now starting to establish more effective dialogue with the wider business.”
Very satisfied with the initial results of the project, Mira goes on to conclude: “We are now well our way to achieve our end of year stock target. As we strive to drive further efficiencies across our business, I have no doubt that Slimstock will be a crucial partner in our growth strategy for years to come.”