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I.M. Parts and Service

I.M. Group was initially founded as a supplier of parts for the British car manufacturer Jensen. Today, the parts and service division of the automotive specialist offer customers with the import, storage and distribution of manufacturers’ parts.

 

  • CLIENT IM Parts and Services
  • YEAR 2014
  • ACHIEVEMENTSImproved customer service levels while optimising supply chain costs

I.M. Group reduce the number of days of stock on hand by a third

Founded in 1976 under the name Jensen Parts and Services Ltd., I.M. Group has since grown into a Europe wide leading importer and distributor of Subaru, Isuzu, Daihatsu and Great Wall spare parts. Boasting a range of over 35,000 items, in an industry where service is paramount, Mike Willetts, Finance Director, faced the daunting task of maintaining the company’s excellent service record while keeping stock investment under control. In order to help his team gain further control of their inventory, Willetts decided to implement Slimstock’s inventory management tool, Slim4, into the company’s I.M. Parts division.

Willetts explains: “For us, service to our end customers and dealers is paramount. However, as a consequence of this, the financial considerations of servicing our customers have traditionally been of secondary importance”. Given the company’s drive to improve overall performance, Mike and his team started to explore the market in order to find a specialist solution that could help them reduce inventory costs.

Results

  • Stock on hand reduced by 33%
  • Availability improvement of 3%
  • 100% increase in order frequency without having to increase the size of the planning team

Speed and flexibility

“We had explored a number of solutions over the years, none of which really offered much beyond what we were already achieving. However, when we saw Slim4, we were convinced it was the tool for us,” Willetts adds. The initial drive for I.M. Group was to reduce stock in their I.M. Parts division without affecting service levels. “We knew we were carrying excessive stock, but our existing systems just did not have the speed or flexibility we needed to improve. As a consequence, we were investing far too much time in managing the inventory.”

Excellent Support

Following the decision to implement Slim4, the project was completed within 3 months. Willetts explains; “the implementation was very easy. The Slimstock team took all our wishes and requirements on board and made it happen. After the initial kick off in February, we placed our first big order with our Japanese suppliers in early May”. However, while Willetts and his team were waiting for their first delivery to arrive, disaster struck. “The boat with our stock onboard sunk to the bottom of the Indian Ocean! We called the Slimstock team and they promptly helped resolve the issue. It was all done in an afternoon and saved us a fortune in air freight costs,” states Willetts.

Going beyond ‘just’ stock reduction

Having weathered the literal storm, Willetts and his team worked hard to deliver the desired stock reduction. “By the end of the year, we had reduced the number of days of stock on hand by 33% whilst simultaneously improving availability by 3%”. As a result of this achievement, Slimstock and I.M. Group were announced as winners of the planning and forecasting software category at the prestigious Logistics Business IT Awards.

“We have doubled our order frequency, which means we are far more responsive to changes in demand. Before implementing Slim4, this would not have been possible without doubling the number of planners”. The results delivered by Slim4 have convinced IM Group to roll the software out across the Scandinavian operation of the business. “We are currently in the process of implementing Slim4 across our operations in Scandanavia and expect to achieve similar results,” Willetts concludes.

“The boat with our stock onboard sunk to the bottom of the Indian Ocean! We called the Slimstock team and they promptly helped resolve the issue. It was all done in an afternoon and saved us a fortune in air freight costs,”

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