Inventory Management Blog

food inventory management Published in Blog - 03 December 2018

Inventory management in food retail is a balancing act between availability and shrinkage

Food inventory management – A typical characteristic of fruit & vegetable products in the produce category is that suppliers, packaging and prices change throughout the year. Produce buyers know exactly when to switch countries but do they know how much they have to buy? How can they ensure optimum in-store availability without having to make
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grocery inventory management Published in Blog - 03 July 2018

Grocery inventory management: battle against waste must rumble on!

In the second part of our “ace your inventory strategy” series, retail expert, Mike Donnelly, looks at how businesses in the food sector have adapted their approach to grocery inventory management to optimise shelf lives and minimise waste. In 2016, the Grocer launched one of the biggest campaigns against food waste in retail history. 2
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Published in Blog - 04 June 2018

What steps have you taken to optimise your approach to allocation?

Given the current retail climate, retailers must grab any opportunity they can to improve margins. As one of the main causes of excess and waste, optimising inventory allocation processes will undoubtedly help retailers to minimise avoidable costs. Furthermore, by rationalising the decision process, retailers will also benefit from the increased sales that results from achieving
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retail forecasting Published in Blog - 04 June 2018

Retail forecasting is a must win game to ensure World Cup success!

With the 2018 World Cup kicking off on Thursday 14th June, only 30,000 England fans are expected to make the trip to Russia: a fraction of the number that attended the 2014 tournament in Brazil. However, given that retailers here at home are expecting over a 25% surge in sales, it seems fans have by
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Inventory allocation Published in Blog - 01 June 2018

Inventory Allocation: How can retailers find the perfect balance?

Retailers face a real conundrum. On one hand, everything from the costs of raw materials to the costs of commercial retail space is increasing dramatically. However, on the other hand, customers are becoming savvier than ever and will simply not accept any increases in price. As retailers look to minimise operating costs to maintain margins,
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delivery lead time Published in Blog - 01 June 2018

Delivery Lead Time – Which inventory opportunity will deliver the greatest return?

Delivery lead time – How can you determine which inventory reduction opportunity will deliver the greatest return? Supply chain teams are under constant pressure to achieve ever-more ambitious inventory reduction goals. However, given that high inventory levels are caused by a broad range of factors, identifying the best strategy to reduce the inventory can be
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too much stock Published in Blog - 01 June 2018

Too much stock: accelerate the performance of your assortment!

Is your business holding too much stock? In a bid to keep customers happy, many businesses have resorting to offering high levels of inventory across already spiralling assortments. While this ensures that customers have plenty of choice, keeping up with these exploding ranges can prove a constant battle. What steps can building businesses take to
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building materials Published in Blog - 30 May 2018

Improve stock availability and build a more reliable operation

In the building trade, customers can not afford to put their project on hold because the tools, materials or components they need are out of stock. However, with spiralling ranges consisting of thousands upon thousands of products, maintaining 100% availability across the entire assortment would render most building suppliers totally bankrupt. But what can supply
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seasonal inventory Published in Blog - 30 May 2018

Seasonal Inventory: Gnome your demand

As soon as the sun hits the UK, everyone is stocking up on their essential summer supplies. However, with summer days and alfresco nights upon us, staying on top of your seasonal inventory can be challenging. Given that the met office has already issued hot weather warnings across the UK, how can you be sure
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range management Published in Blog - 04 May 2018

Range management: Are you managing your assortment effectively?

How well aligned your assortment with the overall strategy of the business? While a well thought-out assortment can generate a huge amount of profit, an ill-balanced assortment can have a hugely negative impact on a company’s margin. Use this checklist to assess the effectiveness of your assortment and gain greater insight into impact of product
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safety stock Published in Blog - 17 April 2018

Safety Stock Inventory Q&A

Safety Stock | To what extent should you bubble wrap your availability Safety stock inventory is the additional level of inventory businesses hold in order to minimise the risk of stock out. However, being overly cautious can quickly result in costly excess and obsolescence: both of which will erode margins. So what factor should you
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safety inventory Published in Blog - 16 April 2018

Safety inventory – Creating a bull whipped supply chain

No matter what business you are in, there is always a need for future estimates in order to plan. It may be critical to take a closer examination of how precision and accuracy of a forecasting strategy affect other parts of your planning process. This perspective reveals observations of how different forecasting strategies affect simulated
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demand planning process Published in Blog - 13 April 2018

Demand Planning Process – Who should be involved?

When it comes to the demand planning process, each division has its own set of goals and objectives. While the sales team may demand consistently high levels of availability in order to satisfy orders, the finance team may be more interested in inventory cost. This is compounded further when it comes to the demand planning
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demand planning software Published in Blog - 13 April 2018

Demand Planning Software…forget the spreadsheets!

When it comes to demand planning software, spreadsheets are the weapon of choice for most planners. However, spreadsheets are only as effective as the person entering the data. Even for the most advanced spreadsheet users, trying to manage inventory in this way can quickly become complex clunky and a long-winded exercise. But is there a
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abc stock analysis Published in Blog - 10 April 2018

How can you achieve your supply chain goals through better ABC inventory analysis?

5 top tips to maximise the value of ABC inventory analysis Over the years, we have encountered many businesses that hold thousands upon thousands of SKUs. But has this helped them to become more profitable? In reality, holding so many items can have the opposite effect. So how can more insightful ABC inventory analysis help
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retail leadership Published in Blog - 19 February 2018

Retail Leadership: Has retail become the new football?

From Leicester’s shock dismissal of manager Ranieri to Manchester United’s controversial hiring of Jose Mourinho, the football industry is no stranger to abrupt shifts in leadership. However, it seems the major football teams could have competition for the title of highest management turnover. According to reports, the number of retail chief executives leaving their positions
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fashion demand planning Published in Blog, Retail - 23 January 2018

Fashion demand planning: How can retailers unzip growth in 2018?

In the cut-throat retail industry, fashion demand planning is essential in order to achieve growth. However, when you consider that one major retailer is reportedly already considering store closures and many others are still recovering from the challenges presented by the last 12 months, talking about 2018 as “the year for growth”, probably seems like an
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promotions management Published in Blog - 28 December 2017

Promotions management: Time for a fresh approach?

Promotions management has always presented retailers with a dilemma: a huge headache but an unavoidable reality of modern retailing. Black Friday, for instance, was once seen as the single most important day in the retail calendar, like turkeys voting for an early Christmas, many retailers have now extended this promotional period to last for up
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Published in Blog - 09 November 2017

Tour de Supply Chain: Wholesale & Distribution

Inspired by team GB’s triumph in the last few years, more and more of us are getting back on the saddle. In fact, according to British Cycling, we are now one of the most successful cycling nations in the world. However, as Brexit jitters grip the cycling industry and the value of the pound continues
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FlowTechnology - Warehouse Published in Blog, Manufacturing - 20 October 2017

Flowtechnology UK achieves a more fluid operation with Slimstock

To keep up with continuous growth and spiraling complexity, the UK’s largest distributor of fluid power products, Flowtechnology, has taken an important step towards simplifying their supply chain processes. Already impressed by the results delivered by Slimstock’s inventory management solution, Slim4, the business has now taken the decision to upgrade the bolt-on solution to also enhance
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Published in Blog, Manufacturing - 20 October 2017

Vegware caters for global growth with Slimstock partnership

After extensive research into the market, Vegware, the award-winning manufacturer of eco-friendly catering disposables, has this month joined forces with Slimstock to help improve their already impressive availability levels. Following several years of rapid growth, the Edinburgh-based business will take advantage of the inventory management specialists’ solution, Slim4, to help keep up with the demand
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production planning Published in Blog, Manufacturing - 20 October 2017

Production Planning | S&OP

When it comes to production planning, there are many factors that influence the overall production plan. Using the growth of the UK bicycle industry as an example, Sam Phipps, explores what challenges manufacturers should prioritise in order to exploit growth and get ahead of the pack.  Bicycle production in the UK has undergone a resurgence in
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PMTT-E-de-Witte-Slimstock Published in Blog - 13 October 2017

Slimstock’s Erik de Witte joined Pimp My Tuk-Tuk Charity Ride 2017

This year, Slimstock took part in the Pimp My Tuk-Tuk (PMTT) Charity ride to raise money for the Foundation of Goodness (FOG). 54 drivers participated in the 8-day drive through Sri Lanka in Tuk-Tuks. Slimstock Operations Director South East Asia, Erik de Witte, shares his experience with us. Trip of my life Before starting the
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what is safety stock Published in Blog - 29 September 2017

What is safety stock? what’s the function of stock?

What is safety stock? Different times call for different inventory strategies. However, when the function of stock is not clear, changing the inventory approach can often prove problematic. Many retailers lack synergy between the inventory strategy and the overall strategy of the business. As a consequence, many retailers struggle to align the inventory strategy with
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Slimstock hot news Published in Blog - 29 September 2017

Customer satisfaction takes a dip | Cashing in on the product lifecycle

From a major supermarket shortage to why it pays to invest time in your new products introductions, supply chain bloggers, Sam Phipps and Jessie Cooper, explore the hottest topics from the last 7 days. Customer satisfaction takes a dip amid houmous crisis As the latest food crisis hit British retailers this week, frustrated shoppers took
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Slimstock robust supply chain Published in Blog - 29 September 2017

Behind every experience is a robust supply chain

As events go, things don’t get much bigger than the infamous Glastonbury Festival. Given that over 200,000 people attended this year alone, Glastonbury is a real success story. However, the popularity of Worthy Farm and lucky artists that get to play there is no happy accident: this event takes years of diligent planning! From the
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img src= Published in Blog - 21 May 2017

An assortment of success & setbacks | Supply chain disruptions leave a sour taste

With a whole museum dedicated to product failures and businesses faced with disruption, Supply chain bloggers, Sam Phipps and Jessie Cooper digest the hottest topics from the last 7 days. New product introductions: an assortment of success & setbacks Encompassing everything from Bic’s range of “for her” biro pens to Nokia’s N-gage, a dismal attempt
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Published in Blog - 20 May 2017

Are retailers ready for tomorrow’s savvy shoppers?

Through utilising a combination of if-this-then-that logic as well as the Internet of Things (IOT) and voice technology, Tesco has brought the shop floor closer to the end customer than ever before. While this major development marks a quantum leap towards “frictionless” shopping, such advances in technology will no doubt change the way we as consumers think
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excess stock reduction Published in Blog - 16 May 2017

Beep beep, Brexit’s coming through!

Despite the initial nervousness around the UK’s divorce from the European Union, according to the society of Motor Manufacturers and traders (SMMT) British manufacturers achieved their highest output in 17 years last month. However, while automotive manufacturers seem to be thriving, businesses operating in the aftermarket could be faced with hefty cost increases. But what can be
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Published in Blog - 10 May 2017

Are the days of the diesel engine numbered?

As calls for diesel engines to be scrapped intensify, how can the automotive industry prepare for the speed bumps that lie ahead? Could your investment in diesel components go up in smoke? With increasing evidence that diesel engines have a devastating impact on the environment, there have even been renewed calls to introduce a special scrappage
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Published in Blog - 09 May 2017

Tour de Supply Chain: Retailers & E-tailers

It seems that the British public are getting back on their bikes in startling numbers. Last year alone, we cycled an impressive 3.5 billion miles; 6.3% more than in 2015. However, as the UK Government forges ahead with a £1.2 billion project set to double the uptake of cycling by 2025, it seems that further
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img src= Published in Blog - 27 April 2017

Back in our good books

Whether it’s because physical books have become a thing of beauty in their own right or simply because you can’t fold down the corner in your E-reader, after years of decline, it seems the humble book is making a resurgence. Given that we now live in a world of smartphones and tablets, this emerging trend seems
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Published in Blog - 25 April 2017

“Since working with Slim4, my work has become much easier!”

During this interview, we ask Piotr Adamczak, purchasing coordinator and user of Slim4 at Sanpol, five questions: What is his role? What does he do on a normal day and what impact has Slim4 had on the business? What’s his biggest challenge at the moment? And what are his ambitions for the future? What are
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automatic replenishment Published in Blog - 13 April 2017

Spring into the new season

With Brexit now officially triggered, the first quarter of 2017 was plagued by uncertainty. Trade deals are now in limbo which has left many businesses considering how leaving Europe might impact their operations. However, at this point, it is difficult to make strategic plans as we simply don’t know how things will pan out. Given
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img src= Published in Blog - 07 April 2017

What digital challenges lie ahead? | Food for thought

After news that online sales are set to double and food prices could surge as a result of Brexit, is been a busy week in the press. Supply chain bloggers, Sam Phipps and Jessie Cooper digest the hottest topics from the last 7 days. Drones to delivery bikes: are businesses really ready for the digital
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img src= Published in Blog - 31 March 2017

Replenishment challenges & supply chain flexibility

Replenishment challenges and supply chain flexibility. With reports that major fashion retailers are now struggling to compete in key market and reports of a sudden surge in footfall for Mother’s day, this week has given supply chain bloggers, Sam Phipps & Jessie Cooper, plenty to think about! Flexibility: the perfect fit for fashion supply chains
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img src= Published in Blog - 17 March 2017

Brexit plans, forecasting infringements, footfall shortfall

As Brexit talks advance, the food industry came under fire and retail footfall slumps, it’s been a busy week for the newspapers. Supply chain bloggers, Sam Phipps and Jessie Cooper, investigate the hottest topics in the press and assess their impact on the supply chain. Brexit: What’s the plan? Given that the Queen gave the go
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img src= Published in Blog - 14 March 2017

Death of the big shop, electrifying the aftermarket, rise of the robots

With news of a major development in consumer behaviour, the opening of an exciting new facility dedicated to the production of electric vehicles and a report detailing the impacts of robots on our future careers, this week has given us plenty to think about. Supply chain blogger, Sam Phipps, investigates the hottest topics in the
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img src= Published in Blog - 10 March 2017

Supply chain simplicity, professional education, Assortment upheaval

With a revelation in furniture design, the reintroduction of the dreaded 11-plus exam and an emerging trend in food retail, this week’s news has given us plenty to think about. Supply chain bloggers, Sam Phipps and Jessie Cooper, investigate the biggest stories in the news this week and their impact on supply chain management. A
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automotive long tail assortment management Published in Blog - 06 February 2017

How can you transform your long tail into a profit making machine?

From prangs and punctures to general wear and tear, every single one of the UK’s 30,000,000 cars endures a lifetime of hardship. To prolong the life of these vehicles, the UK has one of the most developed aftermarket spare parts industries in Europe. Although the country spends over £21bn every year on automotive parts and
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Published in Blog - 26 January 2017

“With Slim4, I can complete my processes far more quickly”

We ask Paulina Moreno, Supply Chain Planner at Kupfer, to describe a typical working day, her main responsibilities, and her experience with Slim4 and her aspirations for the future. What is your role within the company? My role sits within the supply chain area and encompasses all five of the areas that our business is
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Published in Blog, Retail - 06 January 2017

Is product freshness your top priority?

Food retailers face a constant battle to offer high levels of availability while still ensuring that customers enjoy only the freshest products. Given that inventory, handling & transportation costs must be kept under close control, achieving shelf life optimisation of all fresh items is a huge challenge for many retailers. However, how have some of
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Published in Blog - 14 December 2016

Festive Frustrations: Santa’s secret stress exposed!

Each year, Santa delivers presents to millions of children all over the world. For most people, this alone would be an impossible logistical undertaking. However, alongside this, Santa also has full responsibility for ensuring that his supply chain has sufficient capacity in the weeks and months leading up to the festive period to satisfy this
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Published in Blog - 01 December 2016

Promotions have become like methadone: Is it time retailers kicked the habit?

For many managers in retail, promotions are like a heavy drug addiction: they know they are bad for them, but it was simply too difficult to stop. While some retailers have moved away from the old days of flash promotions in favour of an Every Day Low Prices Strategy, it seems the vast majority just
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Published in Blog - 25 August 2016

Omni Channel Retailing: is it time retailers adopted a better approach?

In order to thrive in the Omni-channel environment, retailers require a different mentality. After all, success ultimately depends upon having the right retail processes, inventory policies and assortment strategy in place. However, for both traditional retailers and online “pure players”, developing an effective Omnichannel strategy which keeps both long tail items under control as well
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Published in Blog - 16 May 2016

If the cunning foxes can do it, so can you!

In case you haven’t heard, Leicester City Football Club shocked the world by going on to lift the premier league trophy. Following a narrow escape from relegation last season, 2016 has seen the team do a complete U-turn and become one of just 6 teams to win the title. As most of Leicester woke up
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Published in Blog - 14 February 0201

The lettuce crisis is just the tip of the iceberg!

Stock replenishment – While there is little anyone can do about the weather, what can businesses do to mitigate the impact of this supply chain disruption? As storms in the Mediterranean batter supplies of fruit and vegetables, retailers are left with empty shelves and angry customers.  While a shortage of salad is one thing, what
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