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“We now have a robust planning framework that supports collaboration. With all the information we need available at our fingertips, we have much greater insight into our inventory requirements. This means we can automate the inventory planning process for the vast majority of our assortment.”

Justin Ashton

Supply Chain Manager | Roper Rhodes

Roper Rhodes

Roper Rhodes soak up supply chain efficiency improvements

Established in 1979, Roper Rhodes are committed to offering customers a quality range of products, all designed and developed to the highest possible standards. With customers ranging from national merchant groups to local authorities, housing associations and plumbing contractors, the bathrooms supplier has seen a consistent year on year increase in revenue.

“Given this sheer rate of growth coupled with the fact that we now stock around 20% more SKUs, we needed to completely innovate our way of working!” explains Justin Ashton, supply chain manager at Roper Rhodes.

A more robust planning framework

In order to advance the business, Roper Rhodes decided to implement Slimstock’s inventory management solution, Slim4. However, as highlighted by Justin: “Our journey towards inventory optimisation was about more than simply implementing the right software. To truly support the business’ continued growth, we needed to put in place a robust planning framework that had the capability to support both internal and external collaboration.”

To ensure alignment with the overall strategic goals of the business, Roper Rhodes also needed a solution that could support the team in monitoring and tracking the performance of their operation. The supply chain manager goes on to add: “The most important thing for us is that our people also attained the supply chain knowledge to understand how their actions impact the wider business.”

Empowering the planning team

With a supply base expanding across the globe, Roper Rhodes typically face lead times of around 3 to 5 months. “The challenge for us is that around 80% of all customer orders need to be delivered within 24 hours. Consequently, maintaining consistently high levels of availability is key,” explains Justin.

With the powerful forecasting capabilities of Slim4, the team at Roper Rhodes can now anticipate future demand with greater confidence. “Our forecasts are now far more scientific. As a result, we not only have much greater insight into our inventory requirements, but we can now have far more constructive conversations with the wider business to ensure we are able to satisfy our customer’s needs.”

Justin goes on to explain how Slimstock’s inventory management solution has empowered the planning team to take greater ownership when it comes to ensuring customer satisfaction: “Our planning team now have complete visibility over the SKUs they are responsible for and thus, can take a far more active role in ensuring we deliver the best possible level of service to our customers. Ultimately, this has helped us to increase product availability to in excess of 98%.”

Driving efficiency across the planning process

In the past, Roper Rhodes relied on spreadsheets to plan the inventory which proved a hugely time-consuming task for Justin and his team. “Thanks to the management by exceptions basis of Slim4, we can automate the inventory planning process for the vast majority of our assortment, freeing up more time to focus our attention where it matters most. With all the information we need available at our fingertips, our stock turn has increased by 15%,” explains Justin.

A true knowledge partner

Satisfied with the results so far, Justin goes on to conclude: “Throughout the project, Slimstock placed a real emphasis upon enriching the knowledge of our people. Given that our team are now active members of the Slimstock academy, our skills will only improve. With Slimstock as our knowledge partner for inventory management, I have no doubt we will unlock further opportunities to optimise our operation.”

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