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Australia Slimstock FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Slimstock as an organisation and Slim4 inventory management software.

About Slimstock

 

What is the difference between Slimstock and Slim4?

Slimstock is the organisation behind Slim4. Slim4 is the easy-to-use inventory management and optimisation solution we provide to our customers.

How experienced is Slimstock?

Founded in 1993, Slimstock is the market leader in inventory optimisation. With more than 1200 customers worldwide, our inventory optimisation Slim4 helps businesses improve customer service while simultaneously minimising inventory levels and supply chain costs.

Where is Slimstock location, are you experienced worldwide?

The headquarters is based in Deventer, The Netherlands. We are active in 50 countries and have offices in 22 countries. Our Australian office is based in Melbourne and from there we serve our customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Does Slimstock provide service for the whole continent?

Yes, our office is based in Melbourne but our team serves the entire country.

How many employees does Slimstock have?

We have more than 350 inventory experts worldwide. This means we are always close to help you get the right inventory at the right place at the right time.

Is Slimstock well-equipped to help me with the implementation?

Yes, our experts will need an approximate 3 to 4 months to implement Slim4 and provide the training before go live can take place. The duration also depends on the complexity of your supply chain. Take into account that implementing inventory management software requires dedication and commitment from the whole organisation for effective results.

Is Slimstock well-equipped to help my employees with training?

We do in-company training for employees under the Slimstock Academy. We also provide a certificate of completion at the end of each training course. We are also working to have our academy set up in Australia, so everyone can choose the best course that fits their needs.

ERP

 

Does Slim4 work with my ERP system?

Slimstock intensively cooperates with ERP suppliers and other partner companies. Combining Slim4 with an ERP system is possible with the certified links that integration partners develop for us. The standard interfaces always work and therefore, no implementation risk is involved.

Inventory

 

Why is an online inventory management system better than using spreadsheets?

Excel sheets allow you to change data without any objectivity and using Excel sheets is prone to human errors.  In addition, using Excel for forecasting and demand planning is labour intensive, doesn’t allow you to focus on the right things, and it’s therefore more difficult to achieve the perfect balance between working capital, operating costs and the optimal service level.

Why is an online inventory management system better than using ERP?

An ERP system is a generic system and not specialised in inventory management.  Using an add-on allows you to use the ERP as a source for master data and transactional data, and the inventory management system can be used to do all the calculations from forecasting to purchaseing, leading to exactly the right amount of stock to service your customers.

Where is the Slim4 software based on?

Our vision is that you need to focus on exceptions, that’s why Slim4 is based on a “Management by Exceptions” philosophy. The system will tell you if there is an exception and if it is an urgent and/or important exception. In this way, you can focus on what’s really important.

Does Slim4 provide a dynamic calculation of safety stock?

To provide the desired service level for unexpected demand, the correct buffer (or safety stock) has to be calculated for every product. Slim4’s exceptional capabilities enable businesses to optimise their inventory through regularly:

  • Differentiating service levels and buffer stock, and taking in to account the delivery times, optimal order quantities and ordering times
  • Distinguishing between presentation stock, ring-fenced inventory and all other types of inventory
  • Automatically optimising purchase orders for 1,000s of SKUs across all locations
  • Optimise replenishment based upon dynamic MIN / MAX rules
  • Responding to developments in local demand at both an article and location level
  • Optimise Phase-in and Phase-out of items based upon product lifecycle management

Does Slim4 calculate the optimal order size?

Order sizes have a significant 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 several other factors:

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

Does Slim4 help to see what purchase order may be delayed and thus where the action is required?

By calculating optimal purchase orders, companies can increase their profitability. Once an order is placed at a supplier, it’s vital that the right amount is delivered on time. The order book management module within Slim4 is specifically developed to enable companies to know what purchase orders may be delayed and thus where the 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 manages with interim change

Does Slim4 select the best supplier, with more sources as a purchasing option?

Often the same article can be ordered from different suppliers. Slim4 can automatically advise and select the most suitable supplier for each order. This 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 selects the best supplier based on company-specific decision-making rules

Does Slim4 anticipate on special promotions from suppliers?

Some items are available on a seasonal basis during certain periods of the year. Additionally, suppliers periodically 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

Can we work in the Cloud with Slim4?

Yes, Slim4 can be installed either in the cloud or on premise. This depends on your company’s preference.

Analytics

 

Does Slim4 identify the best selling products?

Slim4 tells you on every level (article, product group, category) what the best selling products are.

Does Slim4 identify the best suppliers?

Yes, Slim4 tells you who your best suppliers are on every level.

Does Slim4 identify my best customers?

Yes, Slim4 tells you who your most important customers are, what they bought and when, so you can anticipate their behaviour.

Does Slim4 anticipate on seasonal and trend products?

Did you know that more than 50% of all items have a sort of seasonal demand pattern? So, it is vital that these trends are continuously monitored and the forecasts adjusted accordingly.
Slim4 guarantees an optimal stock level before, during and after a seasonal promotion and for items with long lead times. To this, Slim4 supports powerful forecast options:

  • Option to adjust seasonal forecasts automatically or manually
  • Seasonal demand patterns can be copied from a predecessor or product hierarchies
  • All seasonal demand fluctuations are taken into account (not just summer/winter shifts)

Does Slim4 anticipate on promotions?

Slim4 maximises sales potential while minimising risks through:

  • Continually monitoring promotional items to identify over & underperforming lines
  • Automatically building stock based upon the promotional forecast
  • Enabling easy scaling of underlying locations (shops/ regional warehouses or customer groups) to optimise the allocation of promotional stock
  • Isolating promotional demand to prevent contamination of demand history

Does Slim4 anticipate on new products and end of life items?

Yes, Slim4 helps you to:

  • Build forecasts based upon predecessor/ successor product relationships
  • Develop seasonal profiles based upon product hierarchies
  • Additional responsive during the introductory phase of the product life cycle

How does Slim4 anticipate on new products and end of life items?

Yes, Slim4 helps you to:

  • Build forecasts based upon predecessor/ successor product relationships
  • Develop seasonal profiles based upon product hierarchies
  • Additional responsive during the introductory phase of the product life cycle

How does Slim4 handle Bill of Materials (BOM)?

Slim4 can utilise a comprehensive bill of materials, ensuring:

  • Raw material and semi-finished components are ordered at the optimal moment in the right quantity
  • BOM (Bill of Materials) takes into account the most extended lead time to minimise the risk of bottlenecks

Can Slim4 help me with order forecasting and demand planning?

Slim4 helps you to get the most accurate forecasting and demand planning. We provide an integrated software solution for forecasting, demand planning and inventory control.

Does your forecast consider a whole range of factors, including emerging trends, seasonality and volatility?

Slim4 understands that the demand planning for some products is far more difficult to forecast in comparison to other products.
Slim4 enables businesses to create objective profiles, which ensure to apply only the most appropriate algorithm. This is possible through analysing demand patterns at all levels and taking into account a range of demand metrics. To achieve the best possible forecast, demand profiling within Slim4 is underpinned by:

  • Analysis of demand at an SKU, product group, location or channel level
  • Analysis of total sales volumes, frequency of sales, sales quantities as well as individual transactions.

My business is in fashion. Does Slim4 anticipate on size curve planning?

Size curve planning is fraught with complexity. To maximise margins when an item is in season and to minimise markdown at the end of the season, Slim4’s capabilities enable:

  • Size-curve planning at the lowest possible level: on the size-colour-style basis for every location
  • For every transaction, Slim4 registers the sales price against the retail price as well whether the size curve was intact to optimise future forecasting

Supply Chain

 

Can Slim4 help with optimising the supply chain?

Slim4 ensures optimal stocking decision-making by fully supporting the portfolio & range management process:

  • Make effective stocked/ non-stocked decisions based on the organisation’s specific business rules
  • Collaborate with marketing to optimise assortment decision and prevent excess stock

Does Slim4 provide a solid basis for service level differentiation?

Slim4 supports Service Level Inventory Management and assists businesses with the following capabilities:

  • Automatically sets service levels based upon ABC and the business rules in place
  • Optimise safety stock to achieve the desired service level and thus maintain high standards of availability

Does Slim4 anticipate on Product Life Cycles?

Slim4 helps businesses to support the product life cycle management process:

  • Automatically adopt the inventory strategy based upon the phase in the product life cycle
  • Apply business rules to select either a defensive or aggressive approach during the launch phase
  • Remain responsive and automatically establish a forecast after initial sales of new items
  • Optimise margins and inventory costs for mature items
  • Notify planners when purchases start to fall at the end of the product lifecycle
  • Gain insight into different phase-out scenarios and decrease inventory levels accordingly

Does Slim4 accept business rules for specific environments?

Slim4 is a standard software solution. However, to ensure that day-to-day inventory management processes and decisions align with the overall corporate strategy, businesses rules can be applied to optimise the solution for specific environments. Through utilising business rules:

  • Standardised logic ensures that everyone works in the same way towards the same goal
  • Maximise efficiency through automation based upon if-this-then-that type logic
  • Unlike in ERP systems, parameters can be changed dynamically

Does Slim4 provide customer segmentation?

Purchasing behaviour will differ hugely between different customer groups, and consequently, the importance of each item will vary based on the customer in question. With Slim4, it is possible to not only define A; B & C items but also A, B and C customers:

  • Establish different rules around stocking decisions, safety stock requirements and the need for dual sourcing depending on both the item and customer class
  • Slim4 provides specific exceptions to enable supply chain teams to react to the evolving needs of priority customer immediately

Reporting

 

Does Slim4 provide reports?

To maximise the efficiency of the planning team, it is vital that everyone has clear insight over their own workload to keep track of the progress as well as what areas require further attention. The intelligent dashboard within Slim4 provides supply chain teams with up-to-date information enabling them to remain proactive and take immediate action when needed:

  • Filter on specific selections to drill down into data and go beyond simple averages to gain greater focus
  • Provide visibility overall primary metrics: availability, stock turn and excess stock

Does Slim4 report up-to-date on every product level I want?

Supply chain teams typically operate in dynamic environments. To ensure management have constant visibility over the performance of their team, Slim4’s powerful web-based reporting capability provides any time access to all key metrics:

  • Most KPI’s shown as per today
  • Analyse stock position both historically and future projections
  • Insight accessible any time online

Does Slim4 offer the option of simulations and scenario planning?

Yes. Deciding how best to meet the needs of your customers is something, which requires considerable thought. Given that there is a range of influences, both internal and external, that can change in the business environment; it’s essential that the impact of these factors on the future stock position be fully understood:

  • Explore impact of changes in service level, order quantity and replenishment cycles
  • Analyse the impact of pursuing an inventory level target

Investment

 

What will Slim4 cost?

The costs depend on the complexity of your supply chain and the functionality that you need. Most importantly, we aim to achieve an ROI within a year.

We will be able to provide you with an indication of the price after reviewing your company’s requirements.

How much time does our organisation need to invest?

It depends on your needs and the quality of data and commitment of your supply chain team. However, 3 to 4 months is the duration time mostly requiring.

Get acquainted

 

Does Slim4 provide free demos?

Yes, we can provide you a Slim4 demo. But wouldn’t a tailor-made demo answer all your questions? We can do this for you. Let’s have a chat so that we know what you are looking for and we can prepare a demo, which would fit your needs.

Want to see some reviews?

On our website you can read business cases of customers from across the world, and you can see who we are working for.

Want to contact us?

Feel free to contact us here.