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“Out-of-stocks has already fallen by 10%.”

Domenique Snepvangers

Product Developer & Buyer | Bamigo

Slim4 allows Bamigo collections seamlessly connected

Bamigo is an exclusive brand specialising in bamboo clothing. Sales are made exclusively through their webshop, directly to the consumer. Therefore, optimising the inventory is a crucial process. “With Slim4 we can perfectly phase in and out seasonal collections and new product lines,” highlights Freek Rijken and Domenique Snepvangers. As a result, the number of out-of-stocks has fallen by 10% and the overstock has been reduced to almost zero.

Optimising inventory is a crucial part of the business strategy at Bamigo. Freek Rijken, marketing & operations manager at Bamigo explains: “We are an exclusive brand that specialising in high-quality clothing made of bamboo: an extremely durable type of textile that also feels very comfortable and stays fresh for a long time. To get our special story across, we sell exclusively through our webshop, which now operate in sixteen different countries. What we offer here is a permanent collection of Never-out-of-stock products, as well as an evolving seasonal collection. We owe it to our customers to offer high availability, but we don’t want too many ends of season sales. Therefore, the range must remain clear. That requires a super-tight planning process and to play that game well, we opted for Slim4.”

Creating the first forecast was always a challenge

The development and planning of new products can take up to three quarters of a year, in which Bamigo works closely with specialised suppliers throughout Europe and Asia. Once a new item has been extensively tested and approved, production can start. At this point, Bamigo must indicate how many units of each colour and size are required for the launch.

“In the past, this was always quite difficult to determine. However, with Slim4, we now have a good process for this,” says product developer and buyer Domenique Snepvangers.

The product developer adds: “One of the strengths of Slim4 is that you can link a new product to an existing article. As a result, the software can immediately make a forecast of anticipated demand. By using a comparable product from a previous collection, you immediately have an idea of how the demand pattern will develop and what the impact of promotions will be, for example.”

Bringing humans & machines together. Bamigo wants to start every season with a beautiful new collection. However, the fashion retailer also wants to minimise end of season sales from the previous season.

To seamlessly phasing products in and out of collections, requires a refined process between people and system, explains Snepvangers. “With a new article, you indicate which products it should connect to and when the new season will start.

As soon as the first orders come in, Slim4 automatically adjusts the initial forecast based on the actual demand. The system knows which items are ‘cannibalizing’ each other and sends an alert if the demand is higher or lower than expected. The system can adjust the orders autonomously. But we can of course also intervene. For example, we can push a supplier order forward or set up additional marketing campaigns. Towards the end of the season, Slim4 also flags items where we need to reduce stock and which new seasonal items will replace them.”

Out of stock decreased by 10%

In the short time that Bamigo has been working with the software, the quality of the stock has already improved considerably, Rijken notes. The percentage of out-of-stocks has already fallen by ten per cent and the excess stock has been reduced to almost zero at the end of the season.

“We have also become more efficient as an organisation. Previously, we had to dig through long Excel lists to find out how much to order. This was labour intensive and also prone to errors. With Excel, you don’t have an overview and you have to think about exactly what you want to know before you can look it up. With Slim4 this entire process is much more efficient. The software provides greater visibility over our inventory and automatically generates orders. By proactively identifying issues, we can take action to manage the exceptions. This has created a time-saving of over 20%.”

Two-week reduction in lead time

With the additional time created by Slim4, Bamigo can focus on achieving its international growth objectives and optimizing the supply chain. Rijken states: “We recently expanded our range with a homeware line that has seen huge demand, partly due to the coronavirus. We have also opened a new DC in England, of which we will of course also control the stock with Slim4.”

Snepvangers highlights how the planning team now have more time to work with suppliers:

“With the data from Slim4, we can better inform partners about the orders they can expect. We share forecasts and ensure that they receive their orders at fixed times. This means that our suppliers now understand where they stand and can adjust their production schedule accordingly. As a result of this project, the entire chain has become more reliable and we have already been able to shorten delivery lead times with some suppliers by two weeks.”

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