Hazel 4d Img

“By allowing us to work more proactively, Slim4 has played an important role in enabling us to support the business’ continued revenue growth.”

Roy Harding

Purchasing Director | Hazel 4D

Hazel 4D improve supply chain performance with Slim4 package

Case Study: Supporting growth through increased efficiency & availability


PROJECT SCOPE

From tape to pallet wrappers, Hazel 4D has every packaging application covered. With customers including major blue-chip retailers, manufacturers & e-commerce businesses, Hazel 4D offers innovative ways to optimise product protection; reducing cost and waste. To help improve control over its supply chain amidst continued growth, the packaging specialist joined forces with the inventory experts at Slimstock.

RESULTS

  • Sales
    Maintained stable inventory levels amidst lead time increase from 15-120 days
  • Inventory
    Increased availability across top products to 99.9%+
  • Efficienty
    Increased efficiency of the planning team to support sustained growth
Hazel 4d

Challenge

Hazel 4D has evolved from a local packaging distributor into one of the U.K.’s leading suppliers of packaging solutions, machinery and consultancy services. 

Roy Harding, Purchasing Director at Hazel 4D explains: “Our business has seen significant growth in recent years. As the complexity and scale of our operation increased, the existing tools and processes were simply no longer sufficient to maintain our exceptional service standards. We needed a more advanced supply chain platform to rein in supply chain costs while improving product availability.” 

Why Slimstock?

Following the completion of a major IT project in which the packaging specialist upgraded its Epicor ERP environment, Roy and his team set about enhancing its supply chain infrastructure. “The new ERP system opened our eyes to the opportunities that exist throughout our supply chain.,” adds Roy.

To enrich the functionality within the ERP, Hazel 4D explored several best of breed bolt-on solutions. Highlighting the decision to partner with Slimstock, Roy states: “By taking the time to understand our business, Slimstock demonstrated the additional value their supply chain optimisation platform, Slim4, would bring to our business.”

The purchasing director goes on to add: “Slimstock’s depth of industry knowledge in combination with their impressive tool convinced us that they were the right partner to help us modernise our supply chain.”

Solutions

Proactive inventory management

With the successful implementation of Slim4, Hazel 4D gained greater transparency over the team’s workload. “Thanks to Slim4, we can see all of the tasks that need to be actioned. Furthermore, with automated exception-based alerts, our planners can quickly identify and prioritise the most important issues,” explains Roy.

Highlighting the impact this has had on the business, Roy adds: “From placing the day-to-day orders to reviewing the inventory exceptions, Slim4 has created huge time savings throughout our planning process. By allowing us to work more proactively, Slim4 has played an important role in enabling us to support the business’ continued revenue growth.”

Prioritising key products

As Hazel 4D’s assortment grows, determining the optimal inventory level for every SKU was becoming increasingly difficult: “Given that many items are subject to erratic demand patterns, planning our inventory requirements was always a challenge. As a consequence, we often held high levels inventory levels to ensure availability; stretching our warehouse capacity and incurring additional storage costs in the process.”

With Slim4’s powerful forecasting engine, Roy and his team are now in a much better position to align supply with demand. Roy states: “Slim4 takes into account a range of demand characteristics to automatically build robust forecasts for every SKU. As a result, we now have much better forward visibility to determine the optimal level of safety stock.”

The purchasing director goes on to add: “By ensuring we stock our warehouse with the products that matter most, Slim4 has helped us to noticeably improve both service levels and reliability.”

Mitigating risk

During the implementation process, Hazel 4D worked hard to improve its Masterdata. “Slimstock’s consultants helped us to identify gaps and errors within our product Masterdata. This allowed us to take steps to correct critical data elements such as supplier lead times, minimum order quantity & ordering costs.

However, as a consequence of Covid-19, Hazel 4D has faced significant market disruption in recent times. “Many of our products have been subject to supplier delays and shortages. In some cases, supplier lead times have increased from 15 to over 120 days. To respond effectively to market changes, it’s vital we have ready access to robust supply chain insights,” states Roy.

With Slim4, Roy & his team are better positioned to respond to lead time changes. Roy states: “Slim4 has been invaluable to us during this time. We can see when we are at risk of going out of stock much sooner and make more informed decisions to protect availability. As a result, we can respond to lead time changes and supply chain volatility with confidence,” states Roy.

Next steps

Explaining Slimstock’s role as a long-term partner, Roy concludes: “With Slim4 successfully rolled out, Slimstock continue to play an important role in our optimisation journey. Thanks to their consultants’ ongoing support and guidance, I am confident that Slim4 will enable us to maintain our exceptional availability standards as we drive further operational efficiency improvements throughout our supply chain. 

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