The positive evolution of the inventory management function within the company has helped tremendously in attracting young talent: “At first, we were seen purely as just the ‘ordering department’, with people who only had to press the order button, so to speak. Now we are a real supply chain department, focused on optimising availability, stock turns and processes. Slim4’s management by exception principles has helped enormously with this development. Routine tasks are automated and planners are free to focus on process improvements.”
A good example of a situation that requires collaboration and process improvement is the preparation required for the new garden season. This is typically the annual moment when the demand for wood in the Netherlands peaks.
“For this, we have to start building up stock levels in time, otherwise we can never have everything available on the shelf when required. Planners must then try to manage the peak in a smart way and also involve suppliers in this. This requires a completely different skill set than just preparing orders; namely exploring scenarios, collaborating with suppliers and sharing purchasing forecasts. However, our planners now have time for this.”