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“Slim4 offers our demand planners a much better insight into seasonal influences and possible trends”

Kjartan Vanhercke

Demand and S&OP Planning Team Leader

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UpFresh gains visibility with Slim4

‘The only way is up’ for UpFresh. And for this, Slim4 is indispensable. Despite the growing assortment and an increasingly complex chain, Belgium’s leading fresh food platform has minimised shrinkage while attaining a delivery rate of more than 98%.

In the autumn of 2021, Belgium welcomed a new name in the fresh food market: UpFresh.  As part of a rebrand of the Fermette Food Group, Upfresh is a well-established player with its Fermette and Père Lejeune product ranges, among others.

As Belgium’s leading fresh food platform, UpFresh distributes food from experienced producers and ambitious start-ups all over the country.

With hubs in Ostend, Sint-Katelijne-Waver and Barchon, the company offers an extensive distribution network to over 3,200 stores throughout Belgium with a wide range of fresh products. In recent times, however, this range has grown considerably. The number of SKUs increased from 6,000 to 9,000. Furthermore, the number of suppliers, customers and buying groups has also increased. “That means that managing the inventory effectively has become significantly more complex,” states Kjartan Vanhercke, Demand and S&OP Planning Team Leader

Fantastic results

For over 4 years, the business has relied on Slim4 to manage its inventory with great results. For example, the delivery rate rose to 98% as shrinkage decreased from 0.16% to 0.11%. Despite the increased complexity throughout the supply chain, these results have remained stable.

Vanhercke explains: “Slim4 offers our demand planners a much better insight into seasonal influences and emerging trends. We are less dependent on the gut-feel of our people.”

He also sees the Slimstock Academy as a major advantage: “Our new colleagues can follow a physical or online training programme. The learning time is minimal, which means we can get our demand planners up and running quickly.”

25% productivity improvement

The team leader is convinced that Slim4 will continue to play an essential role for UpFresh in the future. “Based on the ABC classifications and the forecast from Slim4, we can replenish pick locations smarter and more proactively. This enables a productivity gain of no less than 25%.”

In addition, the business is the process of opening a completely new and largely automated high-bay warehouse in Ostend ready for operation in 2023. The number of pick locations will then increase from 25,000 to 36,000, while the number of deliveries will also grow sharply – from 6,000 trays per day to 10,000 trays per day.  “These are developments where we absolutely need the help of Slim4.”