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Frequent Asked Questions

Slimstock organisation and Slim4 inventory management software

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

Founded in 1993, Slimstock is the market leader in inventory optimisation. With more than 1000 customers worldwide, our inventory optimisation Slim4 helps businesses improve customer service while simultaneously minimising inventory levels and supply chain costs.

The headquarter is in Deventer, The Netherlands. We are active in 50 countries and with offices in 21 countries. For Asia, we are based in Singapore. However, we will get in contact with you where you live in Asia.

We are located in Singapore, but our consultants can work with customers from across the region

We have more than 250 inventory experts worldwide. This means we are closer to help you get the right inventory to the right place at the right time.

Yes. Our experts will need an approximate four months to implement Slim4. Sometimes it takes longer, and sometimes shorter ultimately depends on the demand and inventory. Implementing inventory management software requires dedication and commitment from the whole organisation for effective results.

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

Inventory

Excel sheets allow you to change data without any objectivity. Errors are more common in excel sheets. Besides, it takes a lot of time to forecast and demand planning using Excel. Its also challenging to achieve the perfect balance between working capital, operating costs and the optimal service level through excel.

ERP is not specialised in inventory management. From small to medium business, they can turn out to be complicated and quite expensive.

Our vision is that you need to focus on exceptions. That’s why Slim4 is based on “Management by Exceptions.” 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 important.

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 services level & 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 & location level.
*Optimise Phase-in and Phase-out of items based upon product lifecycle management.

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.
*Optimise order quantities are driven by forecasts with seasonal influencers taken into account.

By calculating optimal purchase orders, companies can make more profit. Once an order is placed with a supplier, it’s vital that the right amount is delivered on time. The order book management module within Slim4 is specially 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.

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.

Some items are available on a seasonal basis, and 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.

Working in the cloud is possible but not necessary. It is a personal choice on how you want to work.

ERP

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.

Analytics

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

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

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

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).

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

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

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

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.

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.

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 analyzing 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.

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

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 & prevent excess stock in the face of price changes.

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.

Slim4 helps businesses stay ahead of product lifecycles:

*Automatically adopt the inventory strategy to the full optimise the entire product lifecycle.
*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.

Some companies do not manage their inventory themselves but instead rely on their suppliers. In this relationship, the supplier monitors the inventory level remotely to develop and execute a replenishment schedule. Slim4 fully supports this concept of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI).

*Automated replenishment across customers’ locations
*Seamless Online communication between the supplier’s system and Slim4. 

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 optimize the solution for specific environments. Through utilising business rules:

*Standardised logic ensuring 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.

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

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 & excess stock.

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

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.

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 & excess stock.

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

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

With Slim4 within a year, your business will see a good increase in profit. It's not about the cost its an investment, which provides you with an excellent ROI. The level of investment depends on your requirements. We also have opportunities for modules, so it's difficult to quote the entire cost of the solution. However, we will be able to provide you with an indication after reviewing your company requirements.

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.

We can show you a demo in general. 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.

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

Feel free to contact us. See our contact information.

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