Since 1983, Drive Products has supplied truck mounted equipment for commercial vehicles from operations across Canada. By replacing their existing planning tools with Slimstock’s software, Slim4, they immediately realized inventory could be further reduced by $6Million, and the end is not in sight.
Drive Products is the country’s leading integrator for commercial vehicles. Next to sourcing truck mounted equipment, the company specializes in installation and repair services. The inventory contains 412,600 SKUs, which includes anything from snow plows to bulk transport, towing & recovery solutions, to garbage truck equipment. Mike King, corporate manager supply chain operations explains; “If it can be attached to a truck, Drive Products most likely sells it.”
SLIMSTOCK SUPPLANTS THE COMPETITION
Due to several acquisitions, the assortment of inventory at Drive Products grew fast and relying on support for their outdated software was turning inventory management into a complex task. To get rid of excess inventory and re-balance it across their distribution network, Drive Products decided to integrate Slimstock’s, Slim4 to their Great Plains ERP and replace their outdated planning solution. “Our previous solution was rather cumbersome to use,” says King. “We considered upgrading with the same vendor, but experience with their support had not been positive. Replacing it with Slimstock’s software was a good choice for us. It far exceeds the speed, accuracy, and performance of our previous solution. The support from Slimstock has been outstanding in comparison too.” The implementation completed well under budget and Slim4 immediately highlighted $2Million in excess purchase recommendations from the previous planning solution.
A CLEARER INSIGHT INTO IRREGULAR DEMAND
Canada’s weather has a tremendous influence on Drive Products sales. Slim4 automatically recognizes seasonality, and based on predictions; we can assure sales that the right products will be available when needed. “Due to a more stable forecast, we have fewer short shipments from suppliers,” says King. He adds, “Slim4 isolates exceptions quickly and alerts us to trends. I now have much clearer insight into irregular demand too. Slim4 provides greater visibility than I ever had before.”
INVENTORY REDUCED BY MORE THAN $ 6M
Previously, A-items made up a large portion of Drive Products’ stock, but only turned 4.8 times a year. With help from Slim4, the inventory value has been reduced by almost $ 6Million and the stock turn has doubled on many items. “Reducing inventory is about as easy as pulling a few levers now,” says King. He adds; “We’ve further centralized our planning process, which has drastically improved efficiency. Previously it took us three days to determine purchase requirements for just one location. Now it takes one day to buy for the entire company, and I can manage it all from one location”, explains King. “I now have more control over stock. We can see where we’re over, rebalance inventory for the start of a season, and stop out of season purchases before they affect our balance sheet.” King foresees a bright future. “I don’t have a lot of spare minutes in my day,” Says King; “but Slim4 is quick. It’s an efficient solution that has positively influenced the performance of our business.”