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Fabory

“Our managers now have time to manage all the stock throughout the supply chain”

Maurice Geerars

Supply Chain Director | Fabory

Fabory increases their service levels to 98%

Fabory is a multinational wholesaler of fasteners, whose strength lies in the breadth of its range. The central distribution center, located in Tilburg, holds 60,000 different nuts, bolts, screws, and other fasteners in stock. In the summer of 2009, Fabory decided to implement Slim4 as their inventory management system. Supply Chain Director, Maurice Geerars: “Our managers now have time to manage all the stock within the supply chain, rather than just concentrating on the DC.”

Fabory increases their service levels to 98%

Fabory is one of the few suppliers of fasteners still trading in individual items, i.e. when a customer wants 13 screws, the customer will receive 13, and not a number rounded up to the nearest boxful. This service is essential and despite the breadth of the range, in some cases certain fasteners are only purchased once or twice a year, Fabory want to be sure they can fulfill the demand. “We do not deal in high volumes and low prices, we are a specialist in small volumes with high added value”, says Maurice Geerars, Supply Chain Director.

In addition to fasteners, Fabory also offers tools and chemicals, resulting in them having to manage up to 125,000 SKUs in total. The breadth of the range means that managing the stock is a challenging task for their 8 planners. Whereas many companies split their products into A, B, & C classifications, Fabory goes further and includes D, E, & F classes as well. For a long time, Fabory utilized the functionality in their SAP environment to manage their inventory, however, this proved too complex as it offered insufficient transparency of their inventories and relied on a large amount of customization.

Slimstock’s inventory management system, Slim4, was implemented as a ‘bolt on’ solution to SAP. In addition to the management of inventories becoming drastically easier, the inventory managers can now have confidence that the system automatically utilizes the correct forecasting methodology. By working in accordance to the ‘management by exception’ philosophy, they are now able to focus on the real problem cases. In short: thanks to Slim4 Fabory’s inventory management operation is more decisive.

Focus on supply chain

One and a half months after going live, Slim4 has already led to new insights. “According to Slim4 we are holding $7.6 million of stock and in theory there is a potential saving of over $4.7 million” said Geerars. In practice though, Geerars is not targeting a reduction of stock in the first year, instead “We will concentrate on ensuring that the service level on the B & C category items improves, without our total inventory increasing. Our service level is currently 96% and Slim4 will ensure that it increases to 98%”.

Time for S&OP

This year Fabory will focus on the entire supply chain. The wholesale division also has stocking locations in the Czech Republic, Romania, Portugal, United States, and Canada. “In order for our planners to execute these supply chain concepts, we first needed to free up some of their time, this is where Slim4 will come into its own.”