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Tennant

“Thanks to Slim4, we now have a reliable forecast. As a result, we can now maximize the profitability of our assortment, something which is essential for long-tail articles.”

Richard Ornek

Materials Manager | Tennant Company

Greater insight enables Tennant to achieve huge efficiency improvements

With help from Slimstock’s inventory optimization software solution, Slim4, Tennant has increased service levels by 96.5% to a stable 98.5%. Moreover, forecasting demand is now a much simpler undertaking. Overall, the manufacturer of cleaning equipment has benefitted from an efficiency improvement of no less than 80%. Convinced by the results, Tennant is now looking for further ways to utilize Slim4 across the business.

Tennant manufactures and supplies an extensive range of innovative, high-quality cleaning machines. A large part of the components are produced and assembled in the Netherlands, where they are stored in the adjacent distribution center. From here, products are shipped to distributors across the EMEA region. On average, over 2,000 order lines are picked at the distribution center every day.

The product range consists of 50,000 to 60,000 active SKUs, of which over 22,000 are kept in stock. In the past, these items were managed manually. However, as Materials Manager, Richard Ornek, explains: “This was a labor-intensive task which required a lot of specialist knowledge.” Thanks to Slimstock’s inventory optimization software, Slim4, the team at Tennant has been able to significantly reduce the complexity of this process. This, in turn, has enabled the business to become far more responsive to exceptions.

Improved long-tail management

“Until now, we have only used Slim4 to generate forecasts for the after-market. Production parts are still planned within our MRP system and the data is combined in our SAP ERP system”, explains Ornek. Despite this, the service level improvement target was achieved within just one year. With greater insight, the business’s performance has improved, particularly for critical components. Furthermore, whereas before, the service level did not exceed 96.5%, it is now stable at 98.5%. “Thanks to Slim4, we now have a reliable forecast, and as a result, we can now maximize the profitability of our assortment, something which is essential for long-tail articles”, explains Ornek. Consequently, the number of backorders and partial shipments has also decreased significantly.

Efficiency improvement of 80%

Thanks to Slim4, the team at Tennant has been able to standardize processes; thus, the business is no longer dependent on the knowledge of one person. The workload is now shared across several employees. This has resulted in a huge amount of time savings: “Previously, a task would keep one person busy for two weeks. Now, with four people, we can complete the same task in just one afternoon. That’s a time savings of no less than eighty percent. Without Slim4 and the knowledge of the consultants of Slimstock, we could never have achieved this.

Accuracy up to 30%

In the future, Tennant hopes to utilize Slim4 to support their sales and operations planning (S&OP) – processes. “This will enable us to improve forecast accuracy on a machine level. With the statistical basis of Slim4, we can achieve a more reliable planning process, meaning we are less dependent on the ‘gut feeling’ of our people”, states Ornek. The accuracy of the inventory optimization solution has been further supported by an independent research project that Tennant carried out in conjunction with the Technical University of Eindhoven. The investigation highlighted that data from Slim4 was up to 30% more accurate than what Tennant had relied upon in the past.