After being announced as winners in 2014, Slimstock were again announced as winners of the Supply Chain Management Software Category at this year’s Logistics Business IT Awards. Following several weeks of deliberation and stiff competition from other shortlisted finalists, the judges of the awards recognised the inventory management specialist for their ongoing work with Sally Beauty, the UK’s largest supplier of professional hair and beauty products.
From the central distribution centre located in Blackburn, Sally Beauty UK & Ireland supplies an extensive range of hair and beauty products across a network of over 260 retail outlets as well as an online store. As a business which takes great pride in helping customers to look and feel great, Sally constantly strives to offer everyone from nail bars and mobile beauty therapists to hair & beauty salons, as well as retail end consumers with one of the widest ranges of beauty products available in the market place. However, with a growing range of over 15,000 SKUs, each with their own individual product lifecycles and seasonal demand patterns, managing the inventory across the various channels was becoming an increasingly cumbersome task for the supply chain team.
Given the size and scale of Sally’s supply chain operations, the business simply could not operate without complete visibility across the central warehouse and all the various channels. In order to manage this growing complexity and thus better position the planning team to satisfy the industry leading service levels their customers have come to expect, Sally Beauty decided to implement Slimstock’s inventory management solution, Slim4.
Louise Baker, head of supply chain at Sally explains: “As our business grew and we introduced new channels, we needed something which could provide greater insight on which we could base our purchasing decision. However, in order to attain the level of control required to manage the supply chain in a multi-channel environment, we required a solution which could also enable greater flexibility in managing promotions and differing demand patterns across all of our various channels and categories.”
With the help of Slim4, their operations, which once were a largely manual undertaking, are now considerably more automated. While the implementation of Slim4 brought with it significant change management challenges, the solution has enabled greater integration across each of the different business divisions as well as helping to enhance internal collaboration. Furthermore, thanks to the accurate demand forecasting capabilities of Slim4, the planning team at Sally can communicate their stock requirements with suppliers far more effectively. Baker summarises the results: “Since implementing Slim4, we have been able to improve stock turn by 12.5% while reducing excess stock by 21%: all while achieving huge improvements in availability,”
Richard Evans, Director of Slimstock UK concludes: “At Slimstock, we are fully committed to improving the performance of our customers. As a fast growing retailer with a true Omni-channel environment, Sally have gone from strength to strength despite numerous challenges along the way; for this reason we are proud to be part of their success.”
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