Beringen – 19 December 2018

Brouwland ist seit Jahren auf Erfolgskurs. Europas spezialisiertester Großhändler für Brauer, Winzer, Brouwland has been on an upward curve for years. Europe’s most specialised wholesaler for home-made cheese, beer, wine, and liqueur is growing by around 20 percent every year. The range of products is also growing. Slim4 is the right tool for Brouwland - to manage the growing range of products, to improve service levels, and to increase availability. The stock value was reduced by 15 percent. 

“Thanks to Slim4, we can respond dynamically and much more efficiently when it comes to the important and seasonal items.”
Thomas Balis Teamleader Supply Chain | Brouwland

Brouwland supplies end users, distributors, and professionals across the globe, with a strong focus on Europe. The company achieves the lion’s share of the turnover, more than 60 percent, in Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Every day, the 5,200 m2 warehouse in Beverlo releases orders to customers in both the B2B and the B2C segment.

Sizeable range expansion

The range of products has grown significantly in recent years and now comprises more than 12,000 SKUs. About three quarters of these are procurement products. The other products are custom-made for the customer in-house. “Every year, 200 to 300 products are added. And that’s with the brakes on, because phasing in new products costs a lot of time and money,” says Supply Chain Team Leader Thomas Balis. According to him, the range will continue to grow over the coming years. “Because the market continues to ask for it.” Logically, this growth has consequences for Brouwland’s stock management. The previous strategy was mostly aimed at expanding the range of products. A correct strategy, judging from Brouwland’s annual growth in turnover. Over the past 10 to 15 years, this has always been around 20 percent. However, the stock value kept rising too. “This while the quality of the stock was not always great.”

Stock value down, efficiency up

Brouwland implemented Slim4 to get a better handle on the increasing stock levels. Thanks to the stock optimisation software by Slimstock, the stock value was reduced by 15 percent despite further product expansion. “Slim4 offers insight into the data, such as the availability of important products and seasonal items. This allows us to respond dynamically and, above all, much more efficiently now, as it is managed by exception. It previously took 2 full-time employees to fulfil the orders that a single employee can now do in no more than half a day.” Slim4 also advises on production planning, by giving order recommendations for the products to be manufactured on the basis of set delivery times and required stock levels, among other things.

Further improvement of service levels

In addition, Slim4 allows for internal monitoring and optimisation of service levels, so that Brouwland can keep working on improving its customer satisfaction. “We use the time saved through Slim4 to proactively fine-tune our processes. We are looking at agreements with suppliers about payment terms, lead times, and transport optimisation, for example. We are continuously looking for improvements.” All Slim4 users have received free training at the Slimstock Academy. “This allows us to take full advantage of the options on offer by Slim4, and we can put more effort into improving service levels and increasing availability.”