Case Study

Optimiza Enables Findel Education Resources to Optimise Stock Levels and Find Significant Savings

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To help Findel keep pace with the market, we moved from spreadsheets to inventory planning software, Optimiza, enabling us to optimise stock levels, given the volume of supplies we had previously been keeping, this has resulted in vast savings.”

Peter Cotton,
Forecast Manager, Findel Education

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Companies use Optimiza to maximise service levels, increase customer loyalty and protect margins. They do this not only by aligning demand and supply processes but also through building, managing and executing a dynamic, agile and responsive demand and replenishment plan.

Optimiza customers align cross-functional teams internally and externally using the continuous improvement framework, and formalise their processes into a structured auditable system.

Demand Planning: Organisations know that forecast accuracy is able to yield a greater equivalent returns on a company’s financials than any other planning activity.

Inventory Optimisation: Optimiza Inventory Planner unlike traditional inventory re-ordering systems, builds a business specific inventory model that takes into account the unique supply, demand and flow characteristics of each product.

Supply Planning: Busy Inventory Planners have little time to validate supplier information, or monitor and prioritise existing orders. The direct results is that orders are placed based on what may be an over or under estimated lead time and potential issues are only identified at the back door.

Optimiza Enables Findel Education Resources to Optimise Stock Levels and Find Significant Savings

Company Profile

Findel Education Resources, are the UK’s leading independent educational resources supplier. Since 1817 they have been providing schools, colleges, academies and nurseries in the UK as well as internationally with everything from stationery and site services to curriculum and special educational needs resources.

Over the years they have become experts in their core areas by working with leading educational and industry professionals to create both practical and innovative resources for the school, the classroom and educational specialists.

Challenge

Findel Education has over 25,000 resources catering for early years through to higher education and beyond. Most of the products are stocked in warehouses and 90 percent of orders that are in stock are delivered within two days.

The impact of technological change coupled with the changes in the way the government and local authorities deal with schools under their control and the sourcing of materials from the Far East has led to greater competition and complexity within supply chain planning.

The challenge facing the company with over 100,000 SKU’s in a more devolved environment was the need for reduced response times, seasonal changes, inventory cost management and changes in accounting year to term-time milestones. Market and technology sophistication challenged the requirements of achieving getting the right items in the right place at the right time.

Solution

To help Findel keep pace with the market, it moved from spreadsheets to inventory planning software, Optimiza, enabling them to optimise stock levels, given the volume of supplies they had previously been keeping, this has resulted in vast savings.

The company first started using Optimiza in 2006 and over the years the software has been tailored to meet the changing needs of the Findel business model.

Seasonality in the huge variety of products was one of the biggest challenges for the forecasting system, however Optimiza enabled the Findel teams the ability to see quite clearly at a granular level what was going on in the supply chain.

Optimiza produces a detailed forecast for each product in the Findel range. This output is then used to drive inventory plans, recommendations and tasks. Findel have the ability to drill down further into each product to plan current and future stock levels.

With Optimiza, exceptional circumstances can be monitored and acted upon before they cause a problem. Resulting in the inventory being easier to plan at top level allowing communication with suppliers of future intentions.

Results

Tighter control of inventory has led to less capital being tied up in stock that wasn’t required hence resulting in millions of pounds worth of savings. Optimiza has enabled Findel to improve its understanding of both customer behaviours and trends, as well as improved management of marketing promotions, their business environmental changes and overall risk.

The insight the software gives them has improved forecasting communications with suppliers and these can now be more frequent and meaningful. On the other hand sales data is allowing better management of the warehouses, finance and marketing enabling successful execution.

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