Minerva on track with Slim4

Minerva[This article is brought to you by Slimstock]

The assortment of the Belgian bicycle manufacturer and wholesaler Minerva is growing considerably. Since CEO Peter Bruggeman took over the company in 2009, the number of SKUs increased from 3,000 to 7,000. And the end is not yet in sight. Previously, Minerva was particularly known as a bicycle brand. Nowadays the market demands more, from bikes, to accessories, shoes, wheels and much more. “If we want to keep satisfying customer demand, availability and delivery reliability is crucial. Our customers frequently order at the last moment. Slim4 helps us get the right orders at the right location as soon as possible”, says Bruggeman.

Peter Bruggeman

Peter Bruggeman, CEO, Minerva

Peter Bruggeman, CEO, Minerva: “For various product groups the turnover has increased by 30% up to 50%”.

From the brand new warehouse in Paal-Beringen, Belgium, Minerva supplies around 850 stores across the whole of the Benelux on a daily basis. To actively manage growing inventories, the bicycle manufacturer and wholesaler knew that they required assistance with inventory and supply chain optimisation and as a result turned to Slimstock’s supply chain software Slim4.

Inventory software combined with knowledge “Slim4 is the end of a long process during which the IT-structure of the company was brought up-to-date and during which we started using a new, modern warehouse. We were looking for a professional tool to improve the inventory management of our growing range. After a demonstration of the various functionalities and possibilities, we were immediately convinced that Slim4 was our best option. Additionally the knowledge of Slimstock’s consultants gave us a feel of ease and confidence”, adds CEO Peter Bruggeman.

That became clearer during the smooth implementation process. After all data in the ERP-system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, was cleaned, Slim4 was implemented: within a month and within budget. Now it was time for Minerva to start reaping the benefits!

Increased turnover thanks to increased availability

“The initial goal was to lower the inventories so cash could be released. However that goal has since been changed as improving delivery rate is a top priority for us”, says Bruggeman. Inventories do not decrease, but there is a noticeable shift. The inventory is now managed in a more structured manner. Products with a low stock turn and availability are phased out in time and the focus has shifted to articles with a high rotation or a high margin. Thanks to Slim4, the availability has been improved considerably. For product groups where rotation speed and the inventories are highly important, the turnover has increased by 30 to 50 percent. The inventory value has stayed more or less the same, whilst the assortment and number of customers continues to grow. “We are able to offer a bigger range using the same resources”, explains Bruggeman.

High fill rate in a dynamic market The CEO is convinced that there is more to come when, in the near future, more Slim4 functionalities will be utilised. “Our ultimate goal is to deliver 100 percent of the orders every day. Of course whilst keeping the inventory at a minimum. In a dynamic market like the bicycle industry and with suppliers with strongly varying supplier conditions, this is a utopia. But, with Slim4 we can come as close to utopia as possible.”