Battery importer, stockist and distributor Manbat is poised to ramp-up already impressive availability levels with high-tech inventory optimisation software.
Recognised as the UK's largest battery distributor with twelve distribution branches, the Shrewsbury-based company has signed up with award-winning stock optimisation tool developers Slimstock to boost existing high service levels of Varta, Lucas and its own branded Numax ranges.
Despite increasing threats from cheap foreign imports in the automotive sector, the company that last year almost doubled office and warehouse space with a new Shrewsbury base, in addition to opening a new Industrial Division depot in Bristol and the acquisition of East Kilbride and Washington based Battery Power Systems Ltd, is not only continuing to hold its own in the key automotive sector but is experiencing significant growth in demand for motorcycle, leisure, marine, mobility and golf batteries.
The move demonstrates the company’s commitment to ensuring that availability levels on its trio of Varta, Lucas and Numax brands are among the best in the industry and the investment will contribute towards helping Manbat in maintaining its position as a market leader.
Manbat Marketing Manager Myles Pemberton says that long-term success hinges on the company continuing to offer ‘the right products, the right branding and the right levels of service’.
Currently spearheading developments in the latest ‘Varta start-stop automotive battery technology as a counter-measure to threats from often poor-quality imports, the company that this year celebrates its 60th anniversary says it’s keen to maintain service and availability levels in all its sectors – including new technologies introduced into the automotive sector.
Manbat’s product range includes batteries for every type of vehicle, and the company is also active in introducing new product lines including chargers and industrial jump start packs alongside leisure and marine accessories.
Slim4, the UK-developed tool chosen to boost forecasting and enhance already high service levels right has the reputation of being ideally suited to managing multi locations from a central distribution point.
Taking users’ existing data, Slim4 automatically delivers the best ordering method – resulting in faster turnaround time and improvements often measurable within weeks of commissioning.
Manbat signed the deal to add-on award-winning optimisation tool Slim 4 to its existing computer systems in mid-February, with the project given a March 19 start date. Based on Simstock’s past track record, results could be expected as early as June.
Slimstock’s UK Manager Richard Evans says that the last few years have seen companies in all sectors have come to accept that effective supply chain planning and management is now crucial to success.
“It could barely have been spelled out more clearly than in a recent Government-sponsored report that states ‘...with the advent of the worst downturn to hit the industry for decades, the trends to capacity reduction, fixed cost streamlining, consolidation and restructuring have accelerated sharply” he says.
Last year, Slim4 – with a track record of auto industry success including AD (Auto Distribution) in the Netherlands and Ireland, Euro Car Parts, FPS, Southampton-based parts dealers Hendy plus many others throughout Europe – scooped the award as ‘the most innovative idea in retail excellence’ by one of the world’s top 20 financial institutions, £1 trillion asset global banking, investment and insurance group ING.
The Coventry-based company also posted results indicating growth in excess of most its competitors’ entire customer-bases.