The companies judged winner and runner-up in the UK leg of this year’s Fresh Connection Supply Chain Management competition both used Slimstock’s Slim4 forecasting and inventory optimisation tool as part of their winning strategies.
UK champions Mars and Redditch-based LPR Pallets both opted to ‘purchase’ the tool in the global supply chain internet game that simulates real-life scenarios by devising optimum strategic decisions and long-term routes to survival.
This year’s challenge centred around a fictional fruit juice producer faced with ‘murderous competition’ and the software tool was made available as an option for competitors for the first time.
Judged on eventual return on investment over the seven-week run of the contest, 40 four-man teams including Jordans & Rivita, Kimberly Clark, Accolade Wines, Muller Brands, Swiss Log and Heinz entered the contest that began in April, with Mars UK emerging the overall winner with an overall roi of 27.35%
62% of the teams opted to ‘buy’ the tool – all averaging significantly increased return on investment over those that didn’t.
With two rounds to go in the 7-round contest, Mars had already notched-up an roi of 8.68% followed by Muller and Innocent Drinks, but the final round saw the team hammer home their lead, followed by LPR Pallets.
Overall, said the winning team, the competition proved to be ‘...a challenging test of decision making, commercial awareness and learning agility that requires each individual to understand the impact of their role on the profitability of the whole business”.
Success in the UK leg means the Mars UK team is likely to adopt the same strategy in the European finals in Pisa on 9th September when they’re up against competition from national winners including Bavaria from the Netherlands, Siegwerk Farben from Germany, Volvo from Belgium, Philip Morris from Austria and Volition from South Africa to land the title of Supply Chain Champions.
Devised in Holland in 2008, The Fresh Connection competition is developed and supported by experts in the field of supply chain management.
Slim4 was made available as a purchase ‘option’ for the first time this year – allowing participating teams to call on the same software tool that’s returning major improvements in inventory planning, increased service levels, lower inventory levels, higher margins, faster turnround times, and increased productivity for more than 400 real-life companies across the world.
Richard Evans, Sales Director with Coventry-based Slmstock says that the simulation challenge is a great way of increasing knowledge of supply chain strategies, demonstrating the importance of working as a team across the whole supply chain and the impact strategies have on company performance.
“In the real world, we promise our customers that Slim4 will, not might, deliver better demand planning, inventory control and purchase support – all of which we’re confident enough to guarantee –
and the effectiveness of the tool is now evident in the final result”.
The software was originally developed in Coventry where Slimstock still has its UK headquarters.
The international banking group, £1 trillion asset ING also awarded Slim4 its ‘most innovative idea in retail excellence’ accolade earlier this year – a year that also saw Slimstock add 55 new companies to its client portfolio.