New Experts on Board - Meet Erik de Wit
Have you ever heard about Padel? Neither did we, before Erik joined the Chainbalance team, even though it is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide. Erik adopted early with his surprisingly long playing time of over two years.
But not only is Erik experienced in Padel, with nearly 20 years of experience in Supply Chain Management for Supermarkets, he really is an expert when it comes to managing the forecasting and replenishment of inventory. Reminiscing his experience in the food industry, Erik reveals that the most important KPI to forecast SKUs in supermarkets is the ISA – In-Store-Availability. Retailers try to achieve the highest possible availability on all surfaces, sometimes over 99%.
“Forecasting and merchandise management are the beginning and end of the entire value chain, the goal is customer centricity and to offer the right product at the right time.” - Erik de Wit
Even though food is a basic need, the consumer demand is specific, let's face it, everyone has their favourite brand of tomato soup. So, it's not a surprise retailers worry about lost sales. The selection is gigantic, more than 60 different packaging units and many brands offer the same product, but one consumer probably prefers Unox Tomato soup over Honig or private labels. To ensure the highest customer satisfaction, forecasting and replenishment are essential.
Similar conditions apply to the fashion industry, Erik thinks. Though in fashion the risk of lost sales is much higher. Fashion is much more personalized, and one product can't be replaced as easily as tomato soup. If the one specific fit, cut, material, colour, or size is not available, the customer won't just substitute one desired product for another. Even though the fashion industry has not yet fully embraced the power of replenishment, forecasting and the use of smart solutions, it is much more important in this industry to achieve customer satisfaction and prevent lost sales. After all, this is the reason for Erik's change from supermarket giant “Jumbo” to Chainbalance – accentuating the power of forecasting and merchandise management as COO at Chainbalance.
“Forecasting and merchandise management are the beginning and end of the entire value chain, the goal is customer centricity and to offer the right product at the right time.”, adds Erik. He enjoys his work the most because forecasting and replenishment spread throughout the whole supply chain, constantly striving to achieve the main goal: happy consumers.
Want to find out more about Erik and Chainbalane? Let's talk!