Acme United Reduces Inventory 10-20% During Acquisitions

  • www.acmeunited.com
  • Manufacturing

Challenge

Acme United Corporation is a leading worldwide supplier of innovative branded cutting, measuring and safety products in the school, home, office, hardware & industrial markets. The company has facilities in the United States, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and China. Acme United products are organized under five global brands: Westcott, Clauss, PhysiciansCare, Pac-Kit, and Camillus, all of which serve a growing customer base that includes the world’s premier retailers and merchandisers. Acme struggled to drive adoption of their forecasting process. Though their ERP system included a forecasting module, Acme found it limited, and produced forecasts manually through spreadsheets instead. This process was cumbersome and Acme was unable to reach the customer level of demand, which caused collaboration with sales and management to suffer. Visibility into promotions and total sales volume was virtually nonexistent. As a result, Acme’s inventories became inefficient, and their fill rates continued to drop, reducing their competitiveness. With customer-level planning and collaboration becoming critical issues, Acme sought a new supply chain planning system.

Solution

The Atlas Planning Suite was selected for its flexibility, rapid pace of development, and its ability to grow with their process. With Demand Management, Acme gained the ability to forecast at the customer level without manual effort. The Planning Portal gave Acme rapid and easy collaboration with their sales and management teams, increasing visibility into promotions and market conditions. Inventory Management allowed Acme to put the improved forecast into practice on inventory levels.

Results

Atlas delivered rapid and extreme improvements in Acme’s planning process. Within the first year, Acme reduced inventory levels by 15-20%. Customer service levels rose simultaneously from 92% to 98%, allowing Acme to capture further sales. Since implementing Atlas, Acme has performed several acquisitions that have added considerable volume to their planning task, but Acme has been able to keep pace with the same planning staff as before. Acme plans to implement the Rough Cut Capacity Planning module of Atlas in the near future to extend their functionality further. “Atlas gives us all the flexibility and power we need to improve our customer relationships”, says Steve Jensen, Forecast Manager at Acme United.