Imperial Distributors Inc. is based in Worcester, Massachusetts. Imperial currently serves over 2,000 food stores and employs 700 people.
Imperial serves as a non-foods service wholesaler/distributor, delivering products to stores in shelf quantities, and providing in-store merchandising services for over 25,000 SKU’s. The product assortment is focused on health and beauty care items, cosmetics and general merchandise, including a large assortment of housewares, film, batteries, stationery, baby needs, pet supplies, and seasonal non-food products.
When and Why
Imperial Distributors was coming off of a significant growth year in 2011. Imperial now had 24 hour warehouse operations, running 3 shifts. Imperial wanted to maintain its award winning customer service and hoped that the new HIMPACT purchasing system could maintain this with less inventory. Imperial placed its first PO using HIMPACT in January of 2012.
“We extensively tested 20 Vendors, representing 10% of dollar sales, of varied volumes, across disparate categories. The improved forecasting methods enabled us to carry less safety stock. The result of the test is that we increased our turn on the test vendors while still attaining the desired service level.”
“A key advance is that while our current system forecasts monthly, the new HIMPACT system forecasts daily. The daily forecasts are based on true customer orders rather than shipment totals. We can see at a glance not only what the total demand is, but we can drill down to determine which customers are generating that demand. Another important difference is how quickly the HIMPACT system reacts to change compared to our existing system. There is much more information to identify changes that are occurring, before an item rapidly runs away, or tails off. This especially is an advantage in the handling of new items, which can be very challenging,” says Manager of Procurement, Marc Lajoie.
“Another consideration was how quickly the Replenishment Team would adapt to the new system. The conclusion from our test is that HIMPACT is exceptionally user-friendly and intuitive. Not to be discounted is Heriltz’ top notch support of our team to answer any questions that we had.”
President and Owner Michael Sleeper added, “HIMPACT is the 2nd Herlitz designed Purchasing system that Imperial has implemented over these last 20 years. Smart purchasing has supported our success. We feel confident HIMPACT will improve our forecasting and our inventory levels.”