Egmont streamlines stock levels and improves forecasting with EazyStock
Egmont, the UK’s largest specialist children’s book publisher, has reduced stock levels by 15% whilst meeting customer demand, after switching to EazyStock inventory optimisation software. As with many publishers, tight stock management is critical to Egmont’s profitability and, in 2018, they identified several stock control challenges EazyStock could help them overcome.
James Bensberg, Egmont Director of Systems & Business Support, said, “We knew we needed a more sophisticated way to forecast demand and manage our inventory levels. The sales of some of our publications can be erratic, and depending on where we print, a delivery can take up to three and a half months to arrive at the warehouse. Ensuring we can meet market demand for our core titles is critical, but, at the same time, we don’t want to see excess stock beginning to pile up, undermining our profitability”.
At the time, Egmont had multiple platforms tracking stock and recording sales. EazyStock was integrated to simplify the process. The software allowed Egmont to account for demand and supplier lead times and used historical sales data to improve forecasting - ensuring bestselling titles were always in stock, whilst slower selling titles were never overstocked.
EazyStock-generated demand forecasts are now the basis of all Egmont stock management discussions. As James explained “Previously we calculated sales forecasts based on a number of variables and ‘educated estimates’, and we used these to decide which titles to reprint and which to hold back. Now we have confidence that the decisions we’re making are based on reliable data and sophisticated forecast calculations”.
Overall inventory in the Egmont warehouse has been reduced by 15% in little over a year, whilst meeting customer demand. This reduction is due to holding less stock of erratic titles, reducing the overall risk of items in the warehouse becoming obsolete. “We categorise every publication in our portfolio based on its predicted revenue and likelihood of maintaining its sales performance (which depends on market trends and fashions). EazyStock has allowed us to prevent stock-outs of our most important core titles, whilst reducing the stock levels of our riskier products, lowering our stock provisions and therefore optimising our investment”.
EazyStock has improved the efficiency of Egmont’s stock control team who no longer have to ‘wrestle’ with spreadsheets and carry out multiple manual calculations and forecasts. “EazyStock has freed-up our time. Before we were checking every line of our reprint report for accuracy, which was very time-consuming. Now, by using EazyStock’s sophisticated inventory policies and adding our own key product indicators, the team simply pulls reports from the system that tells them which titles they need to assess for reprint. We have confidence in EazyStock’s recommendations and therefore only check the most important titles. This has given us more time for quality stock management and value-adding tasks.
Peter Drakeley, Head of Customer Success at EazyStock, concluded, “Inventory optimisation tools, such as EazyStock, are critical for businesses that rely on optimising their stock levels to guarantee profitability – regardless of industry. EazyStock is a flexible add-on to any business system and can be customised to the needs of our customer. By utilising EazyStock’s ability to set inventory policies that consider demand, seasonal profiles and supplier lead times, in conjunction with their own internal stock policies, Egmont has established consistency and stability in their inventory control practices.”
Inventory optimisation software is being used by more and more businesses across the globe to optimise their inventory levels through smarter demand forecasting, inventory planning and purchasing.
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Egmont inspires children to become proud readers through a diverse portfolio of inclusive, child-friendly books and magazines. Egmont is the largest specialist children’s book publisher in the UK, and its publications reach around one million children a month.
Through market-leading analysis, an understanding of trends, and close research with schools and families, Egmont knows what children love, and know how to encourage a love of reading in kids of all ages.
Egmont is a publisher of firsts, with a commitment to inclusivity, ethical publishing standards and an investment in debut talent.
Egmont is a unique children’s publisher. It is part of a large media group with headquarters in Copenhagen and is owned by a charitable foundation. The Egmont Group has donated over €350 million to children’s charities since 1920 and reinvested the remainder of profits in the business.
EazyStock is the market-leading inventory optimisation tool that gives small and medium-sized businesses total control of their inventory, by increasing their service levels, reducing inventory costs and automating ordering processes.
The cloud-based software integrates seamlessly with ERP and business systems and delivers fast, measurable results. EazyStock is part of Syncron International AB, with headquarters in Stockholm and customers all over the world.