What has micq-if done for Hardy Spicer so far?

Barry Wallis, General Manager for Hardy Spicer suggests that the area of biggest benefit from micq-if's implementation is the reduction in emergency stock transfers.


In the past we have been running at about 60,000 airbags per year. We will soon achieve a one third reduction in those emergency stock transfers. In simple terms each air bag costs $6 but the real value is closer to twenty when you consider the impact on productivity and our customers. 20,000 airbags translates into real and very significant benefits and we will achieve them every year.

The approach taken by Hardy Spicer has been to improve the effectiveness of their inventory investment using micq-if's forecasting and inventory and range optimisation capabilities.

What features have you found to be particularly useful?

Neville Sirimanne (Inventory & Logistics Manager for Hardy Spicer), cites the following as key features of micq-if that have made a big difference to their inventory planning and purchasing functions:

  • Supplier reviews have vastly improved. Now micq-if helps us manage the lead times much more proactively and with solid information that is easy to appreciate.
  • We have many products with long lead times and micq-if has been excellent at presenting purchase recommendations that are timely and easy to follow.
  • Purchasing has been very quick and easy. The review scores certainly highlight where our attention is needed. This has enabled us to run much of our purchasing almost on 'auto-pilot'. We can now focus on the more risky decisions where there is a greater risk of creating excess if we get it wrong. Excess stock has a bad habit of hanging around, so avoiding creating it in the first place remains an ongoing focus and micq-if has certainly helped us look in the right places.
  • In our Driveline business we have occasionally needed a few (very few) overrides on forecasts and min-maxes. The disciplines with comments and in particular expiry dates, and the way these can be managed, have been particularly easy and useful.
  • micq-if is particularly good at managing intermittent and low volume sales where the simpler approaches found in many other systems really struggle. It manages not just forecast information but comprehensively manages risk factors and various optimisation and financial trade-offs.
  • micq-if also helps us to tune our inventory and supply system over time. Customisation is a real strength, which is important because Hardy Spicer of the future is not the Hardy Spicer of our past.

Where have you found any challenges?

Neville indicated that it has not all been plain sailing though ...

In our Hoses and Fittings business we have been recently growing at a pace that has been invigorating. We have been making a lot of changes which have not found their way into our sales histories so micq-if could respond automatically.

We had to raise a fair few overrides to get ahead of the game. It is good that micq-if has this capability but we found the volumes fairly high.
We were very impressed with just how fast (a couple of weeks) the developers were able to produce a bulk override capability to help us when we sign up new distributors which significantly affect volumes.

We will continue to work with Hardy Spicer to tweak the system as needed. The Rules based approach to customisation and other capabilities in micq-if have certainly helped position the system for ongoing refinement, both by user tuning and some new functions which we are more than happy to work with customers to do.