Denim Retailer Uncovers $3.3M in Savings Through Inventory Planning, Forecasting, & Management Assessment

A Canadian denim retailer that manufactures and distributes denim goods

savings opportunities identified
pain points addressed by proposed solutions


The client experienced a sharp increase in D2C business through e-commerce and retail partners. Growth-driven complexity compounded by broken processes and undefined rules resulted in ~$7M in excess inventory. This created cash flow challenges and exposed inefficient inventory planning, forecasting, & management (IPFM) practices. The client required an assessment of their current IPFM processes and a roadmap to evolve, standardize, and optimize the current state with a strong focus on technologies enabling this transformation.   


To identify the root causes of the pain points within the IPFM processes, our team conducted interviews with key stakeholders across all departments involved to develop an enterprise process map. This shed light on the interdepartmental dependencies, conflicting measures of success in each department, siloed operations and communication gaps, as well as unclear roles and process ownership. This exercise also revealed low operational maturity with the use of outdated technologies and highly manual processes, resulting in data integrity issues, and more time spent gathering information than analyzing it to support data-driven decisions. Additionally, a review of the inventory and product mix revealed that a subset of SKUs made up the majority of sales, creating an opportunity to reduce the product set, streamline production, and simplify processes from design to postsale activities. Through this 4-week engagement, The Poirier Group provided the client with:  

  • An enterprise process map review session that facilitated knowledge sharing between siloed departments, providing the organization with a holistic view of the process and interdepartmental dependencies 
  • A sequenced technology roadmap outlining technology enablement priorities such as workflow automation through RPA, business intelligence reporting implementation, and infrastructure modernization, focused on leveraging existing technology and reducing manual effort to enable time reallocation to strategic activities to build the business 
  • A high-level assortment rationalization to identify the most profitable products and develop a markdown strategy to improve the client’s inventory position  

Value Created

After this engagement, the client was equipped with a prioritized roadmap of six programs, sequenced to address the most pressing issues first, including: 

  • A technology-focused program equipped with a strategic roadmap to unlock $0.5M in savings, achieved through the elimination of manual tasks, enhanced data accessibility, and harnessing the full functionality of existing systems 
  • Three programs addressing organizational alignment and strategic development, poised to yield over $1.1M in savings through defining strategic objectives, aligning departmental KPIs accordingly, and optimizing resource allocation by streamlining roles and responsibilities 
  • Two inventory-focused programs projected to deliver over $1.7M in savings through a SKU rationalization process to refine product assortments as well as optimized workflows aimed at accelerating product development cycles and driving operational efficiencies 
When analyzing net sales by style, it was found that only a small subset of styles make up the majority of sales, revealing an opportunity to shrink the client’s product line and reduce complexity.

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