Many growing food and beverage operations struggle with an ongoing state of thrash. As demand fluctuates, operations are required to either run expensive overtime or short customers in one period only later to be faced with decreased demand and aging inventory on the shelves, or even worse, on trailers or temporary, without a plan.
These fluctuations and uncertainty strain cash and cash flow. On-time shipment metrics are met with superhuman effort. New product introductions aren’t properly planned with an initial push to fill pipeline followed by uncertainty on the scale-up. You may have a large number of products and struggle with how to project aggregated production demand, inventory levels, and financing needs. Executive accountability to plans may be lacking.
If this sounds like your company you are probably lacking sound sales and operations planning processes and supply chain management systems. Our food and beverage supply chain consulting group has teamed up with Outperform to deliver a straight forward solution to solve your planning problems.
Outperform’s SOP planning tools solve a different problem at a different level than ERP.
Explore Outperform's Supply Chain Management Software
The Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process helps companies move from a reactive decision-making to a measurable, structured program that minimizes barriers while capitalizing opportunities for future growth. The broader goal is to align daily operations with corporate strategy.
Outperform Planning helps you to navigate a strategic pathway through today’s unpredictable global marketplace. It has the capacity to unite the entire company leadership in shared processes for improving value-chain efficiency, customer service, and ultimately the bottom line.
Empower your global Demand Planners with powerful algorithms and effective means for collaboration.
Predicting the future demand is a difficult and time-consuming process. Outperform Planning enables the demand planner to segment the forecasting process in a simple way and apply different techniques for generating a demand plan. The techniques range from applying the forecasting engine, applying a heuristic based on recent order patterns or collaborating with customers and account managers or applying a management directive to a group of customers/products.
Promotions are a mechanism to drive volume growth in strategically selected product portfolios.
For reliable forecasting, promotional demand must be separated from regular demand. This is not so trivial in practice; customers do not make their buying motivations explicit so the total historical sales are always a mixture. We do not believe in detecting the promotions automatically. Therefore, the fact that a certain portion of historical demand represents promotional demand may be imported from ERP or indicated as part of history refinement. The concept of promotional calendars can greatly support this.
Our solution supports the so-called multi-period events. This means that the user can maintain a catalog of named events that specify a certain impact on the demand. Such a multi-period event can then be used to indicate the impact on historical demand so as to separate regular demand from event-driven demand (e.g. promotions) and the event can be linked to future periods so as to indicate the impact on demand in the future. Events and event profiles can also be used to specify the distribution of demand over the period. Plan comparison supports the tracking of the effectivity of the promotional spend.
Supply comes in many forms; from production, from the supplier, and from co-packers. We plan supply for every hour, every day, every week, once a month, or once a quarter/year.
The complexity for supply comes in the variety of it, supply or purchase of Raw Materials is something completely different than the production of Finished Goods. The supply plan is driven by a set of parameters including the minimum amount, fixed multiple, maximum amount, maximum interval, days cover, and various time shifts between the different states of the product. Available capacity can be included as a constraint leading to preproduction within the constraint of shelf life.
A multi-layered network of supply (aka replenishment) proposals is calculated real-time and the user can adjust proposals with immediate visual feedback on the consequences. The calculation will take the warehouse lots, work in progress, and confirmed orders as input and observe shelf-life constraints in supply chains with perishable goods. Existing inventory and projected inventory is handled on a FEFO (first expire first-out) basis. Products may need to ripen or mature or grow in industries such as wine, cheese, and seeds. The system observes the complete lifecycle from ordering to expiring.
Inventory is always there for a reason, and you only want it to be there for good reasons.
Inventory is the consequence of the imbalance between demand and supply and protection against the uncertainty on demand and supply. Outperform Planning offers a wide range of techniques to ensure that the right inventory for the right product is in the right place at the right time.
Inventory optimization is the art of having the right inventory levels to balance the unpredictable demand with limited supply while maximizing profit.
A good demand plan is only the beginning. In combination with the supply plan and, the inventory plan results. The overall plan should respect all constraints and reflect the cost trade-offs for the business as a whole.
The production, supply, and transportation calculations are driven by a set of parameters including the minimum amount, fixed multiple, maximum amount, maximum interval, days cover and various delays to reflect processing durations and transportation delays. Including capacity as a constraint will make the equation more difficult and might lead to preproduction within the constraint of shelf life. Next, to these constraints, the costs or margin contributions are included to ensure and generate the best plan.
Outperform Planning offers an integrated mobility feature that helps optimize the system and the system workflow. Notifications can be set to notify any person within the company, including management, on their mobile device, for any reporting function within Outperform Planning. This function is especially used to trigger messages for inventory issues, it streamlines processes in line with business strategy and allows the action, if any, to be taken much quicker.
Benefits: Our customers have been able to achieve 10% in reduce inventory and 2% in working capital.
Distribution Planning allows you to get a handle on the complexity of your network.
Outperform Planning makes distribution planning clear and simple without ignoring the true complexity imposed by the network. It will take all information on future demand, scheduled receipts, back orders and current inventory. And it will combine this with the necessary parameters for safety stock, full truckloads, container sizes, warehouse sizes and transportation lead times to provide you with a distribution plan. You will be able to inspect the decisions with just one keystroke in a way provided by Outperform Planning. This approach can show you the entire lifecycle of the product flow step-by-step. This makes the bottlenecks transparent and shows how the system plans around them.
In the early part of the horizon, the link to execution is firm. The transition from plan to act is controlled by the end-user which can include the notion of a frozen fence. This allows you to respond to the changes swiftly and efficiently.
Benefits: Our customers have been able to decrease the inventory with the elimination of multi-layered inventories.
Capacity is always in short supply. What inventory plan best copes with this limit?
Conflicting constraints are part of daily life. In a nutshell, if capacity is short, the options are to supply earlier at the expense of inventory carrying costs and or shelf-life issues or supply from another source which may be more expensive. Any mix of these options that maximizes product availability in the marketplace can be considered. Different demand is competing for the same capacity.
Outperform planning handles such conflicting constraints and pushes for the optimal plan.
Benefits: Our customers have been able to increase resource utilization by at least 5% after using Outperform Planning to manage their supply chain.
The manufacturing schedule connects the Sales & Operations Planning cycle to execution and vice-versa.
Many companies manage the detailed schedule in correlation with the production floor but with insufficient linkage to the Rough Cut Capacity Plan and Sales & Operations plan that drives the business in the medium term.
Outperform treats Scheduling as an integral part of the Planning process. Several schedulers can work together in the multi-user environment and can see the consequences of each another’s decisions on the resources and product inventories that are common. A schedule is the result of complex calculations and user input. The user interface brings the complexity to you in a way you can understand it allowing you to add or suppress details as required. Interacting with the batches provides immediate feedback on the consequences in the related areas.
Benefits: Some common gains achieved by our customers after using Outperform Planning to manage their supply chain are:
- Increased scheduling adherence by 7%
- Increased Planner productivity by 20%
- Decreased Inventory stock out by 4%
Accurate and reliable master and transactional data for decision support systems is essential.
Advanced decision support systems, such as those for plant level and corporate level demand and supply planning are data sensitive and data-intensive. Providing solid support for the business process of maintaining this data is vital for the validity and value provided by these planning systems.
The prime source of data is always the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. For corporate-level planning, most likely there is more than one ERP system involved, often of different make or version. This situation is prominent in companies that have originated from mergers and acquisitions. The basic data is present but the finer set of data that makes the difference for planning is more than often maintained outside ERP in a plethora of spreadsheets. Different departments have different views on reality. A system that supports better collaboration is needed to obtain a single and unified perspective that forms the basis for the company plan.
In our projects, we keep running into what Outperform has labeled “Homeless Data©”, which is data that is required for decision support but cannot be sourced from or given a place in the legacy systems. That is why Outperform created Data Shelter© a solution for homeless data. Data shelter will interact with your legacy systems and become the central repository of the additional data, also maintaining the data integrity rules on either side. It provides EXCEL® look and feel on top of the multi-user, collaborative database structure where data ownership, version control, and approval processes can be set up reliably and precisely.
Benefits: It has allowed our customers to realize gains within their supply chain from using Outperform Planning without having to clean all the master data in their ERP system. It also helped them to understand the data needs of a decision support system like Outperform Planning before setting them in the ERP system.
Ready to Improve Your Supply Chain ?
Take advantage of Adroit’s complementary Sales and Operations Planning assessment. We will review and put together a high-level assessment and let you know if your problems are organizational, process, systems, or data related.