From an initial short, focused functional and technical assessment of the statistical forecasting operation, a number of key improvements were identified to help the company attain their objective of a step change in forecast accuracy.
Olivehorse were then engaged to deliver a suite of enhancements to help better analyse forecast data, improve statistical forecast performance and address weaknesses in managing the phase out for end-of-life product.
After a defined scope APO Healthcheck, our team proposed a prioritised detailed scheduling improvement package with the aim of reducing both plan preparation time and the number of changes to plan. The planning process review identified activities and practices that were contributing to established pain points and system workarounds.
With strong expertise in APO PP/DS and ECC PP/PP-PI integration, we worked closely with the in-house competency centre to deliver new functionality, quick win settings and proven custom approaches to achieve business benefit. By addressing core scheduling practices such as sort sequence, complex changeover matrices, labour capacity modelling and make-to-order planning as well as improving user interaction with the graphical planning board, the detailed scheduling solution was better aligned with best practice principles.
Following a detailed design phase, Olivehorse expanded and enhanced the existing SNP solution to encompass the whole European Gum category network, implementing a number of solutions to address specific requirements such as the balancing of stock across the network and additional functionality to improve the usability of alerts.
In the quarter following go live, the client was able to reduce inventory holding in the category by 10 days, while also seeing a great reduction in the amount of manual planning taking place within the system. Planners were also able to dedicate more time to a number of strategic projects taking place across supply planning due to the reduced amount of manual intervention required in their planning cycle.
An early adopter, this company is using SAP IBP to generate plans that combine volume, price and cost and overhead forecasts, to show the impact on revenue and EBIT. Olivehorse has helped all aspects of design, configuration and testing of the IBP and associated JAM collaboration solutions. The solution is currently being rolled out to business units around the world.
We worked with the client’s supply planning and IT teams to define a more complete, robust process using standard APO-SNP capability. And we equipped them with a roadmap to develop both the system and people capability needed to adopt the model.
Olivehorse performed a short, focused assessment of the planning operation, covering all processes and systems. We applied our established planning healthcheck methodology to benchmark the process, data, system and reporting capabilities against good practice. We further assessed identified areas of weakness to determine priority actions and how these could be accelerated using our established tools and enablers.
The customer recognised the value our recommendations and is currently working with us, and its SAP Systems Integration Partner, to implement the suggested adjustments and realign its business processes and data.
The solution Olivehorse delivered includes Demand Planning, Supply Network Optimiser, Deployment, Transport Load Builder and Production Planning and Scheduling. Olivehorse then supported this client over many years in the global deployment of the solution, and its subsequent process and system improvements.
We implemented DP, SNP and Deployment Optimisation, Customer and Supplier Collaboration as well as Business Warehouse capabilities. Olivehorse then led the deployment to the largest global market and enhanced the solution deploying SAP Enterprise Inventory and Service to drive improved inventory performance.
Part of the solution was to directly engage the commercial team in a weekly consensus-based demand planning process, enabled by an exception-based process.
The solution modelled complex resource network relationships and optimised an integrated scheduling solution for the mix and package orders, improving order alignment and control. The improved schedule adherence resulted in improved asset utilisation and control of raw materials inventory.
This SFG scheduling solution has now evolved to include optimisation of storage tank capacity constraints and bulk material purchase order scheduling directly in APO-PPDS.
We used our Olivehorse Planner Care methodology, firstly working one-on-one and in small groups to identify and resolve data issues. Then we worked with planners to model their particular supply chain problems. Finally we equipped them with the knowledge to use the system to model new problems and constraints as they arise in the future.
We believe this intensive, on-the-job training is the best approach for empowering planners with the skills needed to make the best use of APO planning tools. It’s the only way to address planners’ specific issues and to therefore begin to fulfil the enormous potential that advanced planning solutions offer.
In the words of the customer: “Plants where the system was not working for years, started to have the optimiser working. We discovered lots of issues – from master-data to optimiser profile settings – and fixed it”
As a result of the scale and complexity increased time was spent engaging the management and staff, and ensuring both the DDMRP methodology and the Replenishment+ software was well understood and embraced. This investment led to a recent successful go-live.
First we spent eight weeks engaging with management and working with IT teams to define data requirements and develop extraction methods. This was followed by two weeks training and cutover activity. The results? The frozen period shortened from 28 to nine days and inventory reduced by 30% across finished goods and raw and packaging. All with zero impact on service level, which remained at 99%.
This was achieved by firstly buffering the raw and packaging materials, ensuring 100% availability, allowing the site to move from 56 days to nine days’ frozen period for production planning with zero impact of site efficiency or capacity. The distribution network was also buffered using DDMRP, this led to a 30% reduction in total inventory (across raw, pack and finished goods) and an increase in customer service from low to mid 80s to mid 90s.
Following the benchmarking exercise, we assessed ways of working by means of questionnaires, interviews and supply chain metrics across multiple regions. We provided a set of recommendations to address immediate needs and a roadmap to guide the longer term development of process. End product? The groundwork for a solution fit for purpose for the evolving business.