Consumer packaged goods company partners with Aera to improve customer service levels while optimizing financial performance
A family-owned multinational manufacturer of confectionery, food, and pet care products and services with US$40 billion in annual sales.
Improve customer service levels and cash on hand by optimizing inventory and reducing overall supply chain costs while maintaining growth.
- Enhanced visibility to users and driving adoption through Aera’s ‘glass box’ solution
- Flexible open platform offering best-fit, in-house, or purchased algorithms to customers
- Decision Intelligence added resiliency to the supply chain by offering greater agility, insight, and transparency to decision makers
With hundreds of supply chain partners, poor visibility, and COVID-19, the global food company aimed to transform its end-to-end supply chain from a lean model to an agile one to improve customer service levels and cash on hand by optimizing inventory and reducing overall supply chain cost, while still maintaining growth.
To achieve this goal, it shifted its focus to its employees — to enable them to deliver greater value through better customer centricity. Specifically, the company focused on delivering educational opportunities to develop new skills, augmentation through digital twins, and automation of some human processes. These efforts were expected to allow the reinvestment of its people into more strategic areas, like advanced customer collaboration, which would help to improve its resiliency, especially when faced with the realities of the pandemic.
The company identified that it would need certain technical components — a cloud PaaS architecture which offered plug-and-play integration, as well as real-time data visibility powering recommendations and informing decision making to ensure a successful transformation from a lean supply chain model to an agile one.
Aera Decision Cloud — Aera Stock Rebalancing Skill
Aera Crawlers — SAP ERP, SAP APO, and flat file
Partnering with Aera, the company tapped into a new level of transparency and visibility into parts of its supply chain previously managed as a “black box.”
Utilizing Aera’s approach with Skills, the UX/UI was a key element to help employees understand what was going on, see other data being considered, and how the recommendations were being made, as well as what the potential impact was. These resulted in the adoption of digital twins and acceptance of Aera’s recommendations.
The company started to concurrently plan and model more scenarios and tap into more opportunities than previously realized to get key decision makers involved, especially as COVID-19 impacted its supply chain. It also benefitted from accelerated decisions through to execution with Aera’s ability to writeback desired changes into its systems of record.
“Decision Intelligence is a very important component if we are to support the vision for our business to move from a lean supply chain to a more agile supply chain.”
-Director of Digital Technologies and Supply Chain Transformation Lead
The company started connecting harmonized data and real-time recommendations, exploring the flexibility of an open platform which can leverage both Aera’s and its algorithms, and the transparency it provides. It also moved from prediction to prescription, receiving trustworthy recommendations to what are the actions to take at a previously impossible speed and scale.
Moving forward, it has plans with Aera to work on a project accelerating S&OP process and better synchronization of the end-to-end supply chain, along with continued improvement to service levels and efficiency through automation.