Fast-moving Consumer Goods

Global fast moving consumer goods company chooses Aera Decision Cloud™ to drive supply chain transformation


One of the world’s leading international tobacco companies that produces five of the world’s top 15 international cigarette brands, with 150 million consumers worldwide. Apart from that, the company also produces smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories as part of its commitment to building its future on replacing cigarettes with smoke-free products that — while not risk-free — are a far better choice than cigarette smoking.

Business Need

The company needed a digitally enabled, end-to-end supply chain synchronized with many of its automated components to cater to its transformation from a traditional cigarette manufacturer to a maker of innovative, smoke-free products.


  • Increased speed of risk identification with additional mitigation option
  • Weekly review of the entire product portfolio
  • Increased visibility of all inventories at any location to eliminate inventory lost
  • Shift to the touchless mode for recommendations when the threshold is reached

The Challenges

The company was undergoing a complete transformation of its identity — from a traditional cigarette manufacturer to a maker of innovative, smoke-free products. The worldwide leader recognized that undergoing such a tremendous change would bring greater complexity, the need to react faster, and operate at a lower cost, all while maintaining exceptional service levels and the ability to respond to its customers’ needs rapidly and seamlessly.

Previously, anticipating unexpected changes in demand required a slow, highly manual process to collect the needed information from various sources which lead to excess and obsolete (E&O). Subsequently, this was only done on an exception basis or triggered by a new product introduction, which meant higher costs and inefficiencies with inventory lost and opportunities missed.

To overcome this challenge and to ensure a successful transformation, flexibility and resilience were key.

The Solution

Aera Decision Cloud — Aera Excess and Obsolete Skill
Aera Crawlers — SAP E2Open and flat files

Identifying the need for a digitally enabled, end-to-end supply chain with automated components, the company adopted Decision Intelligence by focusing on E&O.

By implementing Aera Decision Cloud, it identified opportunities for both mitigation and automation. Delivering real-time recommendations and the ability to writeback changes into transactional systems resulted in a more extensive and holistic approach that helped avoid E&O and reduced operating costs.

Further, automation opportunities were identified with mundane tasks being turned over to Aera to execute, freeing up employees for more strategic work.

“With Aera, we realized that it's possible to get information quickly, consolidate it, gain insight, and offer a recommendation to the planner. The planner gains time and can focus on what is important and what is the value created. Our hope became our reality.”

-Head of Governance and CI Supply Chain Synchronization Hub


The company shifted from labor-intensive report creation to actionable recommendations, some of which were automated. As a result, planners and other employees gained time to focus on more valuable work. This value was also delivered by recommendations coming in an easily understood context which helped adoption and buy-in of the product by employees.

Following its success with Decision Intelligence, the company is now expanding Aera's footprint to other areas of the business and improving its sustainability.