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Upgrading to Outperform Standard improved promotions and control over operations

Westland Kaas

Background

We have used Outperform’s planning software since 2009. In 2020, it became time for a system reboot. The importing and handling of promotions and the balance between demand, supply, and inventory had to be updated. The number of excel files used during planning also needed to be reduced. We wanted to benefit from the new developments tied to Outperform Standard, with improved designs of the entire forecast being the most important item.

The challenges

Cheese ripening  

One batch of cheese can produce multiple types of cheeses throughout its ripening process since the ripening time determines the classification of the cheese. Ripening times can vary from a few weeks to several months. To determine the right amount of cheese to produce, it is necessary to translate the demand for different types of cheese into a requirement at the right time, triggering the right supply proposal.  

  

High promotional dynamics  

There is a lot of promotional activity in the retail channels of the cheese industry. Significant effort is required to coordinate these promotions and analyze their success, to get the best forecast. Changes in promotions also need to be translated to supply, to check the availability of the product (capable to promise). 

 

Interface   

Updating the interface between M3 and Outperform Planning became an important topic, as the old package required Outperform to do extensive correcting to get the data right. Now we will get all the data we can from M3,honoring the ERP system as the backbone for input data. 

The solutions

Standardized  

We wanted to stay as close as possible to Outperform Planning Standard, to best benefit from new developments. Therefore, we went with the well-known 80-20 rule, where 80% is Standard. This meant that some processes were set up differently from what we had been used to. People were the most important factor, and that they understood how to operate the updated application.

One single solution  

By upgrading to Outperform Planning Standard, everything is back under one roof and the clutter of redundant spreadsheets and files is reduced. A key element of upgrading has also been improving the accuracy of the demand, supply, and inventory triangle.

Better promotions and forecasts  

With the upgrade came more functionality in promotions and forecasts. This facilitates and improves the promotions process, reducing the efforts spent in those areas. 

The impact

More control over operations, as all required supply chain information is gathered in one place. We now have a clear overview of inventory levels and expected shortages, without the need to operate through multiple excel files. This has been extremely valuable to navigate supply disruptions caused by COVID-19.