In 2009 Outperform Solutions was selected by Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), the softdrink division of SAB (Pty) Ltd (subsidiary of SABMiller Plc), as the primary planning solution for the business. The system went live in September 2010.
Since the merger of the non alcoholic ready to drink bottling operations owned by The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller (now AB InBev) and Coca-Cola SABCO, to form Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), Outperform continued to partner with CCBSA, the South African division of CCBA, to support its Supply Chain Planning and assisted in rolling out the application across CCBSA.
Six businesses merged in South Africa alone and required Outperform to roll out their solution across the new business. CCBSA required full visibility and integration of CCBSA Supply Planning on one platform, a single source of the truth, while six different ERP platforms are still being used. This complexity required a partner with the ability to accommodate changes required to achieve the required outcome.
During the integration planning phase of CCBA it was agreed that CCBSA will implement a Demand Driven MRP Supply Chain Planning methodology, focusing on shorter cycle times and more frequent changeovers, synchronising all daily supply chain activities from production, to warehouse, to distribution, according to a calculated model stock as setup in Outperform. This capability was identified as a critical success factor to reduce the cost of supply across the newly formed CCBSA.
Since CCBA merged on 1 July 2016, CCBSA successfully implemented model stocks across the company and rolled out the full supply planning functionally of Outperform to three production sites, namely Polokwane, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein, while implementing model stocks from the supply network to all sales territories not previously part of ABI. The remaining four sites, Wadeville, Epping, Elgin and Heidelberg are planned to go live on Outperform by Quarter 2 in 2017.
During the first nine months, Outperform delivered the objective of providing CCBSA with one planning platform, able to set model stock across the business at all locations, while merger activities continued to reduce production points and supply depots, the tool enabled the business to derive the required model stock per location and plan the production schedules accordingly. Compared to the pre-merged businesses, Outperform enabled the business to reduce the working capital across finish goods and raw materials.
- Data integration: The required input data needs to be imported from all six systems, three times a day to support a 24 hour planning cycle that requires morning and afternoon revision of the supply plans and production schedules. Not only did the team face access challenges to extract the data, the product and material codes needed to be translated to a single master list, since different codes were used by the bottlers. Not all data files can be uploaded automatically and requires manual imports.
- System responsiveness: The activity increased from a network of five sites to thirteen sites spread across South Africa impacting system responsiveness which required the hardware and network responsiveness to be evaluated.
- System knowledge/super user availability: Due to the multiple business system integration projects, the individuals with the system knowledge, acting as super users, were not readily available to the team, causing delays.
- Data integration is being addressed by rolling the different businesses onto a single SAP platform, prioritising the businesses that requires manual downloads. Data integration was solved with automated downloads and uploads for all businesses with the exception of one.
- Product mapping tables were created to translate all product and material codes to a single master data list.
- Citrix server architecture was increased to accommodate more users. Further investment will be made to accommodate the total number of users who will be using Outperform.
- Training material was developed to enrol new plants, a content developer was appointed and is in process to capture knowledge in a formal knowledge management system, including all roles, processes, procedures and systems.
- Experienced senior planners provided “on-the-job” training at all the new plants who were not using Outperform. Central team structure provides for dedicated resources to improve the Demand Driven MRP planning parameters in Outperform, supporting the operational plant teams.
- Expand the input data to include sales history of all the merged entities.
- Implement time-based model stock, critical for scenario planning.
- Implement time-based down-times for plant & line maintenance or upgrade shuts.
- Include syrup room scheduling.
- Increase time period to allow for rolling 4 – 24 month tactical plans.