Food and Beverage
Food Ingredients and Food & Beverage companies are facing challenging times. New agriculture policies, rapidly advancing technology, fundamental shifts in how retailing is organized and changes in consumer taste and spending habits have a severe impact on the way business should be run. Margins can be thin in this fast-paced food and beverage market. Competition may be intense in the fight for shelf space. Brands and SKUs are proliferating, with a steady stream of new flavors and product variations entering the marketplace. Seasonality can have a huge impact on this market, both in terms of predicting demand and production planning. Food production is often impacted by changeovers from fresh-pack and frozen items. Capacity constraints and quality requirements also affect manufacturing. At the same time transportation costs may rise faster than the rate of inflation. With that in mind, supply chain transformation is a key area of focus for organizations in this industry.
Manufacturing food products would be easy to manage if there were no time limits. Unfortunately volatile customer requirements, short order lead times, short shelf life of ingredients, limited opportunity to store overproduction and other existing capacity constraints, forces production to be efficient, agile and responsive.
The mixture of inflexible capacities, increasing variety in products and packaging, and smaller lead times, results in very high demands upon the planning and scheduling function within the food manufacturing firms. Within each of the functions of Purchase, Production, Marketing & Sales a certain planning optimal can be achieved. But this in terms of integral planning is often a suboptimal situation.
With ICRON Technologies’ Advanced Planning and Scheduling software you can improve your cross-functional planning. ICRON develops tools and mathematical models that support the planning and scheduling function enabling the adaptation to the changes within food industries.
ICRON solutions make manufacturing more agile, allowing for quick product line changeovers and rapid system conversions for new product introductions and demand changes.
The What if capability that ICRON provides can help companies to investigate future strategies such as what-if we increase capacity, what-if we sell more, what-if we introduce new products; while the planners can see day-to-day the effects of last minute order changes such as breakdowns, material shortages, seasonal changes. ICRON Technologies’ solutions enable companies to create the end-to-end supply chain visibility that is so much needed today.
ICRON Technologies provides an advanced planning solution that is fast, user friendly, flexible and in every sense aimed at strengthening your supply-chain capabilities. It enables companies to respond to business realities in a very agile manner and achieve the results you want. ICRON gives decision makers increased control and visibility across the entire supply chain for an overview of the entire supply network so that areas of potential improvement can be identified and realized all in addition to financial benefits such as:
70-90% reduction in planning cycle time (integration and process automation);
15-30% improvement in forecast accuracy (collaboration and forecasting);
10-20% reduction in excess inventory (improved forecasting);
25-30% reduction in stock-outs (high customer service);30-50% improvement in being able to deliver up to customer expectation.
With advanced, on-line planning and scheduling tools food manufacturing companies can achieve many benefits:
- Reduced lead times.
- Higher throughput by eliminating bottlenecks.
- Increased capacity and resource usage.
- Reduced operating costs and lower capital expenditures.
- Reduction of waste and obsolete shelved products and ingredients.
- Improved efficiencies by sequencing production optimally on set-up times and area preparation requirements.
These benefits and much more leading often to an increased revenue and margin and in some cases to more than 10%.
ICRON has some characteristics that makes it a unique solution for the Food & Beverage Industry
- 100% Fit: ICRON is an amazingly flexible solution that is modelled around the current business processes. ICRON can be morphed to any company environment leaving the core process and by which the company is able to create its competitive advantage and keep this intact.
- Unified Long term, Capacity Planning & Scheduling: ICRON provides an integrated solution that allows an intelligent interaction between Long-Term Planning, Mid-term Capacity Planning, and Short term Scheduling and Optimization. Within one single platform the company can automatically plan on a strategic, operational and tactical level.
- Distributed Planning: ICRON works with a distributed planning model that allows planners on different locations to work simultaneously in one planning environment. Planners can provide input on the planning and the plans that are made from the bottom up and are integrated on the shared platform. If desired the new updated and integrated planning is almost instantly released to all plan locations.
- Real-time Scenario Planning: ICRON allows planners generate automatically optimization plans and after that run ‘what-if’ scenarios. Scenarios are simply made in an user friendly interface by dragging and dropping on a plan board. In a matter of seconds new scenarios can be created and made visible on the plan board.