So, in 2017, the manufacturer implemented FuturMaster’s demand management software for calculating sales forecasts and, later the same year, added its distribution planning solution to help optimise stock levels and distribution across the globe. The company also switched its enterprise systems from Sage to SAP. More recently, in September 2018, Brandt went live with FuturMaster’s production planning software to focus more on the synchronisation of industrial supply chain and capacity planning at its new factory in Algeria.
“We use FuturMaster to manage the complexity of our supply chain, to optimise production capacity and to reduce costs,” says Le.
She hopes that better forecasting and planning will ensure it no longer has to stop the production line – due often to missing or delayed parts – which can be a massive cost to the business.
“We’ve been having to stop production four or five days a month – something that’s a heavy burden on our supply chain – but expect soon to reduce that to zero,” she says.
Significant cost and time savings are also anticipated from no longer having to outsource so much to China, where currently around thirty suppliers are still relied upon. Controlling and producing more ranges in Algeria means the company can diversify and fill containers with a mix of exactly those products required by different retailers around the world, rather than having to ship in bulk and store several weeks worth of large consignments in multiple warehouses.
For instance, big home appliances retailers like Darty in France might order three month’s worth of goods in advance and want a consignment of around a thousand products to be delivered within ten days.
Now, with costs for transporting containers from Algeria about fifteen times less than China, not to mention twenty days quicker, Brandt is able to reduce reserve stock from three months down to twenty one days. It’s also managed to increase service levels to retailers from a low of around 40 percent three years ago to approaching 95 percent today.
Every month, various departments – from marketing, sales and production – meet to discuss forecasts and plan ahead on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, sometimes up to a year or two ahead.
“You need long term visibility so you can order and produce the necessary parts for assembly in line with demand for different products in different parts of the world,” says Le.
The company has various subsidiaries in France, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Malaysia and Singapore. The business later plans to implement FuturMaster’s Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) tool to help co-ordinate information and reporting between each entity. And with around two new products being launched a year, Brandt may next turn to FuturMaster’s promotional planning tool to work more closely with retailers in future.