Blog

2016/03/22

The case of the missing Easter Bunny

Easter egg

Did you know that after Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy consuming holiday. 120 million pounds of candy are bought each year!
With Easter just around the corner, one might start to wonder how will these Easter goodies ever reach customers in time for the Easter holidays?
Will there be a case of missing out the Easter Bunny? The answer lies in innovative supply chain management.

Supply Chain

There are many components interdependent at every stage of the supply chain process.
The supply chain plays a crucial role in getting those perfect Easter candies across continents, over many kilometres to reach you. Companies, such as Fox’s take steps to minimise delays and maximise freshness of the candies, such as the Easter Eggs. What steps are supply chain management companies taking to ensure this?

1) Decisions, decisions, decisions

In every supply chain, many decisions need to be made. How many Easter candies should be produced during this Easter period, which resources need to be used, when and what is the right quantity to supply where to etc. The consequences of these decisions are extremely important and the stakes could not be higher: fulfil customer’s demand, increase service level, ensure freshness of the products, increased turnover, decreased cost of production, purchasing and call-off strategies, transportation, reduction of working capital requirement etc.

2) Addressing these decisions

Efficient collaborative process (S&OP) and enabler decision-making tools such as Advanced Planning Systems (APS) enable decision makers to represent and formalise the flows, constraints, decisions and strategies to enable global visibility of the Supply Chain. It becomes essential to use tools that allow decision-makers to understand and evaluate all the stakes together in order to make the most efficient choices. These solutions can bring value at different levels, depending on the approaches adopted and the maturity of the organisation. Not only is it possible to define consistent and realistic plans for the whole supply chain, we can combine efficiency and performance, as a result, and we make sure that the decisions taken at every level (S&OP, tactical planning and operational planning) and on every level of the Supply Chain are consistent.

3) The end result

For an optimal management with a minimum of risks, it is thus necessary to rely simultaneously on human expertise and on automatic calculation tools. The decision that supports these solutions must be able to provide results that are reliable and in most cases, directly exploitable. Additionally, the solution should supply analysis and management by exception tools to allow the planner to process the remaining cases, by managing the plan levers or by imposing, if needed, a decision in the plan. In this case, planners are freed from the tasks of gathering and processing data in order to spend their time in a more productive manner; to manage exceptions and make higher quality decisions that deliver real value based on ever more accurate models.

Read up about how Fox’s overcame their demand and supply planning challenges with FuturMaster.

So the next time you open the wrapper of a chocolate Easter Bunny, we hope you now appreciate the relentless hard work placed into getting that perfect chocolate Easter Bunny delivered! Almost magically!

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