After four mergers in three years, our once small and nimble snack brands customer had inherited multiple manufacturing and warehousing partners, each with their own systems and processes for communication, production, and billing. While customers expected ordering procedures and qualifications to remain the same, the pre-merger mode of adapting to each partner was draining time and money and burdening staff with manual, low-value tasks.
Being under a new parent company's wing brought its own challenges, since leadership wasn't used to operating in a start-up environment without streamlined processes supported by the latest technology. As a result, they struggled to see the efficiency barriers our customer faced.
The company needed to eliminate wasteful processes and step up its technological capabilities to unlock its full potential. Point B served as a trusted partner, helping leaders prioritize and optimize key supply chain initiatives.
Our team worked to identify the high-impact projects needed to optimize the company’s supply chain and operating processes. As we got started, we discovered that in addition to being inefficient, manual entry was also resulting in inaccurate data, unreliable inventory values, and customer shortages. In addition, we recognized write-downs and discounts of obsolete inventory due to over-production.
Building a strong foundation
Our customer needed to do some supply chain groundwork before its operations could fall into lockstep with its parent company. Our team bridged the gap, building the foundation for operational efficiency. Since we had partnered to ensure the success of the merger integration, we transitioned from integration to post-merger activities with the benefit of our customer’s full trust and candor and an increased ability to anticipate next steps.
Streamlining process and building efficient systems
We worked at the intersection of food industry expertise and supply chain best practices, mapping the current state from order-to-cash and building an achievable ideal future state. We started implementing improvements from the outset, eliminating more than half of the order-and-transfer process and streamlining additional components to require fewer steps. We also helped set up a much-needed standardized electronic data interchange (EDI) across the partner network to support invoicing and purchase orders. For inventory controls, we instituted a universal lot code format and multiple reports for new visibility into inventory levels.
Connecting the partner ecosystem
Our customer also needed support to rein in its many co-manufacturers. We executed a request for proposal to gain supply chain efficiency across existing, longtime manufacturing partners with the ability to fulfill multiple product needs across our customer’s portfolio – realizing a simplified, cost-effective solution.
Today, with efficiency barriers addressed, our customer is performing more profitably.
Through objective and thoughtful analysis, we helped our customer realize millions of dollars in savings while integrating operations with its new parent company.
Working together, we unlocked new levels of efficiency by:
- Eliminating unnecessary manual data entry
- Identifying millions in savings across freight, product waste, operating expenses, and resource hours
- Cutting steps, creating an order foundation, and increasing inventory visibility for automated fulfillment and faster invoicing
- Identifying obsolete post-merger inventory for additional savings
- Establishing an accountability infrastructure for co-manufacturers and warehouses