Quick Payback Supply Chain Visibility Projects

Solving the challenge of end-to-end visibility

As manufacturers’ supply chains go global and become increasingly complex, getting end-to-end supply chain visibility across an extended value chain is a little bit like trying to keep pace on a treadmill. Therefore, experts suggest manufacturers take on the visibility challenge by narrowing the scope of their efforts to the primary pain point surrounding visibility as the best way to achieve demonstrable results and to chart a course going forward.

For food giant Del Monte, the primary pain point around supply chain visibility had everything to do with bolstering the order fill rate for its retail customers, without having to carry significant inventory. Three years ago, the company had embarked on a corporate mission to be recognized at the No. 1 CPG supply chain by its customers, and two specific supply chain visibility projects played into that goal. The manufacturer put in a new demand management system in addition to leveraging on-demand supply chain planning, execution and business analysis services from One Network, which functions as the order execution tool. “The two together address our key concerns: predicting what our customers want and making sure what we have gets there,” said Rob Ferguson, director of supply chain projects at Del Monte. “Previously, we had no inventory visibility to know what products were where, nor did we know what to move to fill anticipated customer demand.”

Not any more. Today, Del Monte has become 20% to 30% more accurate with order prediction, resulting in fill rates that are the highest in the company’s history. In addition, proven retailers can achieve 99% in store, in stock rates with a total of 15 to 20 days of retailer inventory, Ferguson said. Flush with that success, Del Monte will now broaden its efforts to deliver similar visibility to suppliers.