In recent years, plant-based foods producer Alpro has made significant progress in making its supply chain more efficient, systematically taking advantage of the newest insights and solutions in supply chain planning. Achievements include accurate capacity-constrained optimization of overall equipment effectiveness, shorter throughput times leading to increased freshness and increased sales.
The ability to have quarantined products transported without losing track and to more accurately link forecasting with order and sales data are also positive outcomes. The most recent step forward is the creation of a true S&OE, connecting tactical and operational planning levels. “We now see our tactical decisions reflected in the production and logistics data,” says Alpro project manager Peter Decroos with some pride.
Alpro makes a wide variety of plant-based food products. With soya beans as a key ingredient, the range includes ambient, chilled and frozen products with varying shelf lives. While it’s a make-to-stock operation for the most part, significant volumes are order-based. And the business is growing fast, given the rising demand for healthy food. “This gives us the dual challenge of keeping track of growing demand and balancing production and storage capacities for the best value per cost ratio,” says Decroos.
A major breakthrough came a few years ago when Alpro implemented a new version of the OMP planning solution. “This version significantly speeded up the solvers, allowing us to begin tackling problems of a higher level of complexity,” says Decroos. “For example, it allowed us to implement the MPS solver in such a way that it optimizes overall equipment effectiveness over a wide range of parameters, including capacity constraint, set-up, shelf-life requirement, and batch size.” (see also ‘Optimized production planning supports increased sales volumes’)
Leave your information and continue reading right away.
By clicking Submit, you give OM Partners nv permission to store your personal contact details for further communication. Your contact details will be treated with care and in accordance with our privacy statement.
I give consent*
Managing products in quarantine was also taken a step further. “We arranged that the system would allow products to be transported to their target distribution center while they’re quarantined waiting for food safety clearance. This has an impact on the management of local storage, but OMP keeps track of all that, of course, including shelf life.”
The third major improvement was forecast netting. Decroos: “We work with netting scenarios to be able to more precisely balance orders and sales with forecast data. Each day, the system creates a new ‘latest estimate’ snapshot, showing a full year view of projected sales, which helps us to continuously fine-tune forecast methods and netting scenarios.”
Only recently, Alpro completed the second phase of this comprehensive planning improvement project, setting up a S&OE organization and system.
Peter Kesteloot, Int. Supply Planning Manager at Alpro
“S&OE is all about connecting tactical decision-making with operational planning,” explains Decroos.
“This involves allocating machine capacities, defining production and cleaning cycles, planning ingredient and material sourcing, managing co-packers, and setting target stocks in different warehouses over the medium to long term.”
Peter Decroos, Supply Chain Optimization Manager at Alpro
OMP helps companies facing complex planning challenges to excel, grow and thrive by offering the best digitized supply chain planning solution on the market.
Its Unison PlanningTM concept has a unique approach. It handles all supply chain planning challenges in a unified way, synchronizing all planning stages, horizons, functions and roles. From source to deliver. From strategic to operational planning. From leadership teams to schedulers.
Hundreds of customers run OMP’s cloud-based solution to generate more value by making informed decisions. Valued as a thought leader by experts as Gartner, OMP invests one out of every three dollars earned into innovation.