Land O’Lakes Leans On Tech for Pandemic Strategy Sketching
During the height of the pandemic, Land O’Lakes was in good company with the consumer goods brands abruptly re-imagining their operations.
In fact, the 100-year-old- co-op was confronted with more disruption during an eight-week period than it had experienced in eight years, as detailed as part of a recent case study published by Oracle. In addition to facing historic levels of demand, the farmer-owned co-op also had to manage facility shutdowns and worker and truck shortages. It even faced demand spikes for its chicken feed as consumers tried their hands at raising chickens at home.
To manage these new challenges, the company’s supply chain team immediately evolved into an “all-hands-on-deck” strategy in order to properly route labor and product requirements.
“It was like an Etch A Sketch every day: You come in, someone had shaken it up, and it’s just a blank slate once again,” said Dustin Braun, senior director of logistics for Land O’Lakes. “You’re looking at what the demand is today, where are the constraints, and what can we do to move supply to the right places.”
Though it might not be the first thing someone thinks of when it comes to a century-old organization, Land O’Lakes CIO Marc Carlson noted that the company is quite advanced in technology. By pairing its agility with such technology as Oracle’s Transportation Management Cloud, Land O’Lakes has not only successfully met these unprecedented demand levels, but it’s also laying a foundation of data insights that will serve it well both during the pandemic and after.
“Overnight, we matured our cross-functional and external partnerships. We’ve made decisions faster,” said Braun. “Agility and responsiveness have been critical to our success. We can‘t go back to the way we’ve operated in the past.”