Mars is expanding its relationship with Microsoft to accelerate its digital transformation in order to deliver hyper-relevant consumer experiences and augment its supply chain processes.
The company will leverage the Microsoft Azure platform to optimize its operational speed and intelligent manufacturing supply chains, integrating data, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies throughout its confectionery, pet care, pet services and food businesses.
Working with Accenture as a Microsoft partner, the companies are further expanding a unified cloud and data foundation across all Mars businesses on Azure, intended to aid Mars’ cloud-first strategy. This digital infrastructure and provided business insights are expected to accelerate growth, profitability, speed, resiliency and sustainability, as well as enhance Mars’ customer and consumer experiences.
Sandeep Dadlani, Mars chief digital officer, said Microsoft is helping the company transform how data and technology are used to ensure compliant customer solutions and build trusted brand and consumer experiences.
“It will change the relationship between our brands and consumers, deliver hyper-relevant consumer experiences that include content and media, and fulfill needs and expectations across every touchpoint in the consumer’s journey,” he added, noting that Mars chose the provider because of its features, engineering partner ecosystem, talent availability, focus on data privacy, and security, as well as having similar cultural values and principles.
Mars has already worked with Accenture’s Industry X group to deploy the Azure Digital Twins IoT platform in its manufacturing facilities, intended to improve margins and reduce waste, as well as improve on-site associates’ ability to make quicker decisions.
Based on this, Mars will use similar IoT technologies for optimizing manufacturing across its business segments for consistent process control and uniformity across product lines, thereby increasing speed and capacity and decreasing costs.
Mars also intends to leverage these technologies into its supply chain processes — including creating products through digital simulations that account for such factors as climate — while advancing its sustainability goals by implementing waste-reduction technologies.
Finally, the snack giant is working with Accenture and Microsoft to establish an Innovation Lab to collaborate on the use of advanced technologies and expedite time to market for new use cases, direct-to-consumer initiatives, sustainability efforts and digitized product innovation. As part of this, Mars is integrating Microsoft Teams and Viva into its workplace.
We chat with Ash Mehra, most recently CDIO of Packable, and also previously CDIO of North America at Mondelez International, about advancing digital transformation and preparing for future consumer needs.