Melitta Sales Europe has chosen ToolsGroup Service Optimizer 99+ supply chain planning software to centralize demand planning and establish a stronger S&OP process and more effective promotions management. Worldwide, the Melitta Group manufactures and markets a full range of coffee preparation products, and a wide variety of consumer products including foils and wraps, air cleaners and humidifiers, vacuum bags and cleaning products.
Melitta Sales Europe (MSE), the division of Melitta Europe responsible for the sale of all consumer products in EMEA, had 14 local sales locations, using different planning and forecasting processes for its +6700 SKUs. These represented a wide range of products and served nine finished good distribution centers. At MSE headquarters based in Minden, Germany, the supply chain team wanted to streamline processes and use company resources more sustainably. As part of this effort, MSE launched a technology evaluation to support a state-of-art sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.
“Our existing technology couldn’t support our S&OP efforts,” explained Pascal Lamy, director Finance, Controlling, Supply Chain and IT at Melitta Sales Europe. The different locations had been primarily using a self-developed solution for demand planning. To be more efficient, MSE looked for a specialized tool with domain knowledge in demand planning and S&OP that can better support its SKU proliferation and frequent product promotions.
After an evaluation process in which MSE looked at eight different planning solutions, the company chose ToolsGroup Service Optimizer 99+ (SO99+). The solution couples advanced analytics with probability forecasting and optimization with a single unified data model that spans strategic, tactical and operational planning. Its web-based demand collaboration hub (DCH) makes optimization accessible to the broad community of stakeholders involved in the S&OP process.
“We chose ToolsGroup SO99+ because of its unique combination of high automation, advanced machine learning algorithms and its demand collaboration capabilities,” said Benjamin Schulz, project lead at Melitta. “Further advantages were ToolsGroup’s great ratings on analyst reports and the amazing spirit the team has shown in the pre-sales and POC process.”
Currently, France, the Nordics, the DACH region and the MSE headquarters in Minden are using DCH to run a monthly collaborative demand planning process. Local demand planners enrich the demand plan with regional information such as local market intelligence and promotion input, which is then pooled within the MSE. The MSE manages the statistical models centrally.
Though still in its early stages, the feedback from the different teams using the solution is positive, enabling the company to:
- Standardize and centralize the collaborative planning process
- Integrate strategic planning and tactical operations (budget, sales plan and demand forecast)
- More efficiently manage promotions
- Increase of statistical forecast accuracy by 3.2% (KPI: WMAPE) in first six months after go-live of the pilot in France
“Thanks to ToolsGroup we have been able to really standardize and centralize the whole S&OP process much more efficiently and with many more users than before,” explained Ibrahim Cebban, Supply Chain manager Europe. “The combination of a leading system component with powerful algorithms plus an easy-to-use web interface to collaborate with our European commercial teams really unlocks full potential to be fully demand-driven.”