News Briefs

10/07/2022

Google Cloud and HCLTech Expand Strategic Partnership

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Google Cloud is extending its partnership with global tech consulting firm HCL Technologies

The move aims to accelerate digital transformation across Google Cloud Infrastructure, products and services, allowing for quicker enterprise cloud adoption, more efficient mass migrations, and the modernization of legacy systems.

The tech firm partnered with Google Cloud back in 2019 to form the Google Cloud Ecosystem Unit, which assisted businesses in carrying out large-scale migrations. As part of the new terms, the companies will have two new offerings — Google Cloud Global Migration and Modernization Factory. Efficiency and scalability are the overarching goal of these initiatives, providing the tools, knowledge, expertise and frameworks needed for businesses to gain quicker value-add from cloud-based investments.

Under the expanded partnership, HCLTech intends to train up to 18,000 tech and consulting staff in Google Cloud capabilities. The newly-formed HCLTech Cloud Acceleration Team will also be on hand to provide dedicated insights into enterprise data, the companies said.  

The two companies will also work together to drive “Google Cloud-first” processes across retail and CPGs, financial services, healthcare and other key industry segment. 

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09/27/2022

Brewery Group Carlsberg Is Expediting Order and Delivery With Intelligent Process Automation

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Brewery company Carlsberg Group is accelerating its order and delivery processes, ensuring products in more than 150 markets arrive to their destinations faster through intelligent process automation.

The technology will allow Carlsberg Group to increase workflow efficiency and improve productivity across its teams. As an example, Carlsberg had to previously manually check and enter mailed orders, but with the new implementation — which captures incoming orders and automatically processes them through the company’s SAP system — Carlsberg will be saving up to eight minutes of manual work per order. In Sweden, this has already resulted in 140-plus hours saved per month and a touchless processing rate of 92%. 

[More Digital Transformations: How ConAgra Drives Supply Chain Transformations With Speed and Visibility]

Additionally, Carlsberg is leaning on intelligent automation for its delivery note scanning, accelerating receiving goods and reusing vendor labels to provide improved visibility of the overall delivery process. Previously, when trucks arrived at warehouses, staff had to manually check delivered products against the delivery note at the warehouse gate. Files were then manually typed into SAP before the goods receipt document could be generated and posted.

The company is partnering with ABBYY’s IDP technology in order to achieve these results as it looks to transform its digital strategy. The platform includes intelligent document processing, process mining, and task mining. Through this, Carlsberg can apply AI to understand documents in a more efficient manner. 

“ABBYY has been instrumental to our execution excellence strategy and enables us to digitally master our data and processes,” said Kamil Kropaczewski, business owner at Carlsberg, in a statement. “Thanks to the integration of ABBYY with our robotic process automation bot, we’re able to speed customer deliveries by improving workflow and team productivity.”

Neil Murphy, global channel chief at ABBYY, said that, too often, manual processes and endless paperwork get in the way of time to value and customer satisfaction. These types of solutions, he said, “means staff can focus on other more business-critical tasks and leave the tedious paperwork to their ‘digital’ colleagues.”

Learn more about the advantages and opportunities surrounding automation in the consumer goods space. 

09/20/2022

ASICS Powers Up CMS With Localization Capabilities

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Sports equipment brand ASICS is transforming its CMS, leveraging modern headless technology with localization capabilities and a more streamlined platform that requires less assistance from developers. 

The company has partnered with Contentstack, joining other brands like Mattel, K2 Sports, and Express, to overhaul its system.

Additionally, ASICS will have access to the Contenstack Community portal, where they can engage with a dedicated tech team that can help share CRM best practices, troubleshoot issues, and connect with groups specifically tailored for app developers and more.

Peter Nealon, vice president of engineering of ASICS Digital, said the company’s previous CRM was older, slower, and more difficult to manage — an overall lack of flexibility. 

"We wanted a tool that allowed us to step out and do things differently than before. By making the switch to Contentstack, we'll be able to provide creative, unique content experiences, and operate with speed and flexibility for years to come,” said Nealon. “We want to provide preeminent digital experiences to our customers and Contentstack will enable us to do that."

Neha Sampat, CEO at Contentstack, said the community enables users to connect, grow, and find the best journey for themselves, helping them to demystify and implement compostable architectures that allow them to move forward faster.

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09/06/2022

Mike Sullivan Tapped As Post Holdings CIO

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Mike Sullivan

Mike Sullivan has been named SVP and CIO of Post Holdings. 

First reported by Food Business News and confirmed by the company, Sullivan was most recently VP and CIO of Post Holdings’ Bob Evans Farms business, where he spent more than three decades. 

Sullivan was IT employee No. 8 or 9 at Bob Evans when he joined, according to a 2021 interview with CDO Magazine, with his first role operating and managing the company’s data center operations during the age of floppy disks. In the interview, he noted that the company is focused on improving its ability to glean insights from data, as well as ensure they’re acquisition-ready. 

Based in St. Louis, Post Holdings is the No. 95 publicly owned consumer goods company and includes the Post Consumer Brands, Weetabix, Michael Foods and Bob Evans Farms business.

09/06/2022

Mars Teams With Instacart For Same-Day Snacking

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Mars is strengthening its connections with consumers by making its entire portfolio available for same-day delivery through Instacart. 

The company has more than 40 brands in its portfolio, including M&M’s, Snickers, Ben’s Original, and Pedigree, and both its portfolio staples and limited edition products will be available through the service. 

Instacart delivers from over 70,000 stores in 5,500-plus cities, to reach 90% of households in North America, according to Mars. 

Kelly Goering, VP of sales at Mars, noted today’s consumers are turning to digital platforms like Instacart for more choice and convenience. "Our innovative partnership with Instacart enables Mars to continue to reach consumers where they choose to shop," she said. 

Learn how Mars uses spatial analytics to optimize its smart vending machine network in an upcoming webinar. 

08/18/2022

Ajinomoto Foods Invests In On-Shelf Availability

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Frozen food company Ajinomoto Foods North America is taking steps to improve its on-shelf availability capabilities. 

The frozen food company, which includes such brands as Tai Pei, Ling Ling, and Jose Ole in its portfolio, is expanding its partnership with IRI to leverage its Daily Out-Of-Stock (OOS) Benchmarking tool. The technology is designed to provide CPG manufacturers and retailers with daily OOS views down to key retailer marketing areas and county levels. 

Updates show the stock positions of both Ajinomoto Foods and competitors for key retailers and provides in-stock percentage history, including pre-COVID-19 periods, to allow for promotion forecasting and reporting.

[See also: How NotCo Is Keeping Products On Shelves Without Drowning In Data]

The company was already leveraging IRI’s market measurement solutions and consumer panel information, and Matthew Troyka, marketing director at Ajinomoto Foods North America, said the new tech will enable them to better understand their inventory position and address OOS issues as necessary. 

They’re now also able to see competitive issues and help ensure inventory is on the shelf where demand will spike and is needed most, he added.

Ajinomoto Foods North America operates nine factories and one main office in the United States. It has more than 3,000 employees in North America. 

Nearly 20% of the top product launches of 2021 were frozen meals, according to IRI, which noted that Ajinomoto Foods sales are currently outpacing the frozen snacks category.