Continental Mills is a third generation, family-owned maker of breakfast, baking and snack brands. Its products are sold through retail, food service and club store channels throughout the United States.
Continental Mills needed to gain supply chain visibility, improve resource efficiency and evolve the S&OP process.
No way to manage and model growth
Increasing SKU and customer complexity revealed the company was not equipped
from a supply chain system standpoint.
Inconsistent forecasting practices
Separate divisions were forecasting at different levels.
Lack of supply chain visibility
Continental Mills needed a single, comprehensive supply chain solution that would instill discipline into the organization.
Continental Mills Reduces Inventory Obsolescence
“Logility provides an integrated planning platform that met all of our needs, while providing the flexibility necessary to cater to the business specific challenges that are inherent in our company. We were able to use the system to help drive the culture change we were aiming for,” says Michael Burke, Director of Supply Chain Planning at Continental Mills.
“One supply chain planning challenge we face at Continental Mills is that we have separate divisions that look at the world in a different way. Each division likes to forecast at a different level. Logility provides a huge advantage with a flexible solution that allows all four divisions to manage their business in their own way, while still maintaining a single hierarchical structure that allows roll up to a comprehensive corporate view,” explains Burke.
Better Understanding of our Business
Continental Mills has leveraged Logility Demand Planning™ to convert its businesses from an administration-heavy forecasting process to a statistical forecast which significantly reduced the time and effort previously dedicated to “number-crunching.”
Logility Inventory Planning™ and Logility Supply Planning™ have allowed Continental Mills to streamline the production planning process and help redesign the company’s distribution network, improving capacity planning for all its manufacturing facilities. By utilizing dynamic safety stock calculations in Logility to better plan manufacturing, Continental Mills has been able to maximize inventory investments and free up production capacity.
The tools Continental Mills historically used for planning were very rudimentary, and consisted of large spreadsheets without much science behind them. “Logility has allowed us to quantify our business in a way that we hadn’t been able to in the past, to really understand the true cost of what we are doing and see how varying costs change our landscape. At the touch of a button we can understand what our capacity looks like at a graphical level, see where our bottlenecks are, understand what is causing them and work to find solutions to alleviate them.”
Keeping S&OP Fresh
The sales and operations planning (S&OP) process is an integral part of Continental Mills’ overall operation. Supported from the top down, all the senior managers participate on a monthly basis in some aspect of the process. Prior to implementing Logility, the supply chain team established the calendar discipline, but the process was still very labor-intensive. The team experienced many challenges with the process, including numerous versions of spreadsheets being emailed back and forth and data getting corrupted. “We had no idea how much time and effort we put into chasing numbers and version control, until we didn’t have to do it anymore,” says Burke. “Logility has allowed us to do a much better job of driving the forecast, analyzing our options and providing a view of the world for each one of the businesses.” Burke estimates that 40-50 hours of spreadsheet manipulation has been cut out of the monthly S&OP process.
With Logility, Continental Mills keeps the S&OP process fresh. The team can add new elements and analysis to the process, along with key performance metrics to track forecast accuracy, inventory, supply and service levels. “With Logility we can keep our S&OP process fresh.”
Continental Mills has been able to change the dynamics of its forecasting process, specifically how the planning organization interacts with the sales team. The planning team has reduced forecast error in one division by close to 50%. “Logility has helped to provide a creditability that we had previously been challenged with, because of inconsistencies and inaccuracies,” states Burke.
While experiencing a record sales year, Continental Mills improved inventory turns by 20%, and achieved an impressive record service level of 99.48%. “The entire organization sees the system as a valuable tool that gives us greater visibility, accuracy and leverage. Logility enables our strategic planning, budgeting process improvements and has ultimately provided a platform on which to confidently grow the Continental Mills business,” concludes Burke.