Case Study

The perfect fulfillment package for a CPG giant

In a cutthroat industry, automation gave one firm the edge it needed

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Who we worked with

A leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturer with retail customers worldwide

What the company needed

To please customers by getting goods on shelves on time, all the time — and at lower cost

How we helped

We developed Order Management Virtual Assistant, an intelligent, cloud-based fulfillment analytics solution.

What the company got

A digital capability that not only boosts customer satisfaction, but also reduces cost to serve and points the way to higher revenues.

In the cutthroat retail industry, product availability is everything. If your customers can't find the brand they want on your shelves, they'll drive around the corner to a competitor's store, or jump on their mobile device to make their purchase from an e-tailer. This CPG manufacturer is one of the world's most respected brands. But it was struggling to satisfy its retailer buyers' needs because of its outdated order management and fulfillment function.


Find a new way to accurately manage demand, meet changing delivery expectations, and plan fulfillment lead times

When we came on board to help, order management analysts and commercial operations managers were handling nearly all of their responsibilities manually. That included customer communications, per-store stock allocations, coordinating with supply chains, logistics planning, and best use of delivery trucks, among other things.

The result: Errors, delays, and challenges at nearly every step of the cycle. Higher per-order costs. Plummeting customer satisfaction. All bad news. Clearly, our client needed a new way to resolve these issues.

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An automated and intelligent fulfillment analytics tool

Using design thinking and our retail industry knowledge, we created Order Management Virtual Assistant. This cloud-based solution applies everything order management analysts need to make quick and accurate decisions. What's more, it continuously monitors the impact of those decisions throughout the order management and fulfillment cycle.

Here are the tools it uses:

Smart assist for dynamic allocation
This algorithm calculates buyers' future demand and consumption patterns and dynamically reallocates inventory earmarked for one buyer to another facing shortages or high demand. It also uses time-phased planning to determine when to allocate and replenish goods based on promotional events, seasonal demand spikes, and product lifecycle stages. The upshot: buyers get the inventory they need exactly when they need it. And this new efficiency boosts sales, too.

Smart load
Our solution's load building capability helps our CPG client manage operational costs and increase sales by filling every truck to capacity and deploying the fleet efficiently. It also generates real-time demand signals and forward-looking market forecasts for accurate, time-phased inventory planning. What's more, it takes information from point-of-sale (POS) data to decide the best type of materials and product for each load. And because it synchronizes order capture and management with labor, fulfillment, and distribution needs, the CPG firm gets an automatic and clear view of the true cost of individual products. That helps with pricing and delivery combinations.

The Order Management Virtual Assistant uses a range of intelligent automation tools:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA) retrieves data from older retail and ERP systems to create a big data solution
  • Natural language processing (NLP) parses email inbox data, prepares alerts, and prioritizes interactions with retailer buyers
  • Natural language generation automates communication for quick interaction with retailer buyers and internal reporting
  • Cognitive computing analyzes responses to common queries and offers suggestions to users
  • Predictive analytics detects changes in order trends and highlights any collaboration issues arising between the supply chain and individual customers
  • Dynamic workflow assigns cases to the most appropriate agent


Increased inventory precision, more revenue opportunities, and delighted customers

Here's the good news that occurred after our client transformed the function with Order Management Virtual Assistant.

  • It found $10 million in revenue opportunities in Asia Pacific alone by reducing missed orders there by 20%.
  • It boosted customer satisfaction by eliminating errors, delays, and other issues.
  • It eliminated up to 90% of manual transactional activities. That brought down order management costs and freed up agents for more value-added activities.
  • It bolstered supply chain performance and shipment value by filling trucks to capacity for greater earnings potential.
  • Time-to-market for promotions and new goods is faster because the system affords greater flexibility, speed, and agility.
  • The company now makes powerful data-driven decisions that bring down cost to serve.

It's hard to imagine a better assistant than that.

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