Case Study

Protecting people in a time of crisis

How automation kept customers stocked with essential supplies

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Who we worked with

A multinational household cleaning product brand

How we helped

  • Redesigned the company's supply chain planning model
  • Connected data and standardized processes using Kinaxis® RapidResponse®
  • Created resilient, agile, and intelligently automated processes

What the company needed

  • To enhance supply chain visibility and agility across the entire ecosystem
  • To improve the quality and speed of planning decisions
  • To respond to surging demand during the COVID-19 pandemic

What the company got

  • The ability to stabilize its supply chain to achieve a fill rate of 100%
  • Positive brand perception and better customer experiences
  • Improved forecast accuracy, inventory management, and end-to-end execution, generating $135 million in annual inventory savings
  • 5x faster processing for $3.2 million in annual time and costs savings

Challenge

Developing a future-proof supply chain solution

When you have a vast supply chain, seeing the big picture can prove difficult. One multinational household cleaning product brand knew this all too well with a global supply chain stretching across 86 factories in North America and Latin America, more than 2,000 SKUs in disparate distribution centers, 27 brands and divisions, and more than 100 global suppliers.

As a result, process, technology, and system of record discrepancies emerged between business units. Some business units had created homegrown solutions for managing the supply chain, while others relied on spreadsheets. These silos limited visibility and the planning team's ability to make intelligent, timely decisions across inventory, replenishing store shelves, and meeting consumer demand.

The company needed to digitally transform to increase visibility, develop synchronized operations, and balance supply and demand.

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Solution

A top-to-bottom operating model refresh

For guidance on its journey, the company turned to Genpact. We began with an operating model assessment to identify pain points across its planning strategy, supply chain processes, and technology capabilities. We envisioned an ideal future state for its supply chain planning function – capable of intelligent, agile decisions.

Over 14 weeks, our bilingual experts – speaking the languages of technology and supply chain – redesigned the company's processes, operating model, and architecture. We crafted an implementation plan for North America, then Latin America, to resolve inconsistencies between business units with standardized systems of record and planning processes.

Our partner, Kinaxis, offers a supply chain planning solution known as RapidResponse, which we used to unify all business units on a single platform. Intelligent automation bots within RapidResponse also automate many supply chain planning tasks and escalate exceptions to relevant personnel for timely action.

The client now has a single supply chain planning solution with applications for:

  • Demand planning
  • Distribution resource planning
  • Master scheduling
  • Inventory optimization
  • Constraints
  • Sales and operations planning

Rapid relief for COVID-19 disruption

The COVID-19 pandemic began during this engagement. Overnight, demand spiked for the company's cleaning products, causing huge disruption across its supply chain and placing added pressure on its planning team.

Though cleaning products weren't a priority in the original transformation plan, Genpact recognized the urgent need to bring them into RapidResponse, support overwhelmed staff, and keep store shelves stocked for concerned customers during this time of crisis.

We quickly deployed eight bots to increase employee capacity, integrate the cleaning products into RapidResponse, and condense the implementation timeline. This agility was only possible thanks to the groundwork already completed as part of the company's ongoing digital journey.

We've since built a dynamic allocation application within RapidResponse as an additional resource for the planning team. Backed by visualization dashboards, a control tower team, and an automaton center of excellence, the team can monitor the timely fulfillment of store orders.

Impact

Sufficient supplies on every shelf

Even though the pandemic presented significant supply chain challenges, the company actually improved its operations. Fill rates before the pandemic sat at 30% but have now reached 100%. This has saved the company $5 million in potential fines and positively impacted its brand perception and customer experience as the need for a consistent supply of cleaning products became a public health priority.

Smarter planning and new savings

Today, the planning team has greater supply chain visibility, improved forecast accuracy, and streamlined processes. They have generated $11 million in inventory savings in just three months – and $135 million in recurring, annual savings. Genpact also developed a forecast and inventory write-off avoidance model in just 12 weeks, which reduced write-offs by 70%.

The bots deployed in RapidResponse have also freed the team from many planning-related tasks, which can now be processed five times faster with 100% accuracy. In resource time and costs alone, the annual savings from intelligent automation amount to $3.2 million.

With Genpact by its side, the company continues its digital journey, looking for opportunities for transformation that will benefit employees and customers and create lasting business impact.

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