Kraft Foods has struck deals with 10 retailers to receive daily data feeds from their electronic point of sale systems to enable it to plan product quantities more accurately.
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Kraft, which makes Philadelphia cheese, Ritz crackers and Toblerone, is using sales data from its largest retail customers in its demand planning systems. The information enables it to make decisions based on actual sales rather than historical shipment data.
Speaking at JDA Software's Focus user conference in New Orleans, Kraft director of global demand management Kevin Smith said, "Traditionally, most of us in the consumer packaged goods industry focused on forecasting shipments, rather than forecasting sales. There are factors that shape how great those shipments will be, such as promotions.
"In the past, we put on a promotion but, for a variety of reasons, we did not have product to fulfil the event." The sales data should help to prevent this situation occurring in future.
Kraft took six months to implement the system, called Joint Event Management, which uses four applications from JDA to incorporate retailers' sales data into Kraft's planning processes.
The Epos data from the retailers, which Smith declined to name, is fed first into Kraft's JDA Collaborate application. Kraft then uses JDA Demand to plan how much product it needs to manufacture and JDA Market Manager to incorporate the sales data into demand planning systems.
Any mismatches between the amount of product being forecast and the point of sale data are identified by the JDA Monitor application.
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