Retail and Consumer Goods / Modern BI

Supply Chain Insights Strengthens Dairy-Based Product Distributor’s Foothold



Keeping up with constantly evolving buyer tastes is key to success in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) arena. A century of successful innovation has kept one global food and beverage distributor at the top of its industry. One of its newest North American product lineups, sold in almost 80,000 U.S. retail outlets, capitalizes on the protein-centric and sustainability trends dominating today’s food and beverage industry.

The product line goal? Enhancing nutrition while improving the planet. BlueGranite is helping the distributor further those visions – putting a system in place that will soon ensure the right products are produced when and where customers want them – with a reporting buildout informing production and distribution.

The Challenge

Companies that can’t see what items are popular with which customers, and when, risk profits.

Like the best manufacturers and distributors, this company aimed to supply each audience with its preferred products. Targeted regionalized production and distribution required clearer, broader supply chain insight. The company had access to supply and sales data, but it was static and analysts didn’t have the timely access needed for actionable insights.

The distributor’s newer, dairy-based product line, with dollar sales that grew by nearly 80 percent in 2016, is already a success. But the limited shelf-life brand requires temperature control, and individual product success varies by region; clarity across the supply chain could amplify already strong profits.

The Solution

The company’s first step in gaining vision across the full supply chain was to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business process management system. Then it partnered with BlueGranite to build out agile business intelligence – a data warehouse and reporting on business processes, finances, inventory, and sales for each bottler.

The distributor’s products come from different farms across North America; more than 10 bottlers process and package the product line. BlueGranite built robust reporting on top of the new ERP system to surface bottler-side business processes, inventory, financial, and sales statistics; the first step toward managing the whole supply chain end to end. By surfacing actionable insights, the distributor can now discover what’s being sold across North America and predict when it will need inventory.

Bottler overview

Data used in the report above is fictional, in order to protect the referenced companies.

The Results

Product line analysts, who once had to manually collect and consolidate bottlers’ Excel reports, pulling in millions of rows of data to explore product sales, can now explore everything at once or drill into details with the click of a button.

A unified Microsoft SQL Server database management system built atop the ERP retrieves and stores bottler data; SQL Server Integration Services eases data flow; and Power BI seamlessly integrates with these applications to feature rich, dynamic reporting on critical data.

Analysts can now look at sales from past months and years to solidly inform forecasting and future budgets. And they hope to soon incorporate store-level retail data, to drill down on what products are most popular in which areas and regions.



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