Headquartered in Canada, Weston Foods is a leading North American bakery producer that operates under parent company, George Weston Limited. Weston Foods produces bread, rolls, cupcakes, donuts, cookies, cakes, pies, cones, and brand name bakery products through retail and food-service outlets. Weston Food has over 5,000 employees and 40 facilities throughout Canada and the USA.
Weston Foods had an existing Anaplan solution that was very sparse and running out of space. The existing SNP solution was difficult to use, resulting in low adoption rates on the supply side. There was no rough-cut capacity planning, so all requirements were being passed as is, regardless of any tactical need to change the production date because of capacity tightness. Demand planners also needed to do manual manipulations to do forecasting.
The Accelytics solution reduces the size of the models by more than 50%, allowing Weston Foods to expand their use of Anaplan within the organization without having to purchase additional space. Increased adoption of the tool is expected through the supply organization, and discussions are underway to roll the rest of their product families onto Anaplan.
Time is saved in the planning process through the automation of rough-cut capacity scheduling. Cost is reduced with raw material requirements by planning the finished goods closer to when the actual build will occur. More accurate inventory and capacity requirements are available to the S&OP process with reduced effort. The separation of the baseline and promotional volumes, which frees the demand planner to choose the appropriate level of statistical forecasting, will increase forecast accuracy measurements.
Weston Foods and Accelytics partnered to create an efficient, user-friendly solution in Anaplan. Accelytics deployed our proprietary Technology and Process Analysis first to identify supply chain process challenges and Anaplan model shortcomings to identify the most impactful solutions and provide the best roadmap to follow for the project.
Weston Foods statistical model requirements were in weekly buckets at two levels, Item and Customer Item. Prior to implementation, Weston Food demand planners had to manipulate six specific promotional volume loads, and how the promotional volume was loaded dictated the level the product could be statistically forecasted at. Separating the baseline forecast from the promotional volume allows the forecast to be run at the most accurate level, regardless of promotions.
Now, the forecast is disaggregated to Item and Distribution Center requirements, and fed into the SNP tool. To reduce sales order/forecast whiplash in the near term, a forecast consumption engine was created, allowing for weekly buckets to exceed forecast, but not increase the overall requirements, if there is unconsumed forecast in the surrounding weeks.
Requirements against stocking strategy are then aggregated from the distribution centers to create the full network requirement. Near term planning (1-3 weeks) is done with the ability to toggle production between multiple approved lines for the product to address near term capacity challenges. The near-term forecast is fed back into Weston Food’s ERP system to generate process orders.
For requirements outside of the near term, they are run through a heuristic rough cut capacity model that identifies pull forward opportunity to avoid future capacity constraints. Heuristic scheduling is done by manipulating the demand sort and working down from the top of the list to schedule all requirements possible. Unresolved demand is identified to the planners, so they may work on an exception basis.
Planned production from the near term and short term are distributed to the appropriate DCs through recommendations based upon relative position to stocking strategy and forecasted volume, with the planner’s ability to intercede when deemed necessary.