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Kraft Taps JDA Flowcasting To Maximize Retailer-Supplier Collaboration

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Consumers’ growing expectations for a seamless shopping process across all channels has put a strain on the supply chain for both retailers and their supplier partners. To address this challenge and deliver an omnichannel brand experience, both groups are re-focusing on collaboration.

Kraft Foods Group, the grocery manufacturing and processing conglomerate, is working with retail partners to optimize inventory management and product fulfillment. The company leverages JDA Collaborative Flowcasting & Shelf Analytics, a cloud-based service designed to improve visibility across the entire supply chain. As a result, Kraft can analyze store data and better respond to product demand across all locations.

“In today’s retail environment, out-of-stock is not an option,” said Brian Louis, Associate Director of Customer Logistics at Kraft Foods, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “A collaborative partnership between the retailer and its suppliers is more important than ever in order to manage the end-to-end supply chain.”

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Louis added that in the current competitive market place, where shoppers have increasing control, consumer goods companies “must join forces with retail partners to address a series of issues, including inventory optimization, cycle-time reduction, logistics efficiencies and on-shelf availability.”

Since implementing the JDA flowcasting methodology in all forecasting and planning processes, Louis stated that Kraft has been able to “create a store-to-factory business model to help address these challenges.” Other key benefits include: reduced logistics costs; improved forecast accuracy and on-shelf availability; more efficient product route-to-market; and less supply chain disruption.

“Previously, retailers and suppliers only collaborated to optimize the next order,” said David Johnston, SVP of Supply Chain for JDA Software, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “But now, suppliers and retailers can speak the same language and collectively understand how their independent supply chains can connect and work together.” This can result in cost savings on warehousing and shipping.

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