Swim Different

10 companies that took an innovative approach to improving their operations.


This Forecast Calls For More Accuracy
Who: Ventura Foods LLC, Brea, CA, a wholesale supplier of edible oils, margarine, shortenings, dressing and flavor bases.

Why: Improves forecast accuracy by 60 percent.
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Challenged with balancing volatile customer demand with daily fluctuations in edible oil prices, Ventura Foods needed to find a new approach to demand forecasting. The company turned to the Real—Time Forecasting (RTF) solution from Terra Technology, Norwalk, CT. Terra developed RTF to enable companies to leverage their existing forecasting applications to provide a more accurate picture of demand for the next month or so—which typically is the most critical and costly time for deployment and scheduling decisions.

Since implementing the system last year, Ventura has been able to lower inventory levels, manage transportation costs and reduce forecast error.

"When forecast error is high, we are forced to expedite shipments, and expedited shipping costs can be as much as two-and-one-half times higher than normal transportation costs," says Larry Felhauer, Ventura's vice president of supply chain. "Improving forecast accuracy provides significant cost savings for us."

Indeed, the software solution has allowed Ventura Foods to improve forecast accuracy from 49 percent to 79 percent as soon as it went live.

Satellite Tracking For The Birds
Who: Perdue Farms, Salisbury, MD, one of the largest poultry companies in the world.

Why: To meet the demands of its growing business, Purdue invests more than $40 million in innovative systems.
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For the folks at Perdue Farms, customer service is the number one priority."When you're dealing with fresh poultry, time is of the essence. We have customers waiting for our products to bump their dock so they can deliver to their customers," says Ray Hall, transportation manager."We need that level of assurance so we can tell them where their product is any time of the day or night."
To achieve a high level of customer service, Perdue has made a number of technology investments in recent years, including the OmniTRACS mobile communication system from Qualcomm Inc., San Diego.

OmniTRACS incorporates one of two available satellite-positioning technologies—the standard Qualcomm Automatic Satellite Position Reporting system and the optional Global Positioning System—to provide comprehensive tracking.

When Perdue was evaluating communications systems, it looked at a number of options, including cell phones and pagers, but neither solution met all of its needs."We realized we needed a system that interfaced with our dispatch software and made everything work together," says Hall.

The OmniTRACS system gives Perdue instant access to its drivers, reduces office staffing needs and increases driver efficiency. Plus, it can guarantee on-time deliveries—keeping its customers very happy.

 

 

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