e-Procurement for Elves

Keebler sharpens demand-planning processes with SAP software

Walldorf, Germany  April 24, 2001  The elves at Keebler are taking steps to make sure their uncommonly good supply chain cookies don't crumble.

Keebler, the second-largest cookie and cracker manufacturer in the United States, is currently using supply chain management software from Germany's e-business software uberprovider SAP to produce more accurate demand forecasts, lower the company's inventory costs and increase efficiency throughout its production and distribution facilities.

Keebler went live with demand planning within mySAP Supply Chain Management (mySAP SCM) in early January 2001, and the company expects to significantly improve forecast accuracy over the next several months by using the application to consolidate and analyze demand-related data from multiple sources in a central system.

"Our success hinges on keeping our foods fresh and keeping store shelves filled, which challenges us to make just the right amount of product and ship it to exactly the right place," said Ray Shei, vice president and chief information officer at Keebler.

Keith Rich, senior systems manager of logistics information systems at Keebler added, "With mySAP SCM as our demand planning backbone, we will be able to generate more precise forecasts spanning a longer period and triggering smarter decisions all the way down the supply chain, from our headquarters to the delivery trucks."

Working with PricewaterhouseCoopers as an implementation partner and with assistance from SAP, Keebler implemented mySAP SCM at company headquarters in Elmhurst, Ill., as part of an effort to create a central demand-planning group for the manufacturer's 19 production plants, 26 shipping departments and 55 distribution centers. Forecast data from Keebler's field sales representatives and marketing teams flows through mySAP SCM, where input from various departments is merged into a "one-number forecast" using a consensus-based planning process. This consensus plan subsequently drives operations within Keebler.

In order to leverage the consensus plan within the organization, Keebler uses data warehousing capabilities in mySAP Business Intelligence (mySAP BI) to generate demand forecasting reports tailored to the needs of individual departments. This allows employees throughout the organization to view relevant forecast information immediately, further honing the accuracy of production and distribution processes. Keebler expects to reduce costs in manufacturing, transportation and inventory as a result of enhanced demand planning through mySAP SCM.

"The tight integration of our SAP back-end system with mySAP SCM and mySAP BI enables us to generate a 'one-number' forecast that everyone in the company can support," Rich said.

Built on the open standards-based mySAP.com e-business platform architecture, mySAP SCM breaks down functional divisions within an organization to manage consistent information and process flows across the entire supply chain, from planning and scheduling to execution and transportation management.

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