Bringing Forecasting Closer to the Customer at EMD Chemicals

Pigments Division using app from Supply Chain Consultants to manage planning process for thousands of complex chemical products

Pigments Division using app from Supply Chain Consultants to manage planning process for thousands of complex chemical products

Wilmington, DE  July 2, 2004  The Pigments Division of EMD Chemicals has selected the Zemeter collaborative forecasting software solution from Supply Chain Consultants (SCC) to facilitate planning and improve its forecasting.

The Pigments Division operates three major manufacturing facilities globally and has seven U.S. distribution centers (DCs) handling more than 20,000 active stock-keeping units (SKUs). The division employs more than 200 people in the United States, has 20 salespeople located throughout the country and sells more than 4,000 products.

Mark Wells, director of customer fulfillment at EMD, said that the Pigments Division faced the challenge of finding a way to decentralize its forecasting process and take it closer to the customer. "The number and complexity of our products makes accurate forecasting extremely important to our budgeting process," Wells explained. "We evaluated six possible solutions and found that Zemeter software provides us with the most flexible and easy-to-use framework to compile this critical data."

SCC said that Zemeter is designed to facilitate use by the sales force. "Our process in the past was very informal and each sales person handled their input in a separate fashion," said Wells. "Our old methodology also was not suitable for multiple users and, to avoid confusion, access was controlled. Zemeter is designed to easily provide forecast data to more users across more functions."

EMD also found that Zemeter software enables quick response to variances in demand. "Our products are used in so many applications that our manufacturing can be substantially impacted when one of our customers introduces a new product or ends production of a product," explained Wells.

"Managing the forecasting and planning process in a complex manufacturing environment like EMD Chemicals is a rigorous test for any supply chain management software," said Jim Heatherington, director of business development for Supply Chain Consultants. "The successful application of Zemeter in EMD and a number of other major chemical companies continuously adds to our knowledge and skill set in serving this key industry."

EMD, headquartered in Gibbstown, N.J., is the North American specialty chemical operation of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany.

Supply Chain Consultants (SCC) is an 11-year-old professional services and software products company with headquarters in Wilmington, Del., and European operations located in Antwerp, Belgium.