Ventura Foods Improves Forecasting by 60 Percent

Edible oils company sees near-term accuracy rise from 49 percent to 79 percent following deployment of Terra Technology solution

Edible oils company sees near-term accuracy rise from 49 percent to 79 percent following deployment of Terra Technology solution

Norwalk, CT — March 17, 2005 — Ventura Foods has increased near-term forecast accuracy by 60 percent since implementing a forecasting solution from Terra Technology four months ago, the solution provider reported this week.

Ventura Foods supplies edible oils, margarine, shortenings, dressings and flavor bases in the food industry. The company implemented Terra's Real-Time Forecasting (RTF) software to decrease forecast error, lower inventory levels and manage transportation costs more efficiently.

"We implemented Terra's Real-Time Forecasting solution to reduce forecast error and improve demand visibility," said Larry Felhauer, Ventura Foods' vice president of supply chain. "Decreasing forecast error is particularly important at Ventura foods because accurate forecasting yields lower inventory holdings and decreased transportation costs."

Felhauer continued: "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. Therefore, improving forecast accuracy provides significant cost savings for Ventura Foods."

Terra said that Real-Time Forecasting enabled Ventura Foods to improve forecast accuracy from 49 percent to 79 percent as soon as they went live. "Real-Time Forecasting gives Ventura Foods accurate, up-to-date demand, which has resulted in reduced inventory and significantly lower transportation costs," the provider said in an announcement.

"As a leader in their industry sector, Ventura is challenged with balancing volatile customer demand with daily fluctuations in edible oil prices," said Robert F. Byrne, Terra's president and CEO. "Ventura is using Terra's Real-Time Forecasting solution in conjunction with their demand planning system to create accurate and dynamic forecasts, allowing Ventura to react efficiently to changes in customer demand while maintaining lower inventory levels and decreasing transportation costs."

Additional Articles of Interest

For an in-depth look at how agribusiness Syngenta is reducing inventory while maintaining customer service levels by building a demand planning process based on a collaborative forecasting solution, see the article " Forecasting Processes from the Ground Up ."

Demand planners at glove manufacturer Wells Lamont have put their finger on a way to bring new value to the company by leveraging technology that allows them to plan by exception. Read their story in the article " Planning by Exception," in the December 2004/January 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.