Weetabix starts global IT project to help forecast demand

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Weetabix, the leading British breakfast cereal provider, has just started to implement TXT demand planning software to improve the information flow for its supply chain.

The 300 million company that owns the Weetabix, Alpen and Ready Brek brands and which services exports to eighty markets around the world, said it wanted to introduce the TXT technology to help it remain competitive in a challenging market. The software will use complex statistical algorithms and sales histories to provide accurate forecasts of demand levels.

Increased collaboration and sharing of sales data is seen by many as a means to accurately forecast demand and maximise sales. According to Jeff Seagrave, head of forecasting at Weetabix, both retailers and manufacturers benefit from increased collaboration: Both have the same objective: to take out the peaks and troughs of the supply chain, so there are no out-of-stocks and no disappointed customers.

Seagrave said TXT e-solutions software, once implemented, would give rise to numerous benefits, including manufacturing efficiencies, warehouse stock reduction, and better transport utilisation. He added that because around a third of all sales are promotionally led, the true impact of them could be measured more accurately and shaped for increased profitability.

The risks of not properly understanding a promotion these days are getting greater and greater, said Seagrave. Demand and promotion planning tools ensure that budgets are achieved and shelves remain stocked.

The team of Weetabix demand planners will work with marketing and production to determine how much cereal to produce at the companys principle 90 acre manufacturing plant in Northamptonshire.

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