Crown Paints selects Infor Demand Planning to help improve the agility of its supply chain

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Infor, provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers, has announced that paint manufacturer Crown Paints has selected Infor Demand Planning to help improve the agility of its supply chain, lower inventory and enhance responsiveness to customer demands.

As part of an integrated sales and operational planning strategy, Crown Paints has chosen Infor Demand Planning to improve demand forecasting a vital, underlying layer of the S&OP process, and is set to go live by April 2014. Owned by Danish Hempel Group, Crown Paints has over 200 years of history within the paint manufacturing industry and is the cornerstone of a Hempel Group strategy to grow the decorative business.

With over 4,500 separate stock keeping units (SKUs), a great deal of seasonal variation in demand, and an increasing number of customer-driven promotions, Crown Paints is continuously looking at ways to improve demand forecasting and enhance the agility of the business. Crown Paints anticipates a significant increase in the accuracy of demand forecasting, leading to further reduction in inventory over the next year.  This follows a 27% reduction in inventory from aggressive restructuring of the Crown Paints supply chain.

Demand planning and forecasting is currently performed monthly.  Infor Demand Planning will enable Crown Paints to forecast weekly and daily where necessary.  This will enable Crown Paints to improve customer stock availability and service. Exception reporting will flag when specific SKUs sell more than has been forecast, enabling Crown Paints to focus on the most volatile products that benefit most from adding market intelligence and a quick response to changing demand patterns.

"There have been two major shifts in our business, driven largely by our customers," explained Darryl Senior, Group Supply Chain director, Crown Paints Limited.  "Firstly, they no longer wish to hold large amounts of inventory of their own so it falls to manufacturers like Crown to be far more responsive and to collaborate with customers to meet their needs in a competitive market.  Secondly, the role of marketing promotions to shape demand is now far more pronounced.  Both of these mean we need to be able to forecast demand accurately and quickly and it is this combination of trends that has led to us investing in Infor Demand Planning."

"The evolution of a comprehensive sales and operational planning strategy begins with demand forecasting excellence," explained Pieter Leijten, vice president, supply chain EMEA, Infor.  "For a manufacturer such as Crown Paints, this means greater responsiveness to customer demands but critically, a lower level of risk as less capital is tied up in inventory, and production is far more aligned to demand.  This means Crown Paints will enjoy a much stronger competitive position, quickly."

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