Le Creuset finds the right ingredient for supply chain efficiency

le creusetAGR has announced that Le Creuset has agreed to implement its Inventory Optimiser solution in order to improve the companys inventory management and demand forecasting capabilities. The aim of the project is to reduce stock holding, whilst still providing very high levels of product availability and customer service.

Prior to selecting AGR, Le Creuset was carrying out very limited inventory control and forecasting calculations using data from its Microsoft Dynamics ERP system in Excel spreadsheets. Gavin Wheaton, Operations Director at Le Creuset, explains, Having invested in MS Dynamics, we could see that we had a huge area for potential improvement in our inventory management and forecasting capabilities. We looked at a number of products and AGR appeared to be exactly what we were looking for in terms of straightforward implementation, integration with MS Dynamics, excellent functionality and ease of use.
The goal of the project is to reduce inventory in the warehouse and at the same time to increase product availability. We had too much stock in the warehouse, but were often out of stock on the products we actually needed. We also had no visibility of stock in our other 20 sites around the world, which could have helped us be more responsive and efficient. We needed to put some standard operational processes in place so that we could work in a more systematic way. AGR has shown us that their product can do this, as well as save money through lower inventory and increased business due to better forecasting and product availability, says Wheaton.
He adds, We anticipate an immediate reduction of 20% of our inventory, while simultaneously improving product availability and customer service.
Implementation of the system has begun and it is due to be live and integrated with MS Dynamics by June 2010. Gavin Wheaton concludes, We are already surprised and impressed by the simplicity of implementation, despite the fact that it is clearly a very powerful piece of software. It looks like we are going to enjoy that very happy and rare combination, particularly when it comes to software systems, of low investment and high return.
Background Information - Good Food Deserves Le Creuset
Great cooking boils down to ingredients - the better the ingredients you choose the better the results. Le Creuset is no different. It doesn't compromise when it comes to cooking, only their ingredients happen to be iron, steel, clay and silicone. Le Creuset began producing its first porcelain enamelled cast iron pots in 1925 from its foundry in Fresnoy le Grand, France where the company is still based.
While Le Creuset has expanded the types of products it offers, some things have not changed in the manufacture of Le Creusets cast iron. Le Creuset has continued to use the hand-crafted techniques and the original process of forging and casting in the manufacturing of its cookware. This attention to its heritage is also characteristic of the design. The Cocotte, or French Oven, was one of the first cast iron items produced by Le Creuset and is still the most popular item sold in a range of bright retro colours, with Volcanic (orange) as the companys trademark. Le Creuset is now sold in more than 60 countries around the world including the US, UK, Japan and Australia.

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