The Different Dairy Company turns to FuturMaster Demand and Supply Planning to drive business growth

The Different Dairy Company, having acquired a new business increasing the company's number of SKUs dramatically, anticipated the need for a new planning system which could cater for its supply chains' increasing complexity.

The Different Dairy Company, a subsidiary of the Donegal Investment Group in Ireland, acquired Bio Green Dairy in 2014 in order to form a new venture known as Nomadic Dairy. Nomadic Dairy supplies a large number of major retailers with products such as oat cluster and yoghurt snack pots, bircher muesli and now ethnic dairy products such as Ayran, Labneh and Lassi.

Prior to the acquisition, The Different Dairy Company was relatively comfortable with its highly manual planning process, as it was only managing a small number of SKU's. However, the new acquisition brought with it added complexities, as well as an increase in SKUs, which meant the company saw the need to invest in a new system to maintain its high service level record and forecast accuracy.

Now targeting the Middle Eastern and Asian markets, the newly established Nomadic Dairy also had the added challenge of managing a rise in demand surrounding Ramadan, held in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and a period of fasting and feasting. Ramadan is especially difficult to manage as it moves forward each year and its impact is partially dependent on the length of the fasting period between sunrise and sunset which is variable throughout the year. Unlike Easter, which only has an impact over a few days, Ramadan has an impact that lasts more than six weeks when buy-in dates are included. Additionally, the nature of the products means that factors such as packaging formats and flavourings, inventory capacity and sales volumes need to be considered in the planning process, as well as the addition of a new production line.

Having previously purchased FuturMaster for Kerry Foods where he held the position of Supply Chain Director, Alan Cunningham, now General Manager for Nomadic Dairy sought the help of FuturMaster again to meet their business challenges head on.

Nomadic Dairy needed a straightforward, fit for purpose system which allowed the company to manage by exception rather than by individual SKUs. FuturMaster Demand and Supply Planning enables Nomadic Dairy to produce an accurate commercial forecast as well as begin to get a grasp of promotions, something the company had previously been unable to do. Through this, it is now also able to create a sequence production plan for both production plants, including the additional production line.

The ability to add its own commentary throughout both planning processes, enables Nomadic Dairy to effectively utilise the knowledge locked within its team and collaborate to create the best plan. Basic S&OP reporting now also allows the company to have a high level view and make well informed decisions for both its supply chain and business alike. "The success of the project is particularly pleasing as it is the story of supply chain issues being dealt with at the correct stage of a major business transformation, with the implementation of a fit for purpose system before the expansion occurs," said Howard Roddie, FuturMaster's Managing Consultant responsible for the project, "because the FuturMaster system has been designed with growth in mind, the same system will be able to cope and grown with any number of similar major changes."

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