Blue Yonder expands relationship with Heineken to plan volatile demand in fast-changing world

With demand rapidly changing during the COVID-19 pandemic, beverage producers need more accurate forecasting capabilities to stay ahead of the thirsty consumer. That is why Heineken, the international brewer, has expanded its demand planning capabilities with Blue Yonder, the digital supply chain and omni-channel commerce fulfilment solutions provider. Heineken will implement Blue Yonder’s machine-learning (ML)-powered demand planning solution to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer demand patterns.

Committed to innovation and long-term brand investment, Heineken was looking for a solution that would expand its digital capabilities to allow for more accurate, integrated and automated forecasting. 

Blue Yonder will provide solutions to achieve improved forecast accuracy, always-on planning capabilities and a new user experience. The improved demand signal will feed into Blue Yonder’s Luminate Platform, powered by a fast optimisation engine, that will translate into even greater supply chain performance. A long-time Blue Yonder customer, Heineken already utilises Blue Yonder’s end-to-end supply chain planning solutions in many of its operating companies to optimise and orchestrate decisions across sales, supply chain, operations, and finance. Going forward in the next few years they will deploy the new demand planning solution in five of its largest operating companies worldwide. 

“At Heineken, we have embarked on an ambitious journey to become the best connected brewer, going from fragmented to seamless digital interaction across the whole value chain. The introduction of Machine Learning as part of building an integrated cross-functional planning capability across our business is a critical component of this journey. The solution will assist us in continued growth and meet the changing demands of our customers and consumers,” said Marc Bekkers, director of Global Supply Chain Planning, Heineken.

Powered by Microsoft Azure, Blue Yonder’s demand planning solution continuously provides insights into a customer’s supply chain to allow for smarter, more profitable business decisions using AI and ML. The solution can ingest hundreds of internal and external influencing factors that drive demand to provide an accurate demand projection with calculated business impact and risk. Blue Yonder states that Heineken will realise better inventory management and an improved understanding of demand drivers and consumer behaviour. 

Johan Reventberg, president EMEA, at Blue Yonder, says: “Heineken has been a long-time Blue Yonder customer, so we are looking forward to expanding their supply chain footprint by helping them develop highly accurate forecasts with our AI- and ML-driven demand planning solution. This capability paired with Microsoft Azure will help Heineken continue to meet consumer demand while solidifying its position as a leading global beverage producer.” 

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