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Foodmaker Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Turns to JDA to Ensure Responsiveness

Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing is best known for its Weet-Bix breakfast cereal, which has been the market leader in Australia and New Zealand for more than 30 years. But the company is also responsible for a true renaissance in eating habits Down Under. As the first company to introduce its market to healthy, innovative breakfast foods — with an emphasis on soy and other plant-based ingredients — Sanitarium has helped improve the nutrition and wellness of millions of consumers.

In order to increase its responsiveness to demand changes, supply interruptions and other unforeseen events that might affect its production facilities across Australia and New Zealand, Sanitarium made the strategic decision to improve its supply chain flexibility. “We were looking for service-level improvements and also inventory reductions — two key factors that would improve our working capital and also our revenue position,” said David Marshall, supply chain manager at Sanitarium New Zealand.

“In choosing a technology solution, we reviewed a wide range of software vendors and solutions,” Marshall continued. “We ultimately chose JDA Supply Chain Planner. We believed that JDA Software not only had a stronger solution, but we felt that it also had a clear roadmap in terms of investment, development and where it was going.”

Over the years, Sanitarium has also partnered with the JDA Services team to maximize its use of JDA Supply Chain Planner. “We started using this solution when it was in its infancy,” noted Marshall. “The journey that we've gone on has been amazing, in terms of both of us learning where we are going with the solution. Certainly a great strength has been the ongoing transfer of knowledge from JDA Services. The JDA team has helped to educate our internal people, and has enabled us to have a better future with the software.”

Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing

Founded in 1898, Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing produces a large range of breakfast cereals, as well as a variety of vegetarian products. Its flagship product, Weet-Bix, is the best-selling cereal in the Australian and New Zealand markets. Sanitarium New Zealand and its sister company Sanitarium Australia operate under the trading name of Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing and have production facilities across both Australia and New Zealand. Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing contributes its profits to charitable endeavors, while also investing significant resources into community health and wellness education through its Sanitarium Nutrition Services.

Objective

Improve supply chain agility, flexibility and responsiveness in order to reduce costs and achieve higher service levels.

Solution

Services

Partner

  • Planscape Technologies

Real Results

  • Reduced raw materials and finished goods inventories by 20 percent
  • Achieved service levels in excess of 98 percent
  • Increased overall supply chain agility

A Holistic Approach to Planning

Today, Sanitarium is successfully using the JDA solution to create a single, cohesive plan for satisfying demand, while also delivering excellent service and achieving profitability. “We're using JDA Supply Chain Planner to create our master plan right across the entire organization to manage the flow of demand,” explained Marshall. “It manages all of the capacity constraints we have in our manufacturing operations, and it supports our warehousing, transportation and logistical needs in terms of movements of materials.”

Prior to implementing the solution, Sanitarium's manufacturing, warehousing and sales operations were very fragmented. “Today we have one planning solution, one forecast and one supply plan for the entire organization,” said Marshall. “The JDA solution is fully integrated right across all of our manufacturing and warehousing operations, bringing everything together.”

A holistic perspective on production is critical for Sanitarium, as it manages geographically scattered facilities across Australia and New Zealand, including sites such as Berkeley Vale, Cooranbong, Carmel, Perth, Brisbane, Christchurch and Auckland. “The solution helps ensure that our capacity and inventory planning processes are running smoothly across our multiple sites, and provides us with a consolidated demand-supply view of the world,” said Marshall.

A Range of Everyday Benefits

According to Marshall, Sanitarium has achieved a range of concrete benefits as a direct result of using the JDA solution. “Some of the measurable results from this implementation have involved a 20 percent reduction in both raw materials and finished-goods materials within our organization,” Marshall said. “In addition to that, on a regular basis we exceed a 98 percent service level to our customers. JDA Supply Chain Planner has delivered great results.”

JDA Supply Chain Planner proved its value to Sanitarium in dramatic fashion in February 2011 when the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, was devastated by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. “This natural disaster decimated one of our factories,” recalled Marshall. “The event immediately required us to have significant changes within our supply network. The ability to use the JDA solution to look at various options and scenarios — and see how we could accommodate a continuing supply to our customers — was key to having a very successful outcome to what was a very tragic situation.”

In addition to helping Sanitarium manage this severe disruption, Marshall believes that the company's retail customers benefit every day from Sanitarium's ability to make firm commitments and deliver on those promises with a high degree of reliability. “JDA Supply Chain Planner has extended to our customers some pretty amazing results in terms of the level of confidence they have in the delivery of our products — not only during normal sales periods, but also through significant promotional events,” he said. “Our customers certainly trust that we can deliver.”

The solution has also been enthusiastically embraced by the internal planning team at Sanitarium. “Our users working with the JDA solution have a significant level of pride in their ability to deliver results within our organization,” Marshall noted. “The true power of JDA Supply Chain Planner enables them to do a great job.”

Agility: A Lasting Competitive Edge

As an acknowledged market leader in the competitive breakfast foods segment, Sanitarium relies on JDA Supply Chain Planner to help retain its leading position in Australia and New Zealand.

The JDA solution enables Sanitarium to rapidly re-cut plans to adjust for increased demand or constraints in the supply chain, giving the company the flexibility it needs to quickly adapt to changing opportunities within the marketplace. “I think our competitive advantage from using the JDA solution can probably be summed up in one word: agility,” said Marshall.

Sanitarium values its long-term partnership with JDA, during which the company, its business environment and the JDA Supply Chain Planner solution have all evolved. “While working with JDA over the years certainly has had its challenges, there's no one that we would rather have been on the journey with. We've had a great relationship with JDA to date,” Marshall said. “We're looking forward to a long relationship.”

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