Get your copy of the 7th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing and hear from 300+ manufacturers in this new survey report!
BirdRock Home provides an extensive array of high-quality products for the home, garden, automobile, and garage both online and through brick-and-mortar retail partners. In the consumer packaged goods space, order planning and forecasting are critical to remain agile and react quickly to changes in consumer demand. However, BirdRock was still using antiquated methods with an expansive spreadsheet process created by a third party to manage ordering for their 700 active product SKUs. From start to finish, one round of planning took approximately one month to complete. “By the time I finished, I was already 30 days late, and the data was now inaccurate,” commented Analucia Pandini, BirdRock Demand Planner Specialist. With the organization running on visibility to out-of-date information, there was a reduced ability to act in a timely manner. This in turn increased BirdRock’s risk of over-forecasting and over-buying, leading to the costly proposition of holding more inventory than needed and impacting the bottom line.
"It’s so easy to identify the trends, ups and downs, potential issues, and to show other departments what’s going on so we can do something now.”
With a desire to increase process efficiency, visibility, data accuracy, and better respond to market demands, BirdRock made the decision to find a solution that would eliminate the need for their outdated means of planning and provide a real-time data view. Pandini’s impressive resume in implementing enterprise ERP and SCP systems gave her unique insights when selecting the solution best suited for BirdRock’s needs. After exploring several options, she and other members of the BirdRock team chose cloud-based Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning, with note to its userfriendly nature. DemandCaster met Pandini’s high standard based on her 15 years of experience in supply chain planning, and she stated, “to me, it was a no-brainer. It had to be DemandCaster software.”
Based on her past implementation expertise, Pandini knew what to expect when it came to getting DemandCaster in place. Together with great support from Mark Chuberka, NetSuite Administrator, they executed an expedient go-live. Chuberka was hands-on and easily able to get the interface between DemandCaster and NetSuite up and running.
The expectations were high right off the bat, as it was critical that DemandCaster pick up all elements of the workflow to continue operating at 100%. Thanks to Plex DemandCaster’s user-friendly interface and reporting functionality, the BirdRock team was very receptive to the change and adjusted to their new system seamlessly. They were able to start using the new solution almost immediately and with little impact on the day-to-day workflow.
Since completing the implementation, BirdRock has seen major improvements. It’s much easier to successfully communicate across their facilities thanks to Plex DemandCaster, which has improved inventory management and optimized the supply chain. The ability to identify the areas of business that need attention is increasing reliability and efficiency. Data trends and potential issues are caught with more frequency and employees make more informed decisions because they recognize changes in real time. Ultimately, they can create highly accurate plans, reduce costs, and produce better customer outcomes.
Before Plex DemandCaster, one planning cycle took approximately one month. Now, in terms of reviewing forecasts and landing requirements, this timeframe has been shortened to one week at most. With less time spent deep in planning and forecasting data, the BirdRock team can focus their time on analyzing the data in strategic processes like forecast performance reviews. Pandini described how these changes have also allowed her to spend valuable time with the product development, sales and marketing, and warehouse teams, preparing for what’s next. “It’s so easy to identify the trends, ups and downs, potential issues, and to show other departments what’s going on so we can do something now,” Pandini said.
As they look towards the future, the BirdRock team aims to continue being a reliable and efficient source of goods for their customers and adapt to demand fluctuations with confidence with the help of Plex DemandCaster. As an industry veteran, Pandini suggests that other manufacturers consider moving away from solutions such as spreadsheets for their supply chain planning needs. “Stay away from it,” Pandini advised. “That’s the stone ages of planning and forecasting.” Instead, she councils that companies open themselves up to change. While she recognizes the reaction of resistance in process and system changes, she also knows that Plex DemandCaster can up-level an organization’s strategic supply chain planning, a game changer in today’s manufacturing reality.
Based in Austin, Texas with fulfillment centers across the United States and development teams in 5 countries, BirdRock Home specializes in high-quality goods for the home, outdoors, office and more. Since 2008, BirdRock has been a reliable source of high-quality products and backs them up with friendly and helpful customer support.