As members know, one of the best things about attending an EMC SIG event is gaining an understanding of the pain points in other sectors. Recently, at a SIG event held at Arterra Wines Canada, the audience comprised one other wine producer, two food producers, and nearly half a dozen manufacturers outside of the food/beverage sector.
While not every manufacturer faces challenges to their supply chain from things like the effect of a hot summer on plant growth, drinking trends based on popular movies and television shows, long-term supply contracts that require them to buy everything that their suppliers produce, or highly regulated sales channels, all of those present could relate to challenges resulting from constraints on their system.
During our discussion, we also explored commonalities across sectors, such as reducing variances in WIP to better manage inventory, timing frozen periods for production runs, and the ROI for line upgrades to reduce changeover times.
Our hosts clearly laid out some of their supply-chain challenges and the tools that they have developed to deal with them. The most fundamental from a planning perspective is a [finicky and complicated] software system that analyzes historical sales. From this base they develop 5-year plans as part of their S&OP process, sales plans that reach 1 to 1.5 years into the future, then, once production begins, make decisions based on monthly supply reports and information about the current production cycle.
Many of the technicalities spoken of during the presentation were made clear during a tour of the production facility. While we didn’t appreciate standing outside in the delivery bays in -15° weather, we still felt very grateful that we would not be out that midnight picking frozen grapes for ice wine!
I was able to take a minute to present our new EMC member-appreciation plaques to many of those attending the event. We at EMC thank all of you for your membership, and more importantly, for your participation. Members sharing (and stealing) with pride is what makes EMC unique and we couldn’t do it without you.
As I close, I wish to thank Arterra Wines Canada for hosting a wonderful SIG Event.