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Pilkington Automotive, a provider of glazing solutions for one-in-three vehicles in the world, has seen benefits around its Key Performance Indictors (KPIs) since adopting Infor Demand Planning.

Pilkington Automotive’s European AGR business comprises a complex network of large and small retail fitters across wholesale and distribution markets, each with time-sensitive delivery requirements, ranging from next-week to same-day service.

The after-market network is supplied from a number of distribution facilities, including a large European distribution centre, five additional European hubs and a network of more than 60 smaller warehouses.

Pilkington Automotive also sources about 95 per cent of its extensive product range from its own manufacturing plants.

Its supply chain is complex due to a number of factors such as a large and growing product range with in excess of 10,000 stock keeping units (SKUs); multiple channels to the market, with different routing options; and a large proportion of slow or sporadic moving products required to support the AGR business.

Following the roll-out of an ERP system in 2004, the business reviewed its demand and inventory planning processes, concluding that it needed new processes and a planning system to complement its core ERP capability.

For the selection process, Pilkington Automotive set up a project team led by a special projects director.

The team assessed solutions on functionality, support and the ability to interface with the existing ERP system.

After careful consideration, the company decided that SCM Demand Planning from Infor would be best placed to drive efficiencies and support business growth.

Of particular importance to Pilkington Automotive was Infor’s track record in supplying demand and inventory planning solutions for other customers with an after-market business.

‘We have a multi-channel business and we wanted proof that Infor could support both the complexity and particular issues associated with our supply chain,’ said Andrew Collum, Pilkington Automotive’s forecasting manager for AGR Europe.

‘It was an essential prerequisite that we could establish and maintain availability of our vast range of products across Europe, many of which have low repeatable sales.

‘Infor’s slow-moving algorithms in demand planning overcame the traditional problems we have seen when trying to forecast these sorts of sporadic demand patterns.

‘We manage thousands of forecasted items and the exception reports are vital to directing attention to products that need our immediate attention.

‘We can also manage potential shortages or overstocks before they have an impact on our sales and profitability.’ The Infor project started in July 2006 and Infor SCM Demand Planning went live at the European distribution centre in February 2007.

Since adopting Infor SCM Demand Planning, Pilkington Automotive has seen a number of benefits around its Key Performance Indictors (KPIs) including better stock to sales ratios, improved distribution fill rates and an improvement in the quality of the forecasts provided to global manufacturing operations.

The solution has also been an essential tool in driving the company’s SandOP process for long-term planning.

Demand Planning offers the company a European view of demand in a single view, generating much more confidence in the supply chain plan.

Following the initial success of Infor SCM Demand Planning, Pilkington Automotive now plans additional roll-outs across Europe in 2009 and 2010.

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